Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Recession-busting Christmas Gifts...

Ever since I've been sent the new Oldlums Christmas baking booklet last month, I've harboured ambitions of making some home-baked goodies as Christmas presents this year. I mean, those macaroons and truffles stored in glass jars and tied up with cute bows and hand-written tags look just soooooo adorable in the photos, who wouldn't want to have them as gifts?

But whilst the recipe is very simple, getting hold of the ingredients was slightly trickier for the almond macaroons. I already have a whole jar of flaked almonds, and a whole bottle of almond oil which I have yet to use in my store cupboard. But I didn't realise that you need to have a whole bag of ground almonds to make the macaroons (actually the bag I got was only 100g so I have to halve all other ingredients' quantities to make the recipe work), and that you need almond ESSENCE and not just almond oil - I also have vanilla and lemon essence in my store cupboard, and whilst at first I had thought I could potentially substitute having vanilla macaroons rather than almond ones, but I decided finally not to experiment this time as I have no idea how adding vanilla to a whole bag of ground almonds would turn out... Oh and not forgetting ground rice as well! This is the first time I've seen ground rice mentioned as an ingredient and I'm relieved to see that it is being stocked by my local supermarket also.

So finally last weekend I've assembled all the required ingredients to make a stab at baking them...
Almond Macaroons

Ginger Stars and Hearts

And combining these together to form a centrepiece...

And to store for later.... (I am still trying to figure out the best way of giving away these as gifts - I know I need to buy glass jars or else I'd have to resort to making little cardboard boxes and despite appearances, I just Don't. Have. The. Time.)

I have to say, the almond macaroons turn out to be absolutely de-lish!!! (Even if I have to say so myself, haha). The ginger biscuits are great too, but their looks are definitely nicer than their taste.

Given how expensive ground almond were compared to the other normal baking ingredients (I mean, three euros would get you a huge bag of flour or sugar but it would only buy you a tiny 100g bag of ground almond), so no wonder the macaroons cost a euro EACH when you buy them in delis. Think I may actually bake my own from now on.

Now I just have to to tackle making my own truffles!!

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At Tue Dec 02, 09:04:00 p.m. GMT, Blogger michelle said...

they look so beautiful, snowdrops !! bravo!! you friends are lucky ;)

At Thu Dec 04, 03:12:00 a.m. GMT, Blogger Snowdrops said...

Thanks so much Michelle for your really kind comment :) *blushes*

At Thu Dec 04, 04:59:00 a.m. GMT, Blogger mad dog said...

wow lovely!!!!

At Thu Dec 04, 10:58:00 a.m. GMT, Blogger Snowdrops said...

Oh thanks Mad Dog :)!! Glad you like the pics.

At Fri Dec 12, 07:29:00 a.m. GMT, OpenID juliekintaiwan said...

Lovely indeed! I wish I was on your gift giving list ;)

At Fri Dec 19, 05:09:00 p.m. GMT, Blogger Snowdrops said...

Thanks Julie, great to see you again! (And so sorry for not realising you've replied on this post). I saw from your blog that you had great fun making Christmas cookies with Jaylene and Jayden! That's really lovely :)

Actually I didn't realise the amount of time and energy required to bake enough batches to give away as pressies to everyone, so unfortunately I still have to resort to buying some Xmas gifts in the end for friends!


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