Homemade Baking for Christmas Gifts

A few years ago I stopped racking my brains about what to buy for presents for friends and family at Christmas, and decided that everyone would get a gift basket of homemade goodies. 

I’ve now done this for the past three years, and they go down extremely well.  I try to have a mix of traditional things, like truffles, and a few different ideas, but in order to “qualify” the recipe has to be easy and simple to make (since it’s such a busy time of year).

As I’ve now done this for a few years, I have a number of favourites – here’s one of them – I’ll add more over the next few days as I get time!

White Christmas

1 1/2 oz puffed rice cereal
3 1/2 oz milk powder
4 oz icing sugar
3 oz desiccated coconut
2 3/4 oz chopped red glace cherries
2 3/4 oz chopped green glace cherries
2 oz sultanas
8 oz white vegetable shortening (you might know this as Copra, Copha, Crisco or Kremelta)

You don’t need to worry about exact measurements for this recipe – it’s pretty hard to get wrong!

Melt the shortening completely – keep the heat low, then leave it to cool while you mix all the other ingredients together in a bowl.  Add the shortening to the mixture and stir it through thoroughly, then put the whole lot into a foil-lined tin (I use an 11 x 7 inch one), press it down and put in the fridge until set (30 minutes is usually enough).  Take it out of the tin and throw away the foil, then cut into squares or trianges before putting into whatever you’re going to present it in – I’ve used boxes and jars in the past, but you can also arrange the pieces on a square of cardboard, wrap the whole lot in cellophane, and tie at the top with a ribbon – very cheap, but very Christmassy!

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