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Homelifestylefood-and-drinkSay it with a delicious hamper!

Say it with a delicious hamper!

Of all the holiday gifts you receive, the tasty, handmade ones remain memorable. Homemade gifts are full of care and warmth as the sender is actively thinking about the happiness of the people whom they send the hampers to. If you decide to make the hamper, remember you will score on thought, love and even budget.

So, how about making a festive gift hamper for friends and family this year? We recommend three food items that are simple to make and easy to pack.

Plum cake

Home chef Shalini Nagaraj, who bakes batches of this cake during the Christmas season, shared a simple recipe.

Ingredients

l One cup of flour

l Half a cup of black raisins

l Half a cup of cashew nuts

l Half a cup of mixed dry fruits (tutti frutti, cherries, dates and more of your choice)

l Half a cup of sugar (or to taste)

l Two-thirds cup of butter

l Two large eggs or three small ones

l Half a teaspoon of cinnamon powder

l One teaspoon of baking powder

l One teaspoon of vanilla essence

l One pinch of salt

Preparation

Prepare the fruits by adding two tablespoons of flour to the mixture of dry fruits, raisins and cashew nuts. Mix them well with the flour. Sift the rest of the flour with baking powder and add the cinnamon powder and salt to it. Beat the butter with sugar till it becomes a light, fluffy mixture.

Add an egg to the butter-sugar mixture. Combine well. Add a little flour mixture and continue mixing. Alternate with the remaining eggs and flour.

Add vanilla essence to the cake mixture and gently fold in the dry fruits. Pour the cake mixture into a greased tin and bake the cake in a pre-heated oven set at 180 degrees Centigrade for 45 minutes or more until a toothpick comes clean when inserted into the cake. Make sure the top of the cake is dark brown.

Remove from oven and let it cool. You could make one large cake or else spoon the cake mixture into cup moulds. If it’s the latter, the baking time will decrease considerably so monitor it well.

Chocolate dipped biscuits

This is an easy recipe which can be prepared with the help of your kids. Be creative in decorating the biscuits.

Ingredients

l 12 Marie biscuits

l One and half cup of dark chocolate pieces

l Decoration – frosting, edible silver balls

Preparation

Put the chocolate pieces in a bowl and microwave on high for 30 seconds, and mix it well. Prepare a baking tray by lining it with aluminum foil. Carefully, dip one Marie biscuit in the chocolate so as to cover the whole biscuit. Place the dipped biscuit on the tray. Repeat for the rest of the biscuits.

Decorate the biscuits with what you choose. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Khara biscuits

This is typical of the biscuits available at the Iyengar bakeries. Pack a blend of nostalgia into the hamper with this preparation.

Ingredients

l Two cups of flour

l Half a cup of salted butter (room temperature)

l Two tablespoons of yogurt

l One teaspoon of grated ginger

l One teaspoon of cumin seeds

l Three teaspoons of sugar

l One teaspoon each of salt and curry leaves

l Two teaspoons of finely chopped green chillies (you can add jalapenos if you want)

l Half a teaspoon of baking powder

Preparation

Combine all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Knead well to make a smooth dough. Wrap the dough with a cling wrap and refrigerate for half an hour. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Centigrade in the meantime.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll the it to about quarter inch thickness. Using a cookie cutter of any desired shape cut out the cookies and place them on a prepared baking tray. Bake the biscuits in the oven for about 15-20 minutes until they are golden brown.

Allow them to cool completely before storing them in a glass jar.

(Published 09 December 2023, 03:20 IST)

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