Rustle up some delicious festive treats as presents for friends and family this year.

‘Really, wouldn’t you rather be in your kitchen instead of the shopping mall at Christmas?’ asks Nigella Lawson. A heartfelt, homemade edible gift will always be better received than a standard giftset or a Black Friday special. From salted caramel fudge and chilli jars to Christmas chutney and holiday granola, we have plenty of delicious ideas to help you spread festive cheer. What’s more, for the cash-strapped, homemade presents are always a canny option. The trick is to embellish the wrapping so look to cellophane bags, stickers, ribbons, pretty jars and beautifully handwritten labels that give the wow factor.

Here, we have sourced six uncomplicated, edible Christmas gift recipes from our favourite chefs.

Chilli Jar Gifts

Thomasina Miers

‘After years of panicking about what to give various relations, heroic teachers and lovely workmates – and with an inherent dislike of buying random, carbon-producing tat – I now invariably turn to food or experiences,’ says Thomasina Miers who rustled up these recipes. Her Chilli Jar gifts, including Ancho relish, Chinese Chilli oil and Chiltatis (Mexican dukkah) can be made in advance and will keep for at least a month. Special mention to Chiltatis, the nutty, gently spiced, seasoned seed sprinkle that can be thrown over salads, pasta dishes or soups. Give as a gift or serve on Boxing Day. Find the recipe here.

Salted Caramel Fudge

Jamie Oliver

You’ll need a sugar thermometer for this Salted Caramel Fudge recipe but with only four ingredients, it is as simple as can be. Melt a third of the sugar until golden, then beat in the remaining sugar, along with the double cream, butter and a teaspoon of sea salt. Keep stirring on the heat until it reaches 118ºC on a sugar thermometer. Remove from heat and beat until thick. Leave to cool and then chill in the fridge for a few hours. Sprinkle with sea salt, wrap in cellophane bags and tie with pretty ribbon. Find the recipe here.

Christmas Chutney

Mary Berry

You can never have too much chutney, especially at Christmas when the fridge is overladen with cheese and cold meats. You can whiz up this chutney recipe in November, before the Christmas rush, and gift it to family and friends. Mary Berry’s Christmas chutney recipe, which includes aubergine, green and red peppers, garlic and coriander seeds, is best left to mature for a month before consumption. Find the recipe here.

Chocolate Ginger Spice Cakes

Nigel Slater

‘The sort of cake Hansel and Gretel might have baked,’ is how Nigel best describes his chocolate ginger spice cake recipe. Warming and wintery, this dark chocolate, ginger and candied orange peel concoction would make the sweetest of presents. ‘What emerges from the oven,’ writes Nigel, ‘is a heaven-scented cake poised between fruitcake and ginger loaf, which I then give a crisp coating with dark chocolate. With its hint of cinnamon and dark muscovado sugar, it has the lebkuchen about it.’ Bag up with ribbon and many a friend you will make. Find the recipe here.

Holiday Granola

Gordon Ramsay

The magic of toasting your own crunchy granola is that you can pretty much throw anything in. Gordon Ramsay’s holiday granola recipe includes plenty of festively coloured dried fruit such as dried cranberries, cherries and strawberries. For a deeper, nuttier flavour, opt for a longer roasting time but be wary not to toast them for so long that they turn bitter. To add a little festive cheer, throw in chopped chocolate M&Ms. Make lots of this crunchy, sweet granola and once cooled, package up into jars to gift. Find the recipe here.

Chocolate Salame

Nigella Lawson

Photograph: Jonathan Lovekin/The Observer
Ultimately, the festive and jolly chocolate salame is an Italian take on the English chocolate refrigerator cake. Follow Nigella’s instructions which can guide you, step by step, as to how to string up this chocolate salame. It can be made ahead of time, frozen on the day of making, wrapped in a double layer of clingfilm and layer of foil, for up to a month. ‘The chocolate salame does have a certain charm,’ says Nigella, ‘especially when dusted with icing sugar, tied like a proper salame with string.’ Equally, if the stringing up is too baffling, just dust the salame with icing sugar and present on a board. Find the recipe here.

By Annabel Jack
December 2022

Annabel Jack

Contributing Editor

Annabel is a regular contributor to The GWG, with a taste for finest in food, fashion and interiors.