Last Minute Christmas Gifts on a Budget

If you are a little more creative or have some time you could think about making some homemade presents. These are great for children to give to teachers, friends, grandparents etc The site Santas Postbag has a whole range of ideas for homemade festive gifts from pot plants, knitting projects and toys.

gingerbread houseEdible Christmas Gifts are always a big hit – there is a great selection of ideas at Net Mums including cakes and biscuits, savoury ideas and chocolate and sweets. Remember to have some lovely ribbon and a gift tag to make it special. Below is a simple recipe for some Gourmet Mint Chocolates.

Gourmet mint chocolates

300g white chocolate, finely chopped
½ tsp peppermint essence
50ml whipping cream
75g plain chocolate
100g clear peppermint sweets, crushed

Arrange approximately 36 foil or paper sweet cases on a baking sheet. Place the cream and 225g of the white chocolate in a bowl set over hot water and allow to melt, mix well. Do not allow to overheat. Add the crushed peppermints and stir until melted. Place the mixture in a piping bag with a plain nozzle, and three-quarter fill the cases. Flatten the top with a wet finger. Chill until set.

Place the remaining white chocolate in a bowl over hot water and stir until smooth. Pour into a greaseproof-paper piping bag. Melt the plain chocolate in a bowl over hot water and stir until smooth. Pour into a greaseproof-paper piping bag. Cover the tops of half of the mint sweets with white chocolate, put a blob of dark chocolate on the top and draw a cocktail stick through to give a heart shape. Cover the remaining half of the chocolates in the same way but with reversed coloured chocolates. Leave to set.

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