Mini gourmet christmas baskets

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recipes / side dishes+dressings / glutenfree / vegan / vegano

I will never get tired of repeating it: giving food made by oneself is twice a gift . You give, offer, show gratitude for something but in return you get such a great satisfaction that is hard to explain. Since I am a mum and don´t work professionally outside home (because at home I have enough non-paid domestic work to give away…), and having in mind that I live far away from my family, every Christmas I try to create something different to send home and remind them how much I love them and miss them. The first years I was stitching things with the sewing machine, because at the end it was a way to practice an activity I really loved, even if I had no idea of how to do it. But since I am in Mallorca, my gifts have become edible gifts (I have to say I really like my profession!).

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It all started with a little present to give thanks, at the end of the first school year, for the lovely welcome we had in my son´s new school. I can only say that one of the teachers was almost crying and the other ones couldn´t believe what was happening. When something is made from the heart and one little memo expresses gratitude for your work, compromise, love or whatever you have given away, people shake with a tremendous emotional earthquake. And I can assure you that this emotion is much bigger if it is something edible and homemade.

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Apart from that strong feeling, it is also important to create an attractive Christmas basket. Every container can be re-used, that is my philosophy. That is why I prefer to choose an esparto or fan palm basket, although any other natural fabric, such as rope, wool or even a recycled wood box would also work well. I use glass pots as containers as they are quite aesthetic, clean and reusable. If you make a big basket and everything comes in glass containers, the only inconvenient would be too much weight. You could mix glass containers you find at home with beautiful jars bought in a shop (I am in love with brands such as Le Parfait or Werck).

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I always attach a card to each pot saying what it is and specifying the ingredients it contains. In this case, as it is a small basket and all the preparations are quite short, you could also write and include the recipes. This is a way to motivate people to do their own preparations, and that is the best gift!! There is an inspiring intention behind, and it is also a way of saying thank you.

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I tend to surround myself by labels I find everywhere and bows or cotton threads with beautiful colors which can be combined with each other. This year I have used the labels from Ikea you can see in the photos.

And just in case this is your first gourmet basket, the one I propose today is very simple and the recipes are also very short. A basket is as “difficult” and “complicated” as one wants it to be, and believe me, I am quite an expert…however, for this one I really made an effort. You can also top the basket off with some bought products (of the best quality and organic, if possible), for example, a good extra virgin olive oil, a non-refined local salt, a funny marmalade, a tea or infusion (the last year I used these ones which are really incredible) or even with some seasonal products, such as lemons or a spring of fresh rosemary.

If you feel like doing more things, here you have other ideas from the blog:

amazing crackers

raw hazelnut brownie

ghee

hazelnuts and muscovado mini cookies

nuts butters

energy bars

gratitude cookies, which are the ones I use for this basket but which are made of pistachio in this case, although remember you can use whatever ingredient you prefer.

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You can also include anything you have in mind with a small format, such as the bountys, which in this occasion don´t have the banana cream (one thing less to prepare) although instead of that, I add chopped  confited   ginger which gives a very special and attractive touch and spark to the whole dish.

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Now you only have to organize yourself, buy everything you need and get on with it this weekend. If you have children, let your small ones help you out, because it is an excellent way to teach them how important is to be thankful for something made by ourselves, instead of something bought in a shop.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

Spiced cashews:::::::::::::::::::::::

550 gr raw cashews

1 tbsp+1/2 tsp of el Hanout spices (or curry, or paprika)

1 tbsp of salt

20 gr of coconut oil

3 tbsp of maple syrup

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Black gomasio with seaweeds::::::::::::::::::

45 gr of black sesame

40 gr of white sesame

6 gr of seaweeds (sweet, sea lettuce, nori...)

1/2 tsp of salt

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Mini bountys with confit ginger::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: 
same recipe than in the blog (without the banana cream) but adding 40 gr of thin chopped confit ginger to the coconut dough. Make balls of about 2 cm and give them shape. You will get around 29 units.

Chop 10 grams more to decorate the top after dipping them in chocolate. As you want them to get stuck, you will need to group them in fives to dip them in chocolate, and decorate little by little.

Pistachio cookies::::::::::::::::::::::::

Same recipe as the one used for the gratitude cookies, replacing the tahini with the pistachio paste (which you can do by yourself following the steps of the nuts cream recipe), leaving out the lemon zest and the sesame, and decorating the top with half pistachio.

instructions

  1. For the spiced cashews: melt the coconut oil over a bain-marie.
  2. Put the raw cashews in a big bowl.
  3. When the coconut oil gets melted, remove it from heat and add the maple syrup, the spices and the salt. Stir well with a kitchen stick and pour it over the cashews, stirring well until you see that they are well moistened.
  4. Bake them at 180ºC for about 20/25 minutes, stirring first after the first 10 minutes and then every 5 minutes. They need to get a beautiful brown color. Upon cooling down, they must be crispy, otherwise you will need to bake them for 5 minutes more. Once they are cold, keep them in pots so they don´t get moisture.
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  6. For the gomasio, toast the sesame slightly in a pan and let it cool.
  7. In a spice grinder crush in two batches the seeds with the salt and the seaweeds, stir everything well in a bowl and keep it in a pot in the fridge to avoid oxidation.
  8. Enjoy!

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