Home made gifts. They’re a bit of a minefield aren’t they?
The fantasy is that you’ll give beautifully presented home-made delights to an appreciative recipient, all whilst waxing lyrical about how dreadfully consumerist Christmas has become and pointing out that your gift is free of plastic packaging and palm oil.
The reality is often that you invest a small fortune on “craft materials” and ingredients only to find yourself losing your whole weekend producing a hot mess and a new crop of glue gun burns.
“But you’re designer makers” I hear you cry, “surely all your creative output is welcomed by friends and family with cries of delight!” Well, not quite, Creative types are not immune to craft-mas disasters. A quick poll of the studio team reveals the following pressie making fails
1 microwave lined with burnt honeycomb ...
1 afternoon of diligent colouring resulting in a set of warped shrinkie dinks more suited to Halloween than Christmas ...
£30 of essential oils and baking powder wasted in bath bombs that just wouldn’t stick ...
And of course, numerous tales of the lack of gratitude shown by family who have failed to grasp that the tiny jar of chutney they’ve just been presented with cost 4 times more to make than a jar from Waitrose and almost all of Mum’s sanity after an afternoon cooking with the kids.
If your past attempts at homemade Christmas gifts have been more “Nailed It” than “Bake Off”, we have the solution for you - slow cooker recipes!
Easy to make with no expensive ingredients required, we’ve collected some of the best slow cooker Christmas make-aheads from around the web, which are of course plastic and palm oil free.
Taste of Home has a great recipe for sugary Christmas spiced nuts. They only last a week in a jar, so you can’t make them too far ahead of time, but the nostalgic Christmassy scent of the mixed spice cooking will make your home smell festive! If you’re feeling super generous, you could even invest in one of our personalised canvas treat bags to put them in - no wrapping required!
Find the recipe here https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/slow-cooker-spiced-mixed-nuts/
Already groaning at the thought of weeks of leftovers after Christmas? Nothing helps mix up a leftovers sandwich like a sweet, tart chutney.
This cranberry chutney from Mom Time Out is full of festive flavours, and is basically a “stick it all in the slow cooker and wait” kind of recipe.
This slow-cooker recipe for vegan mincemeat is a little more pricey to make, especially if you’re going to add the rum, but the apple-y twist makes this stand out from supermarket versions. Plus, you get to humble-brag about your cruelty free treat.
Making fudge in a slow cooker is easier than in a pan, as it’s less likely to stick or get that grainy texture that results from unmelted sugar (can you tell we’ve tried to make fudge before?).
There’s some great slow cooker fudge recipes out there, including for chocolate orange fudge, boozy rum fudge and praline fudge, but we’ve chosen a simple recipe for a rich, classic fudge.
Find it here https://slowcookingperfected.com/slow-cooker-fudge/