This Saturday all my friends & I gathered at my wonderful friend's flat where we had a turkey with all the trimmings, expertly cooked by Elisa & Jamie. We exchanged presents, including all of our Secret Santa gifts.

And now I can finally reveal my secret foodie gift recipes! I gave all my friends & colleagues at work one of these handmade presents. Yes, even the labels! 

Maple Toffee Vodka
400g hard toffee sweets (Wethers Originals or similar) 
200ml maple syrup
1L vodka
1. Put the toffee sweets and syrup into a large pan. Melt until the sweets have melted. 
2. Transfer to a bowl. Slowly add the vodka. Leave to infuse for 24 hours. 
3. Pass through a sieve, then pour into sterilised bottles. 

The bottles of vodka I gave out on Saturday were opened and sampled right there in front of me!

Gingerbread Mix jars 
100g light brown sugar
175g plain flour
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground mixed spice
1. Sieve all the ingredients together. Spoon into 500ml jars. 
2. Attach a cookie cutter and label with the instructions written on it:
Mix the contents of this jar with 100g melted butter & 1 large egg. Chill and roll out. Stamp           out the cookies using this cutter. Bake at 170 for 12-15 minutes. 

My wonderful friend Imi sent me a picture of her successful biscuits!

Homemade Chocolates
Obviously this recipe will work with any kind of chocolate, the original recipe was designed for white chocolate. When I made a batch to give as presents I made both white & milk chocolate truffle centres and then coated them in white, milk and dark chocolate.
Ingredients for the truffles
250g chocolate 
100ml double cream
25g soft unsalted butter 
For the coating
200g chocolate 
1. To make the truffle centres,  start by chopping the chocolate finely. Put the chocolate, cream and butter in a pan. Put on a low heat and stir until melted. Pour into a bowl or tin and chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours until firmly set. 
2. Roll the mixture into small balls. I used a melon baller and a teaspoon. Chill for 1 hour. 
3. Melt the remaining chocolate and one by one, coat the truffles in the chocolate. Chill until needed. 

I put my truffles in small paper cases inside the boxes. 

I have been told they were very nice and I have a sneaky feeling that a lot of the boxes I gave my friends are now empty... 

I also received some amazing presents so a big thank you to Ben, Cat, Becky, Will & Elisa for my baking themed gifts! 

Have yourself a merry little Christmas and I will see you again in 2013! X Bo 


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