Christmas Favours

Favourpic1At this time of year many of us find our diaries full to bursting with social occasions. Whether that means large scale parties or small family gatherings, it’s a wonderful opportunity to get creative and make Christmas favours to give any guest that comes your way.

As a family we make Festive Favours to place in the centre of the table. Cute little cones that are incredibly quick to make and can be filled with anything you like. I fill mine with after dinner mints, but they’d look just as good filled with sugared almonds or chocolate coins. They’re also simple enough that children can make them and have huge versatility when it comes to design. The only limit is your imagination!


You Will Need:

Card to make the cones

Paper, ribbon, lace and/or ric rac to decorate the cones

Narrow ribbon or string

PVA glue

Tissue paper



Step 1

First you need to make a template for the cones. I did this by drawing around a medium sized plate onto packing paper. The template needs to be 1/3 of the total circle, the easiest way to find this is by folding the circle in half and then each half into 3. This will divide the circle into 6 sections and you want to cut out 2 of these sections which equal 1/3 of the circle.


Step 2

Using the new template as a guide, cut out several flat cones from coloured card. I used green card but any colour would work just as well. I managed to cut 3 cones out of an A4 piece of card.

Step 3

Now comes the fun part, decoration! Mine are decorated with handmade paper bought in Venice, but wrapping paper, magazine cut-outs or collages all work beautifully. If your children are helping how about getting them to decorate some paper with festive images or stamps.

Spread a layer of glue over your flat card cones and stick to the paper of your choice. Once dry, cut the shape out again.


Step 4

Take each decorated shape and roll into a cone. The two flat sides should overlap slightly and can be glued or taped together.

Next make a small hole in either side of the cone, this is to attach a ribbon for hanging later. I used a single hole punch, but any sharp object should work..


Step 5

Finally add some finishing touches to the cones, I used lace, ric rac and sequins. Glitter glue looks fabulous, but anything will work.


Then thread a piece of ribbon through the holes on each cone and tie ready for hanging. Place a little tissue paper into the base of each cone to act as a cushion. Fill up with your chosen sweets and they’re ready to go.

I like hanging the cones from a mug tree. I bought this from a local charity shop and painted it green. Then I decorated a tin can with Christmas paper and stuck the mug tree on top. You can even glue Christmas decorations onto the tin, making it into a lovely table centre. Of course you could hang them from anything you can think of. I add more cones as necessary while my guests take their yummy favours home.Favourpic8

I originally wrote this tutorial for the Boden Community which has now become the Boden Blog. You can find it if you look through the archives but it’s much quicker to share it direct with my readers over here. 🙂


Rachel’s Organic Apple & Cinnamon Yogurt & Apple & Cinnamon Fudge Recipe!

As any longtime reader of this blog will know I’m a huge fan of Rachel’s Organic yogurts. Last Christmas we made their fabulous Christmas Ice Cream Bombe, so when I heard they had brought out a new Limited Edition yogurt I was only too keen to try it. We also created our own recipe using the new flavour, Apple & Cinnamon Fudge!

The brand new Apple & Cinnamon yogurt is unfortunately a limited edition. I say unfortunately because it’s absolutely delicious and I could happily have a pot in my fridge at all times. The fresh tang of apple mixed with the dreamy creamy yogurt and spice of cinnamon is like Christmas in a pot! I sincerely believe that everyone should try this new flavour before they lose the opportunity, it’s just that yummy!

I love the Rachel’s Organic website for the recipes they provide, so I eagerly browsed for a recipe using my favourite new flavour. When I discovered that none existed I turned to my husband and his fudge making skills and he created this scrumptious Apple & Cinnamon fudge.

Festive Apple & Cinnamon Fudge

5 Tbsp Double Cream

5 Tbsp Rachel’s Organic Apple & Cinnamon Yogurt

25g Unsalted Butter

450g Granulated Sugar

Heat the cream, sugar and butter in a pan on a low heat until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add the yogurt and heat until 120C, making sure to continue stirring while heating so the mixture does not catch on the bottom of the pan. Remove the pan from the heat and beat until the mixture begins to thicken. Pour into a prepared pan and leave to cool.

Christmas Traditions & Festive Biscuit Icing Recipe!

Christmas is a time for traditions both large and small. Some of these are followed en masse such as Christmas cards, but far more are personal to individual families.

In my house we have stockings before breakfast, but we do not, not under any circumstances touch any of our ‘main’ presents until after lunch. We also have a small present in the evening, my Mum used to call these Tree Presents and it really helped to spread gift giving throughout the day. In contrast to this, one of my friends has a long standing tradition of giving a gift late on Christmas Eve. To both of us these little customs seem essential to our day and Christmas just wouldn’t be the same without them.

Charles Dickens is often credited with creating Christmas as we know it today. But in his time people rarely shopped for gifts or decorated their homes far in advance. Charles’ own daughter Mary ‘Mamie’ recounted how her father would take his children every Christmas Eve to a toy shop in London, where they were allowed to select their Christmas gifts. She also mentions that the family did not give presents outside of their own home, resources not allowing for the generosity they might have wished to share otherwise.

It was during the Victorian era as a whole that many of the rules of Christmas were defined. Houses had always been decorated with greenery but the Christmas Tree did not become common in British homes until the mid 1800s, after an 1848 edition of the Illustrated London News showed the Queen and her family around their tree. The Victorians also observed many customs that are rarely celebrated in the modern age, how many of us take down the Christmas tree almost immediately? This would have puzzled our ancestors exceedingly as Christmas Day is only the first day of Christmas and technically there are twelve days leading up to ‘Twelth Night’. This used to be a great period of celebration but now these days often go by unmentioned.

For many of our parents stockings meant an Orange hidden in the toe rather than the elaborate gifts which ‘Father Christmas’ seems to have been favouring of late. I myself grew up in a small country village and I mourn the loss of Christingle Walks with our neighbours, Church Bells on Christmas Eve and other signs that Christmas was nearly here.

If nothing else though the loss of past traditions does at least hold an opportunity to create some new customs. So this year that is precisely what my family and I intend to do.

We plan on making ridiculously large quantities of Gingerbread with the kids. These will be decorated by hand with a fabulous biscuit icing which sets hard. Then placed into gift bags and given out to friends and neighbours.

Gingerbread works particularly well for this project, but any other roll out style of biscuit works too. If you’d like to give them a go the icing recipe is below.

What are some of your favourite Christmas traditions?

Biscuit Icing

10 oz/ 280g Icing Sugar

2Tbsp = 3Tsp Dried Egg White Powder

4 Tbsp Cool water

Mix the icing sugar, egg white powder and water together until smooth.

Colour small quantities  to ice your biscuits. The icing will set hard over several hours (we leave ours overnight).