Every Christmas for the past few years, I have decided to make hampers for my friends and family to enjoy as I feel it would be more well received than the standard presents – I mean who doesn’t like receiving a box of handmade food?
This year, I changed it up a bit and decided to add a jam, infused oil and crackers to the mix. I gave crackers a go on my first ever hamper attempt. I’m not saying these were much better, but I felt happier handing them out than the last try! Plus, cheese biscuits in the shape of stars are a winner.
So in a flurry of cellophane, raffia and chocolate; I present to thee, the hamper class of 2014 with sources as to where I made my gifts.
Infused garlic/chilli oil – as provided by BBC Good Food
Parmesan Shortbreads – as provided by Sainsburys Magazine
Red Onion Chutney – featured on the blog in November
Peach and Vanilla Jam – featured on the blog in November
Florentines – As seen in the Great British Bake Off at Christmas cookbook
Hokey Pokey – as provided by Morrisons Magazine
Salted Pecan Crack Toffee – credit where credit is due The Londoner, this stuff is just deliciously addictive. I would make this every year. Or every day.
Chocolate Wreaths – inspired by Hotel Chocolat and made with apricots, dark and milk chocolate and mixed nuts.
Slow cooked cinnamon nuts – as found on Pinterest – and possibly the best thing to have slow cooking in the house over the festive period. It smells divine.
I also made hot chocolate and marshmallow cones and chocolate sleighs using candy canes, Cadburys snowmen, Freddos, Ferrero Rocher and a Lindt Santa, stuck together with double sided tape!
The best thing about the planning is sitting down with a huge coffee or tea, some music (all planning was inspired by the delightful Otis Redding) and a stack of magazines. I tend to collect all the magazines the supermarkets produce themselves (I’m a sucker for the Sainsburys and Waitrose ones) as they have some really good recipes in there. I was lucky to have a recipe binder for Christmas, so I can see a weekend of scrapbooking these magazines ahead of me at some point as I am starting to be overrun with magazines! When you really think about it, you can create some amazing homemade gifts – I am excited already for next years hampers!