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Club Inspire

Hand made Christmas goodies

So, this year for Christmas I decided to make all of my Christmas presents! I know, everyone said I was mad with having the baby, but I did most of  the prep work before he was born and then just finished it all off the week before christmas.

Here's everything I made...


My Christmas Cakes I was most proud of - I'm not much of a baker, but I followed Mary Berry's recipe and had the fruit soaking for a few weeks, so it turned out lovely and moist. I made 2 large square ones then cut them into quarters to make 8 mini cakes. And i'm not that good at icing, but I got better the more cakes I iced, and then I wrapped them up using the lovely cellophane wrapping that some of my baby flowers had come in (obviously well washed first plus I wrapped each cake in cling film first!) They say a crafter never wastes anything!!





I also made apple and cranberry chutney - first time i've made chutney! I followed the recipe from the BBC Good Food website, and I bought all my jars in bulk from this online shop called Wares of Knutsford who I thought were very reasonable.



Then I did a lemon and ginger marmalade






Some Baileys Fudge (which I have to say has become somewhat of a specialty of mine) - its so easy, I follow the recipe from the Carnation website but then substitute the milk for Baileys.



And finally I made Disaronno truffles (which went down a storm!).


I kind of made up the recipe myself from when ive done truffles before - I heated some double cream in a pan, added grated 70% coco-solids chocolate and lots of Disaronno, stirred it into like a ganache, cooled it in a bowl, then left it in the fridge overnight. Then it goes hard, you scoop out circles with a melon baller, then I rounded these off in my hands and put them in the freezer, then later rolled them in melted milk chocolate.



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You can totally see from looking at them that they are home made, but I think that just makes it all the nicer!

Anyway, they were greatly appreciated by all! When Leann came round to visit Oliver I gave her the selection I'd made for her and her hubby Simon:





And she posted on facebook later this picture saying Simon had been snaffling two pieces of cake at a time!



Also I sent a parcel to CHA with my simon for my good friend Carmi and she posted the following pictures on facebook saying the'd had a lovely afternoon tea very british style!

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So i can safely say my Christmas presents went down a treat and I think its so much nicer taking the time to make people a gift than it is buying them. And because I do so much papercraft, it was lovely to try something different for a change!

Anyway, if anyone else had the same idea and made exciting Christmas presents then I'd love to know (to get ideas for next year!!)

Sara xx

20 thoughts on “Hand made Christmas goodies”

  • sue clarke

    all looks fab,will make the fudge for friends and next year craft fairs.truffles sound brill could just eat one but now on my slimming world diet ,so its a no no .take care....

  • Liz Reeves

    Ooohhh Sara they look yummy. How do you find the time and energy to do all this. You are an inspiration to us all. Xx

  • Jackie Mackie

    Sara, what a fantastic idea. I think I might try this idea myself for next Christmas. What could be nicer to receive than a selection of home made goodies. Brilliant. Xx

  • Jacqui Rolfe

    Sarah you are amazing you are indeed inspiration to us all.... I did make some Christmas presents for family, alas not wonderful yummy goodies, however I have 12 grandchildren so it helps to make some gifts mine were frilly knitted scarves for the adults and an assortment of knitted and crochet toys..... This year I am definitely going to have a go at homemade fudge and your truffles +I may have a go at mini Xmas cake thanks for the inspiration xx

  • Ruth Mahaffey

    Thank you for sharing with us Sara. I will definitely have to try them myself.

  • Wendy Dyche

    Here's the recipe for Chocolate marshmallow fudge (that I have given you in the past at the NEC)

    70g Butter
    120g evaporated milk
    300g light brown sugar
    half a bag of marshmallows

    Put them all in a pan to melt gently, turn up the heat and boil for 5-6 mins
    Remove from heat and add 70g dark choc and 300g milk chocolate chopped up
    Stir well to combine and pour in a tray to set. Then cut up into squares

    I normally do a double quantity

  • Monica Knight

    Sarah, you are unbelievable. To do all that and have a baby you deserve the name SUPERWOMAN. Great.

