I am SO excited, Christmas is just around the corner!

For the first time in years my whole family will be together for Christmas. I think my favourite memories of Christmas are waking up at the crack of dawn with my sister and cousins, excited to open our presents, and the large extravagant lunch with all our traditional family recipes.

The sparkle of Christmas does seem to fade when you grow up. Nowadays I am less excited by receiving presents as I am by giving them and although I am still looking forward to the food, I am much more interested cooking it and thinking up creative presentation ideas.

I work for Super Food Ideas magazine and Christmas was over months ago for us when we sent our Christmas issue off to print. I got back into the spirit the other day by flipping through the mag with mum and deciding on our Christmas menu.

My boyfriend has three sisters and a ‘good-as-sister’ cousin. Money is tight this year, but I love to give some sort of a token of my appreciation for their friendship for the year. I decided this year to use a recipe for Gingerbread men from our mag for gifts (p. 40 of the reverse side Christmas Special Super Food Ideas).

I only had a star cookie cutter, so I made up the gingerbread mixture, cut out the stars and baked them. I made some simple, but thick, icing mixture to affix sprinkles and silver cachous to decorate the stars.

I love to present things beautifully, so I found some similar jars, Christmas themed cellophane and ribbon to wrap them up. I wrapped the cookies in the cellophane first, like a pudding, and then lowered them into the jars, screwing the lid on over the top. They work out to be a pretty cheap gift, but have a very personal and authentic touch.

Merry Christmas everyone! Happy baking!

Photography: Katrina Woodman

Styling: Ingrid Lamb and Jane Hamilton

Food Preparation: Ingrid Lamb

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