I realise this post is coming either a little late or ridiculously early, but it was my first year doing home-made Christmas. This project took me way longer than I initially anticipated and I'm convinced I put on a stone tasting all the components. It was worth it though as I think my family really appreciated the effort.
Basically I bought (fairly cheap) plastic boxes and filled them with: homemade cocoa, homemade fudge, chocolate star Christmas trees and homemade truffles. I then wrapped the whole lot in cellophane (my new fave) tied some ribbon and added a homemade label.
I stole all the ideas and recipes from other websites:
Homemade cocoa mix:
- 2 cups non-fat milk powder
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
- 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
Place all the ingredients in a big bowl and mix together well (the original recipe used a food processor - I didn't). Divide into sandwich bags (can make 4 bags depending on your generosity). tie the bags with gift ribbon.
I then put the bags into paper cups (designed for hot drinks) that I had decorated with Christmas ribbon. To each cup I added a red spoon, a candy cane and then topped with marshmallows. I then wrapped the whole thing with cellophane, tied it with gift ribbon and added a tag with directions to make (add 3-4 teaspoons to hot water, stir, enjoy).
My favourite part of this was my genius (and modest) idea to pour the mixture into mini silicone cupcake cakes, I chose star shaped. They worked perfectly. Everyone says how difficult fudge is to make, it isn't, it's just boring - but sooo worth it, people go crazy for the stuff.
Recipe from: http://nzfavouriterecipe.co.nz/recipes/desserts/409-the-best-russian-fudge-ever
- 200g butter
- 1 can condensed milk
- 3/4 cup milk
- 2 table spoons golden syrup
- 4 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
Chocolate star Christmas trees:
This one is much easier - but clear some fridge space first. I made some dud ones until I worked out how to stop them melting - put them in the fridge on a wooden chopping board (a baking tray might work, haven't tried). This the keeps them cool as you arrange them (artfully).
basically get a range of sizes of star shaped cookie cutters, trace around two of each onto baking paper.
Melt the chocolate of your choice (I did milk but I think layering milk and white could look very cool).
Carefully fill the star shapes with the melted chocolate (I used a spatula) and put in the fridge to set ( for a few hours-ish)
Layer the stars (securing with a little more chocolate) alternating the spikes of the stars so each layer fills a gap.. Then top with a cherry, and of course wrap with cellophane!
I made these and put them in little cupcake / truffle cases. then piled a load into a pretty take away box.
Recipe from: http://scrapbook.channel4.com/bookmarkBar/50ae33b0e4b09b08528ac2f
- Spoon of honey
- 300g of dark chocolate (65-70% single origins are best)
- 100g of milk chocolate
- 150g double cream
Chop or grate the chocolate and mix in a bowl. Boil cream and add to chocolate, mix very gently with a whisk until you have velvet texture (2 -3 minutes).
For the kids I made marshmallow snowmen by adding 4 to a skewer then gluing (with icing) mini smarties for buttons and eyes and using a jelly sweet for a hat.
Some experiments did not work: soap shapes (grating soap and pressing it into cookie cutters), bottle top, glitter glue fridge magnets - the glue kept sinking! But on the whole I was very pleased :-) give it a try next Christmas.