Christmas Treats & Edible Gifts

Home made sweets and little treats are always welcome gifts - and perfect for these recessionista times. The following article contains recipes that have been taken from some of the wonderful cookbooks that have been reviewed by us and include Turkish Delight from Rachel Allen's Home Cooking, MacNean Mint Chocolate Truffles from Neven Maguire's Home Chef and Sugar Cookies from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook.

Turkish Delight from Rachel Allen's Home CookingTurkish Delight

Not many people make Turkish Delight so this would make a nice surprise gift – the recipe, from Rachel Allen’s Home Cooking (HarperCollins hardback, rrp €30.75), is the smooth rosewater version, but Rachel says that “ if you like Turkish Delight pistachios, feel free to chop up a handful and stir into the mixture. It keeps for ages and makes a particularly lovely gift — one batch will fill quite a few boxes.” Makes about 48.

[*Alternatively, Turkish Delight can be flavoured with Crème de Menthe and coloured green, making Peppermint Turkish Delight, aka Crème de Menthe Jellies. GC]

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Petit Fours from Neven Maguire's Home ChefMacNean Mint Chocolate Truffles

From Neven Maguire’s (of MacNean House & Restaurant) new cookbook, Home Chef (HarperCollins, hardback €25), this truffle recipe is one of a set of five petits fours given in the book – unusually, it contains fresh chopped mint as well as crème de menthe; alternatively, Neven suggests trying rum, Cointreau or whiskey flavouring instead. Makes about 30.

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Sugar Cookies from The Hummingbird Bakery CookbookSugar Cookies

These cute iced stars are from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook (Ryland Peters & Small hardback, stg£16.99), and the recipe is the base for all their holiday cookies. Roll it out and use shaped biscuit cutters to make your own festive cookies – great fun for the kids to make, and there’s also a recipe for Gingerbread Men in the book.

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