  • Margaret Roberts

    That sounds delicious Sarah, will have to be trying it.

  • Dawn

    You are absolutely amazing, as if producing a baby wasn't enough you managed to produce all these stunning tasty presents and so beautifully presented. You also have an eye for detail as well and the little finishing touches like the personalised labels and lovely wrapping just finish them off and so much better than mass produced shop stuff. Who needs to go to Beamish when we could have an educational day round yours!! Thanks so much for sharing Sara. I used my ultimate at Christmas to make little boxes to put out for everyone at the xmas table, I made little printed labels with names on and decorated them with die cut poinsettia or holly and then put tissue in each one and a little gift in each. People couldn't believe I'd made the boxes, they were so professional and all down to the ultimate! xx

  • Heather

    Hi Sara these look yummy x
    I printed calendars onto tissue and put them on candles then put the candles in boxes made using my ultimate. I also used glass paints to paint designs on tealight holders and placed these with some spare tealights and a small yankee votive candle in more boxes x I also made some tealight candle cards. I have to try to be creative and make my gifts as jobseekers doesnt go far enough to buy gifts lol x

  • Jacquie Jacobs

    Hi Sara,

    WELL DONE you are brave, but these look absolutely divine, I must steal some of your ideas if I may especially the recipe for the Disaranno truffles. Thank you for all the ideas, these have made lovely gifts especially with your personalized tag lol!

    Love & Hugs

    Jacquie J xxx

  • Julie Woolston

    Wow Sara they look amazing, you are truly so talented, and it looks like they were very much appreciated by all, it's lovely to give that personal touch and like you say it nice to take the time to make them.

    Hugs Julie xxxx

  • Norah McPhee

    Good evening Sara,
    Your gifts are not homemade but handmade with love and everyone who was fortunate enough to receive such a lovely gift who enjoy it more because of its
    It will have been what christmas is really all about
    They are so very lucky people to be loved as much as that.
    Love to you all and the wee fella as well,

  • kimberley hodgson
    kimberley hodgson 1st February 2014 at 11:52 am

    Hi Sarah, So nice to see others making their gifts for xmas. You really did do a fabulous job, & the recipients were so lucky to receive your precious time too. I have been making my gifts for around 5 yrs now, and everybody always appreciates them because of the time you have devoted. Over the years I have done knitted & crocheted goods, gifts in jars with recipe cards, bath goodies (as I am also a soap maker), but this year I made mini scrap albums, it was a massive job but the response was well worth the effort.
    Love to you and yours
    Kim xx

  • Joyce Hart

    Hi there Sara
    your Christmas gifts look amazing I would love your truffle recipe(i.e. the amounts you used) as I have been after a good recipe for ages. Don't know how you managed it with a new baby you must be a well organised person.

  • Joyce Hart

    Just an after thought Sara I will have to get some of the cellophane wrapping from Neelam ready to go then.

  • Anne Hill

    Well done Sara.....I wish I had the skills to spoil my family with gifts to eat!!!!! Alas the skills finished when we lost my Mum, I try to make up in other ways. They all looked delicious.

  • Janet Turner

    Great inspiration to us all. Blessings to you and hubby and little Ollie. He is a cutie pie!

  • Pearl fairless

    Hi Sarah

    You did so well it puts me to shame. Going to try and do the same for this year. How about putting together a recipe book of all the ones you made and anymore you could think of. The labels look great. Hoe about a recipe cd to help make the finishing touches even putting recipes on the cd? Your cd's are the best on the market and so easy to use. Keep them coming, stamps as well.



  • Sharon Parry

    The apple and cranberry relish sounds lovely where can we get the recpe please? I make my two daughters, my younger brother and my sister a hamper, a 6x6 christmas cake , i marzipan it and they decorate as they want, and this year my eldest grandaughter who is at catering college is doing the marzipan and icing it herself. I make four kinds of truffles, the new one this year is malibu with pineapple and coconut, i make three types of pastry for them and my mincemeat which i wax told by the police officers who tried them said only two before driving! So the jars have a label saying Warning! Do mot drive oroperate machinery after consumption!

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