Tag Archives: gift

Jello Play Dough

Jello play dough

I received this play dough recipe as part of an end of year gift exchange in Arnan’s music class at Be Sharp Beetles last year. It turned out to be a great play dough recipe – I used it both to make a Christmas gift for my nephew and in the party buckets, with a cute plastic cookie cutter, for Arnan’s first birthday party – and the dough was a hit with all who received it. The jelly (American jello) gives the play dough a great spongy texture, as well as colour and scent. It is entirely edible, if a bit salty, so it’s kid-safe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 tablespoons cream of tartar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 80g jelly (any flavour)

Method:

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a medium pot
  2. Stir over low to medium heat until the mixture thickens and clumps together into a ball, pulling away from the sides of the pot
  3. Turn the dough out onto a clean surface dusted with flour
  4. Allow it to cool for a minute
  5. When the dough is cool enough to touch knead it for a few minutes to ensure enough elasticity is built up
  6. Let the dough cool completely before storing in an air-tight container

General Playdough Tips:

  • If you want to alter the colour, or enhance the colour, add some food colouring
  • Glitter or fine, brightly coloured craft sand adds nice texture, and using a contrasting colour can really make the play dough fun
  • If the dough begins to dry out you can knead a bit of water into it again
  • If it gets soggy you can reheat the play dough to evaporate the extra water

Edible Gift: Old-fashioned fudge

Nico & I have been meaning to make fudge for ages, so when we decided to make edible gifts this year fudge was definitely on the menu. We found a recipe in the December issue of the Food & Home Entertaining magazine, incorporating glace ginger. Not sure about what the ginger would be like we decided to leave it out, but if you want to try it out just add 80 g finely chopped glace ginger with the vanilla essence and a sliver of ginger on top of each square to decorate.

Lessons learnt:
This recipe seriously bombed out for us, in a good way! Whilst stirring the mixture it started forming small darker bits giving the impression that it was overcooking. We immediately removed the fudge mixture from the stove, stirred in the vanilla essence and poured it into the buttered pan. When it had set what we had was a soft butter toffee and no fudge. Delicious none-the-less!
When we reheated the toffee to use as a sauce over our Christmas ice cream it started going fudgey… So one can make 2 different sweets from this yummy recipe. If yours does turn into toffee you can dip squares into melted chocolate to contain the toffee (it tends to lose its shape when out of the fridge, not runny but not firm either).

Luv Toffee

Recipe source:
Food & Home Entertaining, December 2009

Ingredients:
15 ml (1 tbsp) golden syrup
190 ml (3/4 cup) milk
500 g (2 1/2 cups) sugar
125 g butter
1 x 397 g tin condensed milk
5 ml (1 tsp) vanilla extract

Method:
Melt the syrup, milk, sugar and butter in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
Add the condensed milk and stir continuously with a wooden spoon until pale golden brown, about 25 minutes
Remove from the heat, add the vanilla and beat for 15 seconds
Pour into a buttered pan and allow to cool and set
Cut into squares and wrap.

Edible gifts

I have been longing to bake for ages, especially since I got married, but haven’t really found the time for it. Well, I decided this holiday was going to be different. Since Nico & I aren’t going away it’s a perfect opportunity for us to embark on the great adventure of homemade edible gifts.

Firstly, what to make? Easy, plenty of magazines touting “edible gifts” articles at this time of year. Not so easy was the task of agreeing on what to make. Nico wanted to make easy stuff, I wanted to make exciting stuff I’ve never tried before. So we went shopping for the exotic ingredients required for my chosen recipes, spiced chocolate and almond macaroons, and macadamia and cranberry nougat. Suffice to say neither were close to easy, in spite of being labeled “a little effort”, and neither turned out the way they were expected to.

Then I decided to make fudge. We had been meaning to make some for quite a bit of time now, so it was high time… This really wasn’t my finest hour.

Find the recipes and lessons learnt here:

Kudos to anyone who attempts this every year – homemade gifts are hard work! Subsequent to my embarking on this journey I have discovered Beth’s variety of chocolate truffles… if only I had discovered this before! Although I am sure the heat wave we’ve been experiencing in sunny South Africa would’ve made truffles a nightmare for me… that’s what I’m going to keep telling myself ;)