Image by ymkaaaaaa (via Pixabay)
By the time Christmas rolls around, many students have blown most of their student budget on one takeaway too many; leaving not much left over for presents. The next loan drop feels very far away, but you don’t want to come home with piles of dirty laundry as the only present (Merry Christmas, Mum). If you’re in this boat, then there’s no need to stress! We’ve got some of the best DIY foodie gifts to keep costs down this Christmas, but still show you care to those you love most. Because sometimes, a pasta-embossed photo frame just won’t cut it anymore (although, I’m sure it could pass if you get really creative with the fusilli).
Nothing says Christmas quite like cookies, and making up some cookie kits are the perfect way to make sure they’re available whenever a craving hits. The layers of contrasting dry ingredients such as flour, light brown sugar and chocolate chips will look really pretty, and make sure to add a bow and a small recipe card to the outside to finish them off.
To keep costs low, reuse old jars (make sure they’re clean and odour-free) and buy the ingredients from a refill shop, so you only have to buy the exact amount you need. Cookie jars are really easy to personalise too- simply change the cookie flavour to the gift receiver’s favourite. Some great Christmassy options are white chocolate and cranberry, winter spice, or chocolate orange.
Not only are cocktail kits a great present idea for the adults in your life, but it’s also easy to fit around your budget too. You can either go all out and buy everything needed for cocktails; shaker, a set of glasses, some bottles of alcohol and mixers, and some fun additions such as edible glitter or dried petals. Or, you could make up some less expensive gifts by pairing miniature bottles of spirit with a small bottle of mixer, plus some Christmassy paper straws and a box of chocolates. The latter is also great if you know the person you’re buying for is already well versed in making cocktails, so you won’t be wasting money on equipment they’ve already got.
Tree decorations are the perfect gift if you’re visiting friends or family earlier on in the Christmas period so they can hang them up straight away. Iced gingerbread cookies or stained-glass window biscuits are great options because they’re sturdy enough to make a hole in and thread ribbon through once they’re baked. Another great option that will last even longer is dried citrus fruits. Simply slice up limes, oranges and lemons and dry out in a low oven for a couple of hours. Hang threads through these and package up to gift for the perfect DIY addition to any tree!
Hot Chocolate Bombs
If you’re feeling extra fancy this Christmas, then hot chocolate bombs are just for you. They make every hot chocolate an Insta-worthy moment, and the only added ingredient needed is some warm milk. To make them yourself, simply coat a spherical mould (e.g a teacake mould, or cake pop mould for mini bombs) with your favourite chocolate and leave to set. Then, fill with some mini marshmallows and hot chocolate powder and fix another half-sphere on top with a little melted chocolate. Drizzle with some contrasting chocolate if you want to make them look extra special.
Like the cookie jars, hot chocolate bombs are great to personalise. Why not use chocolate orange chocolate for the shells, or use flavoured hot chocolate powder? Or, for an extra decadent treat, pour some caramel into the middle of the bombs with a sprinkle of sea salt for salted caramel hot chocolate heaven.