Saturday, 4 January 2014

A handmade Christmas

Apologies I haven't blogged for a short while, with the kids at home and James it hasn't been practical and I have barely sat down either-so there might be a couple of Christmassy posts before something exciting to announce!

This Christmas I was back on my handmade/baked wagon after last year with a 2 week old I was desperate to do some baking and making this year!

The weekend before Christmas I made some 'last minute chutney' after seeing a hairy biker Christmas programme on TV that week, with that name I knew it was the chutney for me (I'd been intending to make some for weeks)! This came out well, although if I was to make it again I would chop the figs and apricots much smaller than their recipe suggests for personal preference. I presented it in Ikea kilner jars.

Christmas eve I was busy, busy, busy, in fact I was in the kitchen for the majority of the day.

I had made two Christmas cakes this year one large circle one and one large square one-this one I had cut into 4 for presents. So I decorated them all, I made them all similar and had some silver shimmer spray left over from Mum's and Dad's silver wedding anniversary cake.

I was really pleased at how these turned out, and everyone loved them. I have been told I have to make our own wedding cake numerous times the last 2 weeks! For the recipe I used please look here.

I then set about making some marzipan chocolates, these are really simple and I had a great reaction from everyone I gave them too.
1. Melt some dark chocolate in a bowl over boiled water, leave to cool slightly.
2. Chop some pistachios and dried cranberries, take a small ball of marzipan make a dimple with your thumb and push a few cranberries and pistachios inside (less is more!) and roll back into a ball.
3. Using two forks dunk the marzipan ball and let excess chocolate slide off-I found moving from each fork helped this.
4. Place in a tiny cake case, and srpinkle some cranberries and pistachios on top.
5. Leave to set.
6. Then put into a cellophane bag with some twirly ribbon if giving as a gift, or keep in a airtight container ('d left mine open in a small bowl and they were fine too).

These are similar to the yule logs I have made before.

Apologies for naff photo-it was late and I'd also bagged the best of the batch (these were my ones)!

Alex and James then gave me a hand to make some gingerbread, once cooled I decorated them with icing sugar mixed with one egg white (this sets really well-also great for using on gingerbread houses, I found this out after attempting our first one!). Then bagged them up in clear cellophane bags I'd got from eBay, with a bit of twirly ribbon.

We gave hampers to each of our parents, with the usual red wine & coffee I also gave one of my hand sewn gingerbread man decorations, and made some chocolate slabs (which annoyingly I didn't take photos of in my Christmas eve rush) these were melted chocolate with a mix of chopped nuts and one with cranberries and one with stem ginger.

Handmade from the boys:

At Christmas I like the boys to give a little something to their Grandparents and Great Grandparents. This year we got crafty. 

Alex and I made some salt dough Santa's using his hand print. I let these air dry purely because I never have any luck when I bake them. Once air dried we painted them with acrylics and I then sealed it with acrylic varnish. Through the hole I put some natural twine so that it could be hung from the tree. 

With Sam only being one I had to think hard about what I could with him 7 times without getting bored! Then I saw my friend post a photo on Facebook of something I have had pinned for some time-mistletoes! So I sat Sam in his high chair, painted his feet green and printed onto paper-saved my carpets going green as he would not have sat still otherwise! I then stuck these onto red or green thick paper and drew the string parts, and got Alex to write something in the card too. 


  1. Oh wow! I'm super impressed! I love handmade gifts - yours look wonderful. x

  2. Pistachios and marzipan in the same chocolate - my idea of heaven!


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