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Do It Yourself, Christmas gifts

If having the most unique wish list for Santa is your thing, then make sure to mail him a copy of this article.

entertainment Updated: Dec 22, 2011 03:04 IST
Surabhi Chauhan

We bring to you two personalised gifting ideas for Christmas that are not only festival appropriate but are also extremely original, crafty and useful.

Food blogger Urvashee shares her unique recipe of Holiday Naan Khatai or Indian cookies, and paper engineer Sachin tells us how to make your very own pop-up Christmas card.

Both these items will get your creative juices flowing and also make the gift receiver feel truly special.

ChristmasX-mas swirl naan khatai

Pastry chef and food blogger Urvashee Patel of www.dessarts.com shows us how to make an edible fusion gift for Christmas by combining the recipe of traditional Naan Khatai with X’mas colours. She suggests an original and simple recipe of eggless, light, buttery cookies.

You can make them at home and pack them in a clear jar or wrapping cellophane to make a one-of-a-kind personalised gift.

Requirements for Swirl Naan Khatai:
(For about 40 cookies)

1 1/4 cups of all purpose flour
1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup fine sooji or semolina
3 tea spoon cardamom
2 tea spoon nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp double acting baking powder
1 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup ghee
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
Red and green food gel dye
Decorative sugar
Big bowl to mix ingredients
Electric mixer
Two sheets of wax paper
Rolling pin
Baking oven
Kitchen knife and nylon bristle food brush

Method:
Step 1:
In a large bowl, sift together the three flours, cardamom, nutmeg, salt, and baking powder. In an electric mixer, beat the butter, ghee, and sugar until white and fluffy. Stir in the vanilla. On low speed, add the dry mixture and mix.

Divide the dough evenly in three parts by weight and stir in two-three drops of red dye to one batch and two-three drops of green to another. Let the third part remain in its natural colour.

Step 2:
Roll out each dough separately following the same procedure as you do to roll out a chapati. Now put the dough between two sheets of parchment or wax paper to about 1/8-1/4 inch thickness.

Step 3:
Put each rolled dough one on the top of another, keeping the white one in the centre. While placing the rolled doughs on one another carefully keep peeling away the parchment sheets on which they were rolled.

Step 4:
Once you have heaped the flattened doughts together you need to cut away any rough edges in to a straight line. After you have trimmed the flattened doughs just make sure that all three are of the shape and size mounted together.

Step 5:
Now, roll the flattened dough into a tight log like shape. Make sure the parchment paper is not rolled inside the log. The log should be tight enough to form a cylindrical shape with the green colour forming the outside layer.

Step 6:
Trim when you get to the end. Rewrap with the paper to seal the edge and tighten the log. Chill the entire paper wrapped log for at least an hour. This way you will let the dough set for some time so that it can easily be cut.

Step 7:
Slice the log into 1/4 inch pieces. Reshape as needed and lay them on a baking sheet with at least two inches between cookies. All cookies should be chilled after shaping and prior to baking.

Step 8:
Set the oven to 275°F while the cookies are being chilled. Remove the cookies from the chiller and lightly brush the part you wish to decorate with sugar or corn syrup.

Step 9:
Dip into sugar, and shake off any excess. Bake the cookies for 30 minutes or until barely golden. Turn off the oven and let them cool for a bit in the warm oven. The cookies are ready to be packaged.


Christmas tree Pop-up card:
It’s surprising what one can make with simple paper sheets and a cutter. Paper engineer and visual artist Sachin George Sebastian (www.27sachin.blogspot.com) gives us easy steps to make a pop-up card for Christmas. Pop-up cards are greeting cards that change shape and dimensions once the reciever opens the card.

Completely made from basic materials, the reciever of this card will be impressed on the personalisation of this season’s greetings.

Requirements for making pop-up card:
An A4 sized red sheet of paper
An A4 sized white sheet of paper
Pencil for tracing
Ruler or scale
Paper cutter
Glue stick
Pen or Sketch pens to personalise the card with a message or greeting

Method:
Step 1:
Put both the paper sheets on a flat, even surface preferably on a table top and start folding the white sheet of paper in a neat half. The sheet should look like a basic format of a greeting card. Follow the same thing with the red sheet.

Step 2:
From the folded side of the white sheet, trace the sillhoutte of a Christmas tree in a geometric linear pattern as shown in the picture above. Draw dotted lines in the pattern of steps to make it look like cascading leaves.

Step 3:
Cut along the drawn lines of the Christmas tree with a paper cutter and create creases along the dotted lines. Once done it should look like erect parallel strips at a ninety degree angle on the paper.

Step 4:
Open the card and carefully push the cut folds inwards. The inside of the card should be neat without any pencil traces since the sillhoutte was drawn from the outside of the white card.

Step 5:
Draw a few stars on the blank area of the white sheet and cut them out with a paper cutter too. You can paste the cut-out stars on the front side of the red card for decoration.

Step 6:
Apply glue behind the white card and paste it inside the red card. Make sure you don’t glue behind any folded parts. The Christmas pop-up tree card is ready!