ok I wasn't first to say the C word here!!
Home made chutney? I have a recipe for a very good chutney.
Home made lime marmalade - much nicer than shop stuff.
A small(ish), iced, Christmas cake?
Individual Chrstmas puddings are dead easy to do. Tesco's do some individual pudding moulds that are ideal. 3 hours steaming for the initial cook and then only needs another half hour or so to warm through.
I was just about to start googling to see how to make individual Christmas cakes- I don't know how the cooking time would vary from making a conventional large one.
<sneaks in and adds name to GFB's family>
You could also chocolate-coat nuts and top them with crystalised flowers.
Pine cones make nice decorations too.
Wilkinsons sometimes have things like bottles and jars, pretty cheap.
Good idea on the cake, SC!
I have cooked small ones occasionally, using a small bowl to cook it in - I think I gave it an hour or two. Just keep and eye on it and stab it with a skewer from time to time, cover it with brown paper to keep it from burning.
Biscotti are good - very cruchy and full of almonds, they keep very well.
I've been making small Christmas cakes for years - I bought some mini loaf tins that work really well, but I've also make them in muffin tins. I did muffin-sized cakes on Sunday with surplus cake mixture. I didn't adjust for the large tin size so made too much - the muffins will not make it until Christmas
You don't have to alter the recipe at all, just reduce the cooking time down. It's dificult to say exactly because it depends on the size of the tins, but 1-2 hours is usually plenty. Just jab them a few times with a skewer until they're done.
+1 for re-using jars. It's far more economical and green (recycling is fun! ) and if you ask people to donate jars you'll soon have a mountain of them to use. You can always print labels for them, tie them with ribbon, etc. to make them pretty.
I think a mix of sweet and savoury is good. So chutneys/pickles as well as jams, and maybe some savoury biscuits - oatcakes/ herbed shortbread (rosemary is really nice).
Thanks for all the pointers on mini-cakes. I'll start soaking the fruit this evening.
IIRC someone told me one year they'd bought xx jars of Tesco value lemon curd as a way of sourcing jars.
More ideas/details on individual Xmas cake
I think i've found my home for the next couple of months! I'm trying to make a hamper this year for my extended family but having been running short on ideas!
@Wilkie - could you pass over your chutney recipe?
I was thinking of making packs of homemade biscuits and jams in a nice box. I've been saving up my old jam jars especially
Good place for jars
I'm very impressed with all this organising - we're not good at making stuff but do have lots of chutney at the moment so could maybe do my parents a chutney hamper.
I'll confess that a couple of years ago we brought a small one for the MiL as she is so hard to buy for. There are still 2 individual puds tucked in her biscuit cupboard (we check what she needs before we take her shopping as her list is not always reliable). It does mean that I have a small hamper though as she was having a clear out and gave it to Mr USB to get rid of
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