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Kitchen Queries

Welcome to Kitchen Queries, where the nigella.com team will answer your cooking or food related questions.  We’d love you to submit some of your recipe problems, dilemmas or queries for us to get our teeth into!

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Latest Queries

  • Home-Made Christmas Gifts

    I would love to make some cookies or sweets as Christmas gifts. Do you have any suggestions?

    From the nigella team:

    If you are giving home-made food items as gifts for Christmas you will need to consider how the gifts will be transported to the lucky recipient and also how long they can be stored for after they have been recieved. 

    If gifts are to be posted then cookies are the best bet as they should survive the journey and will keep for about a week. A plain cut-out cookie will please most people and can be decorated with royal icing. Nigella has recipes for butter cut-out cookies in most of her books and we would suggest particularly the recipe from Feast (p266) or the Gold Dust Cookies from Christmas (p213). Chocolate chip cookies are also popular and the Cranberry And White Chocolate Cookies from Christmas (p208) are very seasonal or the Chocolate Chip Cookies from Kitchen (p256) are very popular.

    If you are icing the cookies with royal icing then only use a thin layer of icing and give them 24 hours to dry thoroughly before wrapping. Some scrunched-up tissue paper (make sure it is food safe) nestled around the cookies should also help to protect them slightly in transit.

    For other gifts the Christmas Puddini Bonbons and Peanut Brittle With Art and Soul from Christmas (p247 and p244 respectively) are good options and you can use crumbled Christmas cake instead of christmas pudding for the bonbons. The Chocolate Pistachio Fudge from Express (p228) is also popular but does need to be kept refrigerated. A good chocolate brownie cut into small squares to enjoy after dinner would also be a good gift.

    Nigella also has some other food gift suggestions in Christmas p219-248 and items like the Vanilla Sugar (p225) and Christmas Spiced Salt (p226) are particularly easy to make and will last up to a year.

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