3 quick & easy homemade Christmas gifts for under £5
By Amaryllis Tsegou | Thetastyother.com
Christmas, that most wonderful time of the year, is usually filled with over-the-top decorations, cheesy songs, too much food and alcohol, gatherings and of course… presents. So many presents! You’ve got family and significant others, friends and co-workers to shop for, not to mention getting a little something for yourself as well. And since Santa is not gonna do the dirty work for you any more, you have to do it all on your own. So while you’re making shopping lists and checking them twice, put some time aside and make a few of these gifts yourself. It will not only minimise your expenses, but also put you right into the holiday mood.
An irresistible and ideal for everyday pampering body scrub, a crowd pleasing dessert and a chilli infused oil to add a little kick to meals all year round. All three are easy and quick to make and, most importantly, use ingredients that most people usually already have in hand.
#1 Coffee, cinnamon, clove & olive oil body scrub
This smooth and aromatic scrub comes together in minutes and once applied leaves the skin toned and smooth as a baby’s bottom. Plus, the use of cinnamon and cloves make it all that more Christmassy and fragrant!
1/2 cup coffee grounds
1/2 cup sugar (caster or, if you have sensitive skin, soft brown sugar)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 11/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
HOW TO MAKE
1. Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl and transfer to the container you’ll be keeping the scrub in.
2. To use: gently rub onto slightly damp skin, leave for a couple minutes and then rinse.
Sugar: 30p, coffee: 50p, olive oil: 70p, cinnamon: 20p, cloves: 20p- total: £1.90
#2 Nutty rocky road
A crowd-pleaser, all-time favourite, can’t-go-wrong-with dessert which takes very little time, needs minimal effort and yet looks fancy enough for a gift.
Tips: Make ahead and keep in the freezer so it keeps cool during travel (make sure you transfer it wrapped in its container). You can easily tweak the recipe below and make your own version by adding dried fruit, alcohol and/ or different nuts.
250gr unsalted butter
1 cup cocoa powder
1 cup icing sugar
1/3 cup caramel sauce
1/3 cup half fat milk
about 25 digestives, quartered
3/4 cup roasted salted peanuts
HOW TO MAKE
1. Line a loaf pan (or two smaller ones) with parchment paper, allowing for enough excess paper on each side to later cover the pan.
2. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat and set aside to cool.
3. In the meantime, break the cookies, combine them with the peanuts and set aside.
4. Combine the melted and cooled butter with the cocoa, icing sugar, caramel sauce and milk; mix well.
5. Add the broken cookies and peanuts to the chocolate mixture and fold to cover all the dry pieces, breaking down the cookies more if necessary, to create a smoother mixture.
6. Pour the mixture into the lined loaf pan and cover with the excess paper, pressing down on the mixture to seal it.
7. Place in the freezer until solid. Serve cold and keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.
butter: £1.50. cocoa: £1, icing sugar: 60p, caramel sauce: 50p, milk: 20p, Digestives: 50p, peanuts: 70p- total: £5.00
#3 Chilli oil
It’s absolutely worth making infused oil at home, instead of paying a fortune for a store-bought one. For a fraction of the price you can make your own version within minutes and then add to just about everything.
Tip: Experiment with different variations such as fresh herbs (which have to be removed once the oil is infused), peppercorns, coriander seeds or kaffir lime leaves.
3-4 dry chilli peppers
1/2 cup olive oil
HOW TO MAKE
1. Add the chillies in a small olive oil jar and top with the olive oil.
2. Let sit for a couple days before using (or gifting).
olive oil: 70p, dried chillies: 50p- total: £1.20
A bit about Amaryllis
Amaryllis has her own food blog called Thetastyother.com which by the way is our favourite food blog by far! It’s a blog about the art of cooking, sharing and enjoying delicious, simple food. Find The Tasty Other on Facebook and on Twitter.