Raspberry and Rose Chocolate Wafers

Recipe taken from Gifts from the Kitchen: 100 irresistible homemade presents for every occasion by Annie Rigg and courtesy of Easy Living Magazine.

Makes about 24 wafers

A box of thse chocolate wafers would make an ideal gift for mums – they are easy enough for little hands to make as the only cooking required is to melt the chocolate. Freeze-dried raspberries are available online or from good health food shops. As an alternative you could top the chocolate wafers with candied stem ginger or chopped dried fruit and nuts.

Raspberry and Rose Chocolate wafersIngredients:-
150g (5oz) best-quality dark chocolate (72% cocoa solids)
150g (5oz) best-quality white chocolate
3-4 tblsp freeze-dried raspberry crispies (around 25g / ¾ oz)
3-4 tblsp crystallized rose petals
3-4 tblsp pink sugared rose chips or sugar sprinkles

Step One : Line two large baking sheets with non-stick baking parchment.

Step Two : Break the dark and white chocolate into pieces and melt separately in heatproof bowls set over pans of barely simmering water. Stir until smooth, remove from the heat and cool slightly. Spoon heaped teaspoonfuls of melted chocolate on to the prepared baking sheets, spreading the chocolate into discs with the back of the spoon. Scatter with the raspberry crispies, rose petals and rose chips or sugar sprinkles.

Step Three : Set aside to cool and harden completely before removing from the parchment with a palette knife.

Step Four : Stored in an airtight container, these will keep for four to five days.

Link to book containing recipe can be found here …

Coffee and Cardamom Toffee

Recipe taken from Gifts from the Kitchen: 100 irresistible homemade presents for every occasion by Annie Rigg and courtesy of Easy Living Magazine.

Makes about 20 pieces

There is something quite nostalgic and old-fashioned about toffee, but here it is given a contemporary twist with coffee and a hint of cardamom.

Cardamom Toffee (2)Ingredients:-
Sunflower oil, for brushing the tin
125g (4oz) unsalted butter, diced
200g (6 ½ oz) caster sugar
75g molasses sugar
2 ruonded tblsp golden syrup
2 tsp instant coffee granules
½ tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
5-6 cardamom pods

Step One : Brush the inside of a 17cm (7in) square baking tin with sunflower oil.

Step Two : Place all the ingredients except the cardamom pods in a medium-sized pan and add 75ml (2 ½ fl oz) water. Crack the cardamom pods using a pestle and mortar; remove the green husks and finely grind the little black seeds. Add to the pan and place over a low to medium heat. Stir to melt the butter and completely dissolve the sugars.

Step Three : When the sugars have dissolved, raise the heat slightly and bring the mixture to the boil, stirring from time to time. Continue to cook steadily until the toffee registers 126oC / 260oF (hard ball stage) on a sugar thermometer.

Step Four : Remove the pan from the heat, give the toffee a quick whisk and pour into the greased baking tin. Leave to cool and harden before breaking into pieces and packaging in waxed paper.

Step Five : Stored in an airtight container, the toffee will keep for about a week.

Link to book containing recipe can be found here …

Stained Glass Snowflake Cookies

Recipe taken from Gifts from the Kitchen: 100 irresistible homemade presents for every occasion by Annie Rigg and courtesy of Easy Living Magazine.

Makes: 8-12 Cookies

Festive snowflake cutters are used for these cookies, but the same idea works just as well for almost any shape. They look beautiful hanging at a window, allowing the light to shine through the ‘stained glass’. Or you could give one cookie to each guest as a place setting or table gift for the Christmas dinner table.

Stained glass.jpgIngredients:-
225g (7oz) unsalted butter, softened
150g (5oz) icing sugar
1 large egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
350g (11oz) plain flour, plus extra for rolling
Pinch of salt
Assorted flavoured and coloured boiled sweets

Step One : You will need a selection of snowflake cookie cutters. Cream the softened butter and icing sugar together until pale and light. Add the whole egg and vanilla extract and mix again until thoroughly combined. Sift the flour with the sale, add to the bowl and mixed again until smooth.

Step Two : Gather the dough into a ball, flatten into a disc and wrap in clingfilm. Chill for a couple of hours, or until firm. Meanwhile divide the boiled sweets into separate colours, place in freezer bags and crush using a rolling pin.

Step Three : Heat the oven to 180oC (Gas Mark 4) and line two solid baking sheets with non-stick baking parchment.

Step Four : Lightly dust a work surface with flour and roll out the dough until it is roughly 3mm ( 1/8 in) thick. Using the snowflake cutters, stamp out snowflakes in assorted sizes and arrange on the prepared baking sheets. Carefully and neatly fill the holes in the snowflakes with the crushed boiled sweets.

Step Five : Bake in batches on the middle shelf of the preheated oven for about 12 minutes, until the cookies are pale golden and the boiled sweets have melted and filled the holes.

Step Six : Cool the cookies on the trays until hardened, and package into boxes lined with greaseproof or waxed paper once completely cold. These will keep for four to five days in an airtight box.

Link to book containing recipe can be found here …