I’ll apologise right now for filling your browser with tinsel and baubles in the middle of November but I’m sorry to tell you (if you hadn’t already realised) that it’s Christmas 6 weeks today. I do love Christmas. I’m not ashamed.
Part of me always wants to be a bit of a puritan about it and not mention it at all until 1st December but once it gets to around this time I can hardly contain myself. I’ve already booked myself and Nick and seat at a special screening of Muppet Christmas Carol with festive afternoon tea at Sugar Junction in Manchester (it’s my favourite Christmas film so I might have let out a little squeal when the event was advertised).
I have made a conscious effort to make all of my gifts this year or buy things from vintage fairs etc. I started back in early October actually and have been quietly working away on my various projects since (like a Christmas elf, if you will).
Last year I gave a lot of food-based gifts. I would much rather give someone something that they will eat and enjoy than give them some bubble bath that will sit and gather dust on their bathroom shelf until next Christmas. I definitely devote more time to the things I make than I anything I’ve picked up in a shop. I used to worry about people thinking I was cheap but I think it’s becoming much more acceptable to make your own gifts and I’m glad I’ve adopted this way of thinking during the festive period.
I thought, in the run up to the big event, I would plan a 6-part blog series of foodie gift ideas to show you how easy and fun it is to make your own gifts (I suspect you already know but indulge me on this one). I made these cookie dough truffles for my friend’s birthday this week and I thought they’d make a great post for Christmas gift ideas so they’ve served a double purpose. They are such a treat and a really fun present to give. I replaced half of the chocolate chips with some peanut butter chips I picked up in America that had been waiting to be used for something special.
I also made a little box for the truffles. I used this template guide and cut a circle out on a potato to make a stamp. I stamped gold dots over a piece of card and left it to dry over night before I turned it into a box.
(adapted from Love and Olive Oil)
375g plain flour
1 teaspoon salt
180g unsalted butter, softened
150g caster sugar
165g brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
80ml whole milk/single cream (your choice completely, I went for milk)
150g dark chocolate chips (I used 75g dark chocolate and 75g peanut butter chips)
400g dark chocolate, to coat the truffles
- Beat butter and sugars and in large bowl until light and fluffy. Add milk/cream and vanilla. Stir in flour and salt and mix until incorporated then stir in chocolate chips.
- Cover and chill the dough for 1 hour.
- When dough is firm enough to handle (it may help to lightly flour your hands), form dough into 1 inch balls and arrange on a baking tray covered with greaseproof paper. Place the sheets in the freezer and chill for 30 minutes.
- Melt the dark chocolate in a double boiler or in a microwave (be careful not to burn it).
- This is the technical part. I used two cocktail sticks to cover the balls in chocolate. Stick one cocktail stick securely in the cookie dough ball and, using a silicon pastry brush (I found this method easier than dipping the ball in), brush the melted chocolate over the dough ball.
- Use the other cocktail stick to push the dough ball off and onto the greaseproof paper. I then dipped the end of the stick into the melted chocolate and just used that to cover over the hole in the dough ball. Keep doing this until you have covered all the balls in chocolate and then chill in the fridge until set.
- The truffles will keep chilled, in an airtight container for up to 1 week (though, as Love and Olive Oil mention, good luck making them last that long).