RECIPES: Incredible edible gifts to give this festive season

Classic ‘lebkuchen’ biscuits make a great festive gift. Picture: Chris Alack

Classic ‘lebkuchen’ biscuits make a great festive gift. Picture: Chris Alack

Published Dec 4, 2023


Stuck on ideas for Christmas gifts? There is no need to resort to vouchers and clothing items when you have these options.

Food makes a perfect Christmas gift for many reasons because who doesn’t love a Christmas treat at this time of year?

Edible gifts are also perfect for sharing, and your friends will be thanking you when guests pop in for a Christmas drink and they’re looking for nibbles to serve.

Below are some of our favourite recipes from our archives that make for the perfect gift this season. We think you will really enjoy making these delicious treats.

Just make sure not to give in to temptation and keep them all for yourself.

Imtiyaaz Hart’s chocolate chip cookies. Picture: Supplied

Imtiyaaz Hart’s chocolate chip cookies


1 cup softened butter

1 cup castor sugar

1 cup light brown sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract or essence

2 large eggs

3 cups cake flour

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

½ tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

2 cups chocolate chips


Preheat the oven to 190ºC. Line a baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix the sifted flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and baking powder and set aside. In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and both sugars until combined.

Blend in the eggs and vanilla until fluffy. Mix in the dry ingredients until well combined, then add the chocolate chips and mix well.

Roll pieces of dough into balls and place them evenly spaced on your prepared cookie sheets. Do not place them too close together or you will end up with one huge cookie!

You can also roll the dough into a log, wrap it in clingfilm, and place it in the fridge for 30 minutes before cutting it into portions.

Bake for approximately 8-10 minutes or until they are just starting to turn brown and caramelise.

Let them sit in the baking pan for a few minutes before removing and placing on a cooling rack.

Store in an airtight container and eat within a few days.

Good old-fashioned sticky ginger loaf is delicious served with clotted cream and raspberry jam. Picture: Supplied

Good old-fashioned sticky ginger loaf

Makes: 1 loaf


125g unsalted butter, diced, plus extra for greasing

115g treacle

115g golden syrup

150ml whole milk

50g light brown sugar

225g plain flour

1 tsp ground ginger

½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

2 medium eggs


Preheat the oven to 170C.

Butter a non-stick loaf tin measuring about 22cm long, 1.2-litre capacity, or similar.

Gently heat the butter, treacle, syrup, milk and sugar together in a small saucepan until just melted, but without heating more than necessary, stirring frequently.

Sift together the flour, ginger and bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl.

Add the treacle mixture to the flour and whisk until smooth, then whisk in the eggs.

Pour the mixture into the tin and give it a couple of taps to bring up any air bubbles.

Bake for 50-60 minutes until risen and a skewer comes out clean.

Run a knife around the edge of the cake and leave it to stand for 10 minutes.

Turn out the warm cake onto a sheet of cling film, wrap it up and leave overnight, by which time it will acquire the essential dense stickiness.

Cook’s tip: This cake needs maturing, but only overnight, so you will not have too long to wait before you can slice into it. It keeps well. Serve it on its own or spread on unsalted butter or clotted cream and raspberry jam.

Classic ‘lebkuchen’ biscuits make a great festive gift. Picture: Chris Alack

Classic lebkuchen biscuits

Makes 20-30 biscuits


Vegetable oil for greasing

50g unsalted butter

100g golden caster sugar

100g runny honey

225g plain flour, plus extra for rolling

½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground cinnamon

½ medium egg

Writing icing for decoration


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Brush two baking trays with vegetable oil.

Gently heat the butter, sugar and honey together in a small saucepan, stirring until melted and smooth.

Working off the heat, add the dry ingredients and stir until crumbly, then add the egg and work to a dough. If the mixture seems sticky, add a little more flour.

Tip out the dough onto a work surface, bring it into a ball and then pat it between your palms until it is smooth and shiny. Wrap in cling wrap, leave to cool and then chill for several hours or overnight.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough to a thickness of about 2mm and cut out stars or other Christmas shapes of your choice.

Rolling the dough twice you should get about 20 x 10cm stars or up to 30 x 6cm-8cm mixed shapes.

If planning to hang the biscuits as decorations, make a hole in each one with a skewer.

Arrange the biscuits on the baking trays – they do not spread while cooking, so you can place them quite close together.

Bake the biscuits for about 12 minutes until golden.

The lower tray may take a little longer than the upper one.

The holes may have closed up slightly in the oven, so use the skewer again to open them as necessary.

Loosen the biscuits straight away with a palette knife before they harden and become brittle, and then transfer them to a wire rack to cool.

Ice them as you fancy, and leave to set for an hour or two.