Three Recipes for Edible Christmas Gifts

4th December 2020

All I want for Christmas is food. Edible gifts are always a winner in our family and over the years we have made various gifts from chocolates to chutney, gingerbread to gin.

This year more than ever, people have been experimenting with different cakes and bakes so why not put some of those new-found skills to the test with some edible Christmas gifts?

Christmas Cookies cooling on a rack

Here are three simple recipes that are great for gifting. They’re all recipes we use here at The School House B&B so they're good for any time of year, but we've made some suggestions for a festive twist.

Click on the link beneath each photo to view a recipe card that you can print or save for later.

Homemade Granola

There's a blog post from September 2016 here about the origins of our homemade granola recipe. I discovered it quite by chance while reading a camping cookbook from a well-known outdoor retailer. It caught my eye because the recipe was submitted by a long-distance hiker called Keith Foskett, whose books I had enjoyed reading almost as much as I enjoy a good walk.

We leave out the nuts, dried fruit and some of the seeds and we're pleased to say that the results have been extremely popular. As well as the many guests who have enjoyed it as part of their B&B breakfast, a few have taken away the recipe and continue to enjoy it long after their stay at The School House B&B.

For a Christmas flavour, add a teaspoon of mixed spice before cooking and then after cooking add some dried cranberries and pecan nuts painted with edible gold glitter.

The School House B&B Granola Recipe

Ingredients

Method

560g oats

150g seeds (I use pumpkin, sunflower and linseed)

1 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla essence

115 ml maple syrup

115 ml olive oil

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees fan.

2. Put all the dry ingredients into a large bowl and give it a good stir.

3. Add the maple syrup and olive oil and stir again, making sure that all the dry ingredients are coated with the oil and syrup.

4. Line a large baking sheet with greaseproof baking paper.

5. Spread the mixture out on the baking sheet and bake for about 30 minutes, stirring halfway through. Keep an eye on it for the last 5 mins or so and bake to your desired crunchiness. Leave to cool and store in an airtight container for up to a month.

Granola on a baking tray

Click here to go to the recipe card.

Apple Chutney

We love serving our homemade preserves to guests – damson jam, Seville orange marmalade and lemon curd have all graced the breakfast table here at The School House.

Chutney is by far the easiest of the preserve family to make, so when you have a tree full of cooking apples there’s only one thing to do with them – make homemade apple chutney.

Our cheese and pork pie bedroom picnics always include a portion of homemade chutney. This apple chutney makes a great gift because it goes so well with all those lovely cheeses and snacks that we love at Christmas.

The recipe came from an old family friend who was in the Women's Institute (W.I.), rather appropriate since my preserve-making schooling has come mainly through W.I. events and meetings.

Bottle it in hexagonal jars if you can, make your own labels and add a bit of ribbon for that personal touch.

Easy Apple Chutney Recipe

Ingredients

Method

2.75kg cooking apples, peeled and cored

1kg brown onions

300 ml water

2 tblsp salt

8 tblsp ground ginger

2 tblsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1.15 litres distilled malt vinegar

1kg granulated sugar

450g golden syrup

1. Mince or finely chop the apples and onions, then place them in a large saucepan with the water.

2. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

3. Add the salt, spices and half the vinegar and continue to cook until the apples and onions are thoroughly softened.

4. Add the sugar, syrup and remaining vinegar and stir until the sugar has dissolved.

5. Bring the chutney to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer it gently until it is thickened and smooth. The cooking time depends on the desired consistency - it can take over an hour!

6. Spoon into sterilised jars* with new lids.

* To sterilise the jars, wash thoroughly and then place on a baking tray in a warm oven (160 degrees C) for about 15 minutes.

 Cheese Platter with Homemade Chutney

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Lemon Shortbread Cookies

When you stay here at The School House B&B, there’s always something sweet and indulgent in your room for you to enjoy with a cuppa after exploring Ludlow and the Shropshire Hills. We do like to ring the changes here as I enjoy experimenting with new recipes. I started making these lemon shortbread cookies as an alternative to flapjack.

The recipe comes from Mary Berry's 'Absolute Favourites' cookbook. Mary makes a batch of dough and divides it into three to make different varieties - lemon, chocolate chip and almond. We have tried the others but we love the lemon ones and they're the easiest to make.

They are so moreish that you might have to make a large batch to please everybody (including yourselves!). If you’re making them as gifts, use a Christmas tree or star-shaped cookie cutter to make them more festive.

Lemon Shortbread Cookie Recipe

Ingredients

Method

175g butter, softened

75g caster sugar

175g plain flour

75g semolina

Zest of 3 lemons

1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees fan.

2. Cream together the butter and sugar with a wooden spoon and then stir in the flour and semolina.

3. Grate the lemon zest into the mixture and knead together.

4. Shape the dough into balls (about the size of a walnut) and flatten each ball with the palms of your hands.

5. Place each cookie on a lined baking tray, well-spaced apart, and press down with a fork so that each disc is about 5 cm. in diameter.

6. Bake for about 10 minutes until they are a pale golden brown colour, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

 

Lemon Shortbread Cookies in a jar

Click here to go to the recipe card.

Happy Baking!

 

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