How to… have a homemade Christmas
From table decorations to edible gifts, there are so many Christmas goodies you and your family can create – we ask food blogger Lucy Parisi to show us how it’s done.
I don’t think there is a more magical time than Christmas. I start getting excited the minute Halloween is over – with a little help from my 8-year-old daughter who is literally counting down the days. Creating festive treats, either to decorate or to eat, is easy and fun – here are my favourites.
Festive chocolate ‘bark’
A incredibly easy recipe that’s as much fun to make as it is to eat, and it’s perfect for gifting.
1. Melt 500g of chocolate, line a tray with baking paper and set your Christmas biscuit cutters on top.
2. Pour the chocolate into the cutters and push to the edges with a chopstick.
3. Sprinkle over decorations (nuts, sprinkles, crushed sweets – anything goes!) and put in the fridge to set overnight.
4. Once set, leave the chocolate in the cutters and present them inside a festive mug for a stylish, homemade Christmas gift (pictured, above).
A nice alternative is to leave out the cutters and simply pour the melted chocolate into a small lined tray. Decorate and set as normal, then break into pieces and gift in a stylish box (pictured, above and right).
With the help of my children’s foraging skills and a little magic (courtesy of gold spray paint) I transformed nature-inspired bits and pieces into the most beautiful Christmas decor.
1. Go for a hunt in your local park for pine cones, leaves, dried seed heads, and gather any old glass jars and bottles lying about at home.
2. Lay your treasures out on old newspaper and spray paint them gold.
3. Leave to dry (my decorations took less than half an hour), then create a festive display as pictured above, or pile them in a Christmas mug as table centrepiece (pictured, left).
Cornflour dough decorations
This easy dough can be made with household staples. Once the dough is dry it looks like bright white clay and makes wonderful ornaments for the Christmas tree, or as place settings on a festive table (heart ornament, pictured above).
1. Mix 300g bicarbonate of soda, 70g cornflour and 180ml cup cold water together in a small non-stick pot.
2. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the dough comes together and has the consistency of mashed potatoes. Take off the heat and let it cool until you are able to handle it.
3. Knead the dough a little to make it pliable then flatten into a disk. Roll and cut out shapes and carefully poke a hole using a straw.
4. Carefully transfer the decorations onto a lined tray and leave them to dry overnight. Thread ribbon through the holes and paint or decorate however you choose!
To discover more of Lucy’s fab ideas, head to supergoldenbakes.com.
Three key pieces:
Eat Drink & Be Merry Barrel Mug, £2.50; Christmas Tree Copper Coated Cookie Cutter, £2; Oversized Eat Drink & Be Merry Mug, £5 (available in selected stores)