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Jono Fleming: Delicious edible gifts for the holidays

When it comes to the holiday season, there’s nothing that gets Jono Fleming feeling more festive than a big baking session in the kitchen. He shares his tips on gifting loved ones delicious baked treats this Christmas, and count yourselves lucky, because he’s even shared his Homemade Cherry and Ginger Granola Recipe with us! Read on to find out more.

What are your must-haves for Christmas baking?

The key to a seamless day of baking is to be prepared and to have all the bits and pieces you need ready to go, well in advance. From baking trays to cookie cutters and serving platters, as well as all the utensils needed to create the perfect Christmas spread, everything I needed was on Westfield Direct, and made for an effortless preparation.

One of my favourite pieces was the Soffritto Professional Bake 9 Piece Christmas Cookie Cutter Set from Robin’s Kitchen. With every single Christmas shape you need – trees, hearts, snowflakes and more – it's a festive wonderland! And of course I couldn’t miss out on the classic Soffritto Professional Bakeware Gingerbread Man Cookie Cutter from House either.

For utensils, you can't have a good baking session without a great glass mixing bowl. For utensils, a wooden spoon and a silicone spatula (makes it so easy to scrape down the bowl) are great staples to have. The pastel-coloured Cuisena Measuring Cups Set from Everything Kitchen is also a perfect (and incredibly aesthetic) addition to my baking collection.

Is the saying 'the easiest way to someone's heart is through their stomach’ true?

I love this time of the year but sometimes it can be stressful trying to get the perfect present for everyone, so baked gifts are a great way to share with others! You can do trays of cookies and treats which are always a crowd-pleaser. Gingerbread hearts and shortbread trees can never go wrong, but an alternative such as homemade granola is a nice twist on your traditional Christmas fare too. It can stay fresh for about two weeks or so and you can make big batches, so it makes your life easier but still conveys the thought. It’s always personal, handmade gifts like this that will mean the world to your friends and family.

Do you have any memorable family holiday traditions?

My grandparents were from Germany so growing up in the hot Australian summer, we’d always have a traditional European Christmas Eve dinner. Roast duck, red cabbage and lots and lots of stollen and Pfeffernüsse (a German Christmas cake and gingerbread). The tradition has carried on and now I’m in charge of the dinner every year – nothing is more Christmassy to me than cooking warm European food on a hot summer day. This year, I’m going to be plating my meal on the table with the beautiful ECLECTIC Tray with Handles from salt&pepper – with its gold detailing on the handles, it's the perfect shape and size for my Christmas Eve feast.

Do you have any tips on styling edible gifts for the holidays?

The best part about edible gifts is that they’re easy to wrap! I made a big batch of granola and packaged them into the Weck jars from House. These jars are classic in shape and are an extra gift for your recipient to reuse, once they’ve finished eating up the edible present. All you need to do is use some cute festive-coloured ribbons, add a personalised tag, and this homemade, artisan-inspired gift idea is good to go! It keeps things simple and affordable for you during this time of year.

Homemade Cherry and Ginger Granola Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes (2 if you like a good kick)
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped unsalted raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped unsalted pistachios
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped dried cherries (you can use dried cranberries as an alternative)
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped uncrystallised ’naked’ ginger (you can find this near the sultanas and dried fruits at your supermarket)
  • 3 cups rolled oats

Method:

  • Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C.
  • In a large mixing bowl add the maple syrup, olive oil, ground cloves, ground cinnamon and chilli flakes. Stir until combined.
  • Into this bowl add the remaining ingredients, nuts, cherries, ginger and oats and stir until everything is coated and mixed through.

  • Place baking paper on your baking tray and spread out the mixture in an even layer. You may need two trays for this. Bake in the oven at 180degrees for 25 minutes, giving the mixture a toss halfway through. Check and make sure it’s golden brown, you’ll smell all those spices and flavours as it cooks.
  • Remove from the oven and let it cool completely before storing or serving. If you’re gifting this, these can last up to two weeks in a sealed container. Serve with some coconut yoghurt and fresh berries.

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