One of my favourite things about Christmas is giving gifts. Some of these are shop bought and some I’ve made myself. If you have a small budget or want to make something thoughtful, making a gift yourself can be a great option. One really nice gift I like to make is a gingerbread decoration gift set. These are really simple to make and the gift receiver can have fun decorating their gift themselves.

Gingerbread Decoration Kit

This is the perfect gift for children, not only do they get something nice to eat or decorate their tree, it also gives them something creative to do. I included some tubes of icing and a little jar of sprinkles.

You will need:

225g flour

1tsp ground ginger

1tsp bicarbonate of soda

85g butter

170g Golden Syrup

How to Make:

  1. Preheat oven to 150ºc
  2. Sieve together the flour, ginger and bicarbonate of soda. Put aside.
  3. Melt the butter and syrup in a pan on a low heat.
  4. Add to the dry ingredients and ix until it forms a dough.
  5. Roll out on a floured surface and cut into shapes with a cookie cutter.
  6. Make a hole in each biscuit with a skewer.
  7. Bake for 18-20 minutes and cool on a wire rack.
  8. Thread each cookie with some ribbon or string and arrange in a gift box with a jar of sprinkles and some tubes of icing.

Please let me know if you give this a try, or if you have any other festive homemade gifts that you’d recommend.

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A few days ago I shared my recipe for spooky meringue kisses, with black stripes. I had so much fun making them, that I created another batch, this time in gorgeous orange. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll see that I’ve gone a bit crazy for orange at the moment. I love the autumn and can’t get enough of the colours at the moment. So I thought some orange meringue kisses were definitely in order!

Autumnal Orange Meringue KissesThese meringue kisses are made in exactly the same way, I just used a different colour and nozzle to switch them up a bit. These are really quick to prepare but take an hour in the oven, so allow plenty of time for this one. I have a couple more halloween posts to get up later today and tomorrow, so look out for more ideas very soon.

Autumnal Orange Meringue Kisses

Ingredients:

3 eggs (whites only)

75g caster sugar

75g icing sugar

Orange gel food colouring (I use this one from Hobby Craft)

Autumnal Orange Meringue Kisses

How to Make Orange Meringue Kisses:

Preheat oven to 100ºc. prepare a large baking tray with baking paper.

Turn a piping bag inside out and add stripes of orange food colouring. Turn back the right way and add a large nozzle.

Whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks.

Gradually add both the sugars, until the mixture is glossy and forms stiff peaks.

Put the mixture into your piping bag and pipe out small amounts of the mixture to make the kisses.

Bake in the oven for 1 hour.

These are best kept in an airtight container, until you are ready to eat them.

Autumnal Orange Meringue Kisses

Other Halloween Recipes:

If you like this why not check out my baking section for more recipes. Or if you want some seasonal makes why not try my pumpkin pie recipe, pumpkin soup recipe or my new pumpkin muffin recipe.

If you try these, let me know how you get on. I love seeing pictures of your bakes.

Autumnal Orange Meringue Kisses

Get the Look:

My fox mug and leaf placemat are both from Laura Ashley. My plate is vintage car boot sale find. The ivy and gold pot are both from IKEA.

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So far on the blog I’ve brought you a pumpkin pie recipe and some pumpkin soup. I thought it was high time I tried something new. Every year I’ve planned to try pumpkin spice muffins and never quite got round to it. For a start I wasn’t sure of the nest way to make them and I’ve just not had the time. After doing a bit of research and trying a couple of things, I’m really happy with this recipe.

Pumpkin Spice Muffins Recipe

I decided to make my own pumpkin puree for these, although you can get it in a tin in some places in the UK. With so many pumpkins available at the moment, I thought it would be fun to make it all from scratch. At other times of year a squash will work just as well.

Pumpkin Spice Muffins Recipe

You will need:

For the puree: 

1 medium pumpkin or 1 tin of pumpkin puree

For the muffins:

75g melted butter

250g self raising flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

a pinch of salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/4 ground cloves

115g caster sugar

2 eggs

125ml milk

1 cup pumpkin puree

Pumpkin Spice Muffins Recipe

How to Make

To make the puree:

Preheat oven to 190ºc

Cut your pumpkin in half from the stalk down. Remove all the seeds.

Place on a baking tray and cover the open sides with foil. Bake for around an hour, or until completely tender.

Once baked, scape out the inside and blend until smooth.

