Last Minute Edible Gifts

Last Minute Gift Ideas that you can make from ingredients in your Pantry!

Uh oh! Guys, Christmas is in 5 Days! FIVE. DAYS. Have you finished all your Christmas shopping yet? Are you like me, who thought she’d done all her shopping and then realised she’d forgotten someone. Noooooo! What’s a girl to do? Rather than braving the stores for something less than personal, let’s make something! These little gifts only take a few minutes to make and you can tailor them for who you are giving them too. Share your favourite cookie recipe with your friend at work, or make a pretty bottle of vanilla extract for your foodie friend. They will love it!

Homemade Vanilla Extract

Vanilla extract is surprisingly easy to make; you just need 3 - 5 vanilla beans and at least 30ml of plain vodka. The extract will last for ages as long as it is sealed and stored in a warm dark place.

  1. Slice each vanilla bean in half (along the length) leaving around 1cm connected at the stem.
  2. Place the vanilla beans in a clean jar or bottle and fill with vodka, ensuring the beans are completely submerged.
  3. Seal the bottle and give it a shake. Store in a cool, dark place for at least 1 month. Take the jar out every few weeks and give it a good shake. The mixture will darken over time.
  4. Taste test the extract and let it infuse longer if you want a stronger flavour.

When you are happy with the flavour, you may want to remove the spent vanilla beans. Allow the beans to dry out and add them to a jar of white sugar to create vanilla sugar to use for baking.

Alternatively, you can simply top up the vodka as it starts to run low and add in new beans over time. Just remember to let them infuse before using.

Recipe in a Jar

Share your favourite recipes with cookies or even a cake in a jar!  I like to use a recipe with a lot of texture and colour to maximum effect in layering ingredients - Like this delicious Oatmeal Cranberry Pistachio Cookies recipe.

  1. Gather together the dry ingredients from your favourite cookie recipe, measure out the appropriate amounts and place into separate bowls.
  2. Organise the ingredients into the order that you need to use them in the recipe. You will layer these in the opposite order (ie: the last ingredient you need, should go in first) Try to keep similar ingredients separate (ie: white sugar and flour).
  3. Using a measuring cup or something with a pouring spout, decant the first ingredient into the jar. A funnel is useful if you have one. Flatten the layer with the back of a spoon and repeat this step with all the ingredients until you have filled the jar.
  4. Seal the jar and finish with some string or a bow around the top. Don’t forget to include the full recipe and list of wet ingredients to go along with your gift!
1 Comment
  • Linnéa

    December 22, 2014 at 3:26 am Reply

    The vanilla extract idea is fantastic :) I might do it for myself, our supermarkets here doesn’t stock vanilla extract so I might just have to do my own!

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