It’s time for festive gifting! Show you care and go the extra mile with edible gifts and DIY packaging, plus have some fun. Plus, learn how to make homemade jams, lemon curds, infused vodka, olive oils and gin spice. These gifts can stay in pantries and fridges for weeks.
Take gifting to the next level
If your love language is food, then why not show your appreciation for someone by creating an edible gift for them? There are two ways to go about this: you can opt for giving a freshly baked treat (which will have a relatively short shelf-life, so bake it just before giving) or something infused or preserved (this will last much longer and can be made ahead of the holiday rush!).
Bake it fresh
If you choose this option, we recommend sugar cookies, fudge squares, chocolate truffes or mince pies. Bite-sized nibbles are easier to transport and package. If you’ll be making these a few days in advance, keep them fresh in an airtight box until you’re ready to package them. Sugar cookies can be stacked on top of each other and sealed in a plastic packet with string, or assembled in a paper lined box.
Individual fudge squares can be wrapped like sweets in wax paper and labelled with the receiver’s name. Baking and party supply stores have lots of affordable box-, bag- and plastic options that can be easily assembled and upgraded using colourful paper, string, confetti or stencils.
3-ingredient coconut crunch clusters
Combine 1½ cups (375ml) roughly chopped coconut flakes with ¼ cup (60ml) condensed milk and ½ tsp (3ml) vanilla essence to make a so mixture. Scoop spoons of mixture onto a baking tray and cook for 10-12 minutes at 180°C until golden. Cool down completely. Package individual clusters in a cupcake wrapper and place in a gift box or airtight container, then wrap it with ribbon.
Long lasting love
Seal the deal: Home-baked goods can go stale quickly if they aren’t packaged properly. It’s best to make and contain these as close to gifting as possible. When packing, look for containers (making it a 2-in-1 gift), bags or boxes that will retain the sweet treat’s shape and structure, as well as seal properly. Baking paper is a great liner for oil-based things such as brownies, cookies or fudge. It also acts as a buffer if the treats get knocked around in transit.
Cheap ’n cheerful: Plastic packets and brown paper bags are low-cost options that can be dressed up with ribbons, personalised name tags and bows. Better yet, get out the koki and make your own gift paper from a brown paper bag.
All bottled up: Infused oils and homemade jams can be added to any empty glass jars or bottles in your cupboard – this is their time to shine! Repurpose glass jars, tins or cardboard boxes by covering them with wrapping paper, spray painting or even decorating them with fresh foliage from your garden.
Top the lids of jars with cloth then seal with twine or ribbon to finish off. Instead of buying non-recyclable wrapping, use excess newspaper to wrap gifts.
Spice flavour packets for gin infusion
Floral gin: 2 dried pink grapefruit slices, 6 dried juniper berries, 1 rosemary sprig.
Fruity gin: 2 dried figs, 2 sprigs thyme, 1 Tbsp dried hibiscus flowers, 1 dried lime slice.
Warm spiced gin: 1 star anise pod, 1 cinnamon stick, 2 dried orange slices.
Christmas gin: 2 Tbsp dried cranberries, 1 cinnamon stick, 3 cloves, 2 slices dried lemon.
Pick a combination that you like, then add it to a small plastic packet or glass jar. Seal it with colourful string and a personalised label, and you’re all set.
Words: Sjaan van der Ploeg
Photography: Fresh Living Magazine, Supplied
Also read: DIY chocolate truffles