Put into a fine sieve to allow some of the moisture to drain away.

You can skip this step and use a tin of pumpkin, where available.

Pumpkin Spice Muffins Recipe

To make the pumpkin spice muffins:

Preheat oven to 190ºc. Line a muffin tray with 12 cases.

Melt the butter and put to one side to cool.

Sieve all the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl.

Beat the eggs, milk and butter together along with the pumpkin puree.

Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the liquid mix.

Beat with a fork until it forms a lumpy mixture, do not over mix.

Spoon into the cases, until nearly full.

Bake for 20-25 minutes. Then allow to cool on a wire rack.

Pumpkin Spice Muffins RecipeLet me know if you give these pumpkin spice muffins a try. Find more delicious recipes in my Baking section, as well as in my Other Writing section. For a really easy halloween make, why not try my Halloween Meringue Kisses of Death?

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With Halloween just a few days away, things are getting decidedly creepy in my house. Pumpkins have appeared and baking plans have begun. To be honest I’ll take any excuse to bake and get crafty! With the kids on half term, I don’t have time for anything very ambitious, so I’ve been thinking about quick and easy halloween recipes. First up are my creepy Halloween Meringue Kisses of Death. These are basically just meringue kisses, with black food colouring, but as port of a seasonal spread they look great.

Halloween Meringue Kisses

Equipment:

I make these in my Kitchenaid stand mixer, but you could also use an electric whisk. Other than that, you’ll just need a spatular and a piping bag with a large nozzle to make these. You’ll also need baking paper and a large baking tray to bake them in the oven.

Halloween Meringue Kisses

Ingredients:

3 eggs (whites only)

75g caster sugar

75g icing sugar

Black gel food colouring (I use this one from Hobby Craft)

Halloween Meringue Kisses

How to Make Halloween Meringue Kisses:

Preheat oven to 100ºc. prepare a large baking tray with baking paper.

Turn a piping bag inside out and add stripes of black food colouring. Turn back the right way and add a large nozzle.

Whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks.

Gradually add both the sugars, until the mixture is glossy and forms stiff peaks.

Put the mixture into your piping bag and pipe out small amounts of the mixture to make the kisses.

Bake in the oven for 1 hour.

These are best kept in an airtight container, until you are ready to eat them.

Halloween Meringue Kisses

Let me know if you give these Halloween meringue kisses a try. Obviously you can make them in different colours for different occasions. I’m looking forward to trying some Christmas colours and some cute pastels in the spring.

Halloween Meringue Kisses

For more recipes check out my Baking section.

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Last week I wrote a post for the Laura Ashley blog, all about getting cosy and ready for Autumn entertaining. I absolutely love their Autumn themed range, it has everything from cute fox mugs to leaf shaped coasters to really get you in the mood for snuggling up with warm treats as the nights draw in.

Autumn Home wareOne of my favourite things throughout the year are delicious hot drinks like tea and coffee, and I know I’ll be using my fox mugs a lot over the coming months.

Autumn Home wareFor my Laura Ashley post I created a spiced apple juice recipe. This is a lovely warming drink for cold days and the recipe can also be used for a spiced cider.

Autumn Home wareThe pumpkin soup bowl is perfect for not only a lovely warming bowl of soup, but I thought it worked really well as a mini punch bowl for my spiced apple juice.

Autumn Home wareI also used it too store this lovely autumnal pot pourri. This has a gorgeous spice and orange scent and contains lots of pretty things in colours that really capture the season. Alongside the autumn burnt amber and orange scented candle, my house was smelling all spicy and warm in no time.

Autumn Home wareOne of my favourite autumn treats would have to be toffee apples. they are such a traditional classic and no bonfire night celebration would be complete with out one. I’ve also shared my Toffee apple recipe on the Laura Ashley blog.

Autumn Home wareThese are all the things I used to create these gorgeous pictures:

Autumn Home ware

Top Row: Autumn Wreath – Pumpkin Soup Bowl – Leaf Coasters

Middle Row: Leaf PlacematsAutumn CandlePumpkin Pie Dish

Bottom Row: Fox MugAutumn Tea TowelsPot Pourri

Autumn Home wareWhat are your favourite things about autumn? Which are your favourite pieces from the Laura Ashley range?

*Thank you to Laura Ashley for sending me all the lovely things I used to create these blog posts. All opinions as always are my own. 

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