A Happy Crafty Christmas to all our readers

With Christmas fast approaching, now is the perfect time to think about making a few crafty gifts for loved ones. Personally, I just love receiving a homemade present as it is also a gift of the precious time it took to make, which is priceless given that we all lead such busy lives.

egg cosies 1      festive jam     snowball chocs

Julia Squires

Recipe – Festive Apple and Cinnamon Jam

This jam is always well received and is a great way for me to use up some of the apples from the orchard. As well as being a tasty topping for toast, it also makes a fantastic filling for pancakes.

festive jamIngredients

  • 6lb apples
  • 2 pints water
  • Rind and juice of 4 lemons
  • 6lb sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon



  • Peel, core and chop the apples.
  • Tie the peel and core in a muslin and pop it, along with the water and cinnamon into the pan with the apple.
  • Add the finely grated lemon rind and juice to the pan.
  • Cook until the apple goes pulpy, then squeeze out and discard the muslin bag and its contents.

Stir in the sugar and boil until setting point is reached.

Recipe – ‘Snowball’ Chocolates

My children delight in making these tasty chocolates. They love to smash up the biscuit with a rolling pin, get sticky hands when shaping the chocolates and then of course the best bit – licking out the bowl! Simple to make, delicious and the perfect gift for relatives and teachers.

snowball chocsIngredients

  • 175g white chocolate
  • 100g digestive biscuits
  • 50g softened butter
  • Icing sugar to dust



  • Crush the digestive biscuits between baking paper using a rolling pin and place in a mixing bowl.
  • Melt the chocolate, either on the hob or in a microwave.
  • Mix the butter into the chocolate.
  • Add to the biscuit crumbs and stir well.
  • Shape the mix into balls (ours always end up ‘ferrero Roche’ size.)
  • Pop them in the fridge to harden up.
  • Dust with icing sugar.

Knit a Bobble Hat Egg Cosy

egg cosies 1


Alternatively, away from the kitchen, these little knitted bobble hats are very quick and easy to make. Mix up the colour of the hat and bobble to make them fun!

This simple, quick pattern requiring 4mm needles and a DK yarn is a great way to use up left over yarn from other projects.


  • Cast on 36 stitches.
  • Rows 1-8 work in 2×2 rib (kk,pp)
  • Rows 9-16 work in st st, (k,p)
  • Row 17 (k1,k2 together) to end up with 24 st
  • Row 18 purl
  • Row 19 – 20 (k1, k2 together) to end up with 16 st
  • Row 21 purl
  • Row 22 (k2 together) to end up with 8 st

Break off your yarn, leaving a good tail to then thread through the remaining stitches and pull it tight to close and fasten off.

Sew up the side of your hat, and then simply make a little bobble to attach to the top.

egg cosies 2I personalised these for my nephews who love trains, with a novelty button, stitching a train track and creating the steam with the bobble.