Make your own edible gifts

Show someone you care this Christmas with some fabulous edible gifts. Our recipes are so simple – and delicious – and we’ve even created some that are simple enough to get the kids involved. The perfect way to spend a wet weekend and they taste great too!  
 
Peppermint creams
400g icing sugar
1 egg white
½ tsp peppermint essence
Green food colouring
 
1 Sift all of the icing sugar, putting approximately two-thirds into a mixing bowl. Beat the egg white until it has increased in volume and is white and frothy. Add the beaten egg and the peppermint essence to the icing sugar and beat until thoroughly combined.

2 Slowly add the remaining icing sugar to the bowl a little at a time until the mixture takes on a silky dough consistency.

3 Taste to see if more peppermint essence is required. Halve the mixture and add a few drops of food colouring to one half, mixing until the colour is even throughout.

4 Dust your work surface with icing sugar and roll out the mixture to 5mm (¼ in) thick. Using a small round cutter, cut out the peppermint creams and lay them on a sheet of greaseproof paper to dry. Package them in boxes, jars or cellophane.
 
Almond brittle
200g whole almonds, blanched
400g caster sugar
2 tbsp maple syrup
100g flaked almonds
 
1 Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC/R4. Roast almonds in oven on a baking sheet for ten minutes or until light golden. Ensure they don’t burn.

2 Heat sugar and maple syrup in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over a low heat until sugar dissolves and reaches soft-crack stage – when a small amount of sugar dropped into cold water can be stretched between fingers, separating into hard strands (or 132ºC/270ºF on a sugar thermometer).

3 Pour sugar syrup over almonds and scatter with flaked almonds. Flatten with a metal spoon and leave to cool.

4 Once the brittle is solid, turn it out on to a work surface and break up into shards using a rolling pin. Store in an airtight container.
 
Coconut ice
397g of condensed milk
275g icing sugar
350g desiccated coconut
1 tsp vanilla essence
Food colouring of your choice
 
1 Lightly grease a 18cm (7in) square baking tin and line with greaseproof paper.

2 Place icing sugar, condensed milk and vanilla essence in a bowl and beat until thoroughly mixed.

3 Add the desiccated coconut and keep beating until well combined.

4 Divide mixture in two. Spread first half of the mixture evenly over the base of the baking tin. Use your hand to level the mixture evenly.

5 Add a few food colouring drops to the remaining mixture and mix. Spread this mixture evenly over the plain mixture and level out.

6 Put tin in the fridge and leave to set overnight or until firm. When set, remove the block from the tin and use a sharp knife to cut into squares.
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