Christmas is the season of gifts and homemade do-it-yourself (DIY) gifts are a great way to show you care. More so because they can be personalized individually for your loved ones and the thought and effort that you put into the gift really shines through, making it a much better appreciated than any store bought gift.
And festive season is a time for indulgence, most importantly edible indulgence. And homemade handmade treats are always appreciated. Think of beautiful jars of jams, jellies, chutneys, cookies, baked treats and even layered desserts. What better gift at this time of year?
Jars are a great receptacle to package all kinds of festive goodies. They showcase the colours of the many ingredients you might put into them beautifully and are extremely convenient to carry as gifts. Fill up the jars with whatever you like, tie the jar’s rim with a pretty ribbon, add a personalized gift tag with a note, and you are ready!
When you think jars, the first thing that comes to mind is of course, jam. While spiced jams are lovely and the first thing that comes to mind, try something unusual this time. Rich amber salted caramel sauce, tart, sunny yellow lemon curd, and pungent fresh-ground mustard sauce, are just a few ways to do this. We have a host of lovely ingredients to play around with, from Italian lemons to fresh berries, to bottle into all manner of indulgences.
Jars can also be used to elegantly package homemade cookies, chocolates, fudge, or any other small sized sweets. Or try your hand at making some other unique and interesting fillers for these jars: chocolate coated coffee beans, chocolate-dipped honeycombs, meringues, mini-macaroons and caramel coated walnuts.
Fun festive pre-mixes are also great in-a-jar presents. These are especially enjoyed by those who love to bake and cook. Everything from bread and cookies to caramel popcorn and hot chocolate can be made into creative personalized presents. Just neatly layer all the dry ingredients in a clean attractive jar, add a printed recipe label, or hand-write it for a more personal touch. Try fruit-cake or gingerbread cookie mixes in the spirit of Christmas.
For those who just want to dig right in, a pre-mix jar may not be the ideal gift, but they are sure to love the dessert in a jar concept. Jars are adorable for so many desserts, and you’d be surprised that it’s not just the cold set desserts like tiramisu and trifle that work well in these little glass containers. Custards, cakes, and pies can also be made in jars by baking them in a water bath (so the jars don’t break). Layered cakes like rainbow cakes, or different flavoured cakes are a great idea here.
If you love the idea of little containers of edible gifts in the form of jars, and want to gift someone a whole lot of them, hampers are the perfect way to do so! Pick specific items that a friend would really enjoy, or simply work around a central flavour or theme- biscotti, coffee grounds, chocolate-coated coffee beans, and say, some caramel sauce to add into the coffee. Have fun personalizing gifts for those you love!