A heartfelt gift

Try something new this Christmas and bake it instead of buying it.

As the holidays approach so does gift giving for teachers, neighbours, work colleges and friends.

Instead of breaking the bank trying to purchase presents for everyone, try and cook up some delicious treats to gift. 

What seems a simple gesture of home baking is often more appreciated in a world that seems too busy to make a little extra effort.

Handmade treats can be gifted beautifully by bottling in recycled glass jars or wrapping in cellophane. Add ribbon or natural strings to complete the presentation with a small Christmas tag.

Here are some recipes from Changing Habits to get you started.

Jam Drops

Biscuit Ingredients

  • 85g Unsalted Butter
  • 3 tablespoons Rapadura Sugar*
  • ½ teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 ½ cups Almond Meal
  • ½ cup coconut flour
  • 1 egg

Jam Ingredients

  • 1 cup Frozen Raspberries – thawed (or fresh if available)
  • 2 tablespoons Rapadura Sugar*
  • 2 tablespoons Lemon Juice

Method

  1. Combine the Jam ingredients in a pot and place on a high heat, stirring well until the sugar dissolves and the mixture boils. Reduce to a simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally until the mixture thickens. Set aside to cool.
  2. Whisk the butter, egg and vanilla extract and then add the almond meal, sugar and coconut flour in a bowl and mix well with fingers. Roll the mixture into a ball shape and wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes
  3. Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius.
  4. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Remove the mixture from the fridge and roll into 12 small balls (using about 2 teaspoons of dough for each).
  5. Press your thumb into each of the balls to form an indentation about half an inch wide and an inch deep. Spoon 1 teaspoon of jam into each indentation.
  6. Bake the cookies for 20-25 minutes, until lightly golden and then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

White Chocolate Bliss Balls

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Shredded Coconut* (plus a little to finish)
  • 1 cup raw Cashews
  • ½ cup of Coconut Butter or Cacao Butter
  • 1 tablespoon Honey
  • 1 tablespoon Coconut oil*
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Method

  1. Chop the cashews finely and add to food processor with the rest of the ingredients (or Thermomix) and blend to a fine consistency.
  2. Remove from processor and roll the mixture into balls and roll them in the rest of the coconut and place in the fridge for at least 3 hours to become firm.

Pecan cinnamon spiced fruit cake

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cups mixed dried fruit (I used oil and preservative free cherries, raisons, dates*, figs*, apricots, currants, goji berries and cranberries)
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon*
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 orange, zest and juice
  • 1/3 cup Coconut Oil*
  • 1/2 teaspoon Seaweed Salt*
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1/4 cup Rapadura Sugar*
  • 3/4 cup Emmer Wheat Flour*, sifted
  • 1 cup mixed nuts (I used almonds, brazil and pecans + extra pecans for garnishing)

Optional: Add in ginger, turmeric, all spice, Cacao Melts*, espresso shots to taste

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 170C. Grease and line a spring form cake tin.
  2. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl until combined.
  3. Pour into the cake tin and top with the pecans decoratively.
  4. Cover the top with alfoil and bake for 40 minutes.
  5. Remove the alfoil from the top of the cake and bake for a further 15-20 minutes or until cooked through yet still moist.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

*Organic products available at Changinghabits.com.au