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Celebrity chef Phil Vickery comes up with recipe ideas for Christmas Gifts

Here are some more great recipe ideas from Chef Phil Vickery. This time Phil has come up with some recipe ideas that you can make to give as Christmas presents. If you've seen any of his Carnation Pudcasts you will know the sort of great recipes he comes up with . . . all of which are easy to make, so why not get the kids involved!

  • Cardamom Shortbread
  • Christmas Gingerbread Biscuits
  • Ginger and Cherry Fudge
  • Raspberry and White Chocolate Chunk Cookies



225g (8oz) plain flour
115g (4oz) cornflour
225g (8oz) unsalted butter, softened
55g (2oz) caster sugar
55g (2oz) icing sugar, sieved
12 green cardamoms


  • Sieve the flour and cornflour together.
  • Beat the butter and sugars together in a bowl until soft and fluffy.
  • Split open the cardamom pods and place the seeds into a pestle and mortar and grind to a powder.
  • Add the cardamom powder to the butter and sugar mixture along with the flour and cornflour and then knead well to make a dough.
  • Shape into a ball then flatten and wrap in cling film. Chill for about 15 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C, 350°F, Gas Mark 4.
  • Grease 2 baking sheets.
  • Roll out the dough to about 5mm (¼") thick then use a 7cm (2¾") diameter cutter to cut out the biscuits.
  • Place on the baking sheets then bake for about 12 - 15 minutes, or until pale golden brown.
  • Allow to cool slightly on the baking sheets before transferring to a rack to cool completely.


The use of cardamom in the shortbread, works well with the sharpness of the lemon in our Lemon Posset recipe <click here>

Makes 12 rounds



125g (5oz) margarine or butter
100g (3½ oz) dark soft brown sugar
4tbsp Carnation Condensed Milk
325g (11oz) plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp ground ginger

20 boiled sugar sweets
Coloured icing tubes, for decoration

You will also need:
Biscuit cutters and lined baking sheets


  • Preheat the oven to 180°C, 350°F, Gas Mark 4.
  • Heat the butter and sugar in a saucepan, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Add the condensed milk and stir together.
  • Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and ginger into a bowl and pour over the condensed milk mixture. Start by working the ingredients together with a spoon then with clean hands bring the mixture together into a soft dough.
  • Roll the gingerbread out on a floured surface to the thickness of 0.5cm.
  • Cut rounds out and place onto a baking sheet.
  • Use a very small cutter or knife to cut out circles in the centre of the biscuits (about the size of a pound coin).
  • Place the boiled sweets into a strong plastic food bag and holding the open end of the bag tightly closed smash the bag onto a hard surface (like a work top), to break the sweets.
  • Place the broken sweets into the holes in the biscuits.
  • Make a small hole in the top of the biscuit with a skewer or cocktail stick.
  • Bake the biscuits for about 10 minutes until just golden.
  • Remove the biscuits from the oven and check the small holes for hanging the biscuits are still open. Leave to cool completely before decorating with icing. Allow the biscuits to dry before hanging on the tree.


Hang the biscuits on Christmas day as they go soft if not kept in an airtight container for more than a couple of days.

Makes 20 - 25



397g can Carnation Condensed Milk
150ml (1/4 pt) milk
450g (1lb) Demerara sugar
100g (4 oz) butter
150g (5oz) glace cherries, halved
50g (2 oz) stem ginger, chopped


  • Grease and base a 20cm (8 in) square cake tin with baking parchment.
  • Heat the milks, sugar and butter in a large, non-stick saucepan over a low heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves completely.
  • Bringing to the boil and simmer over a low heat for 10 - 15 minutes, stirring continuously and scraping the base of the pan, until a soft ball of fudge is formed when a little of the mixture is dropped into a jug of ice cold water.
  • Remove from the heat and beat the fudge by hand until thick and grainy (about 10 minutes).
  • Gently stir in the remaining ingredients.
  • Pour into the prepared tin and leave to cool before cutting into squares.

Makes aproximately 1kg


This could arguably be the best ever cookie dough you will ever make - the secret is adding the condensed milk which gives you the most wonderful texture - crisp outside and soft centred. Christmas is fast approaching so why not bake a batch, place them in a lovely gift box and that's one less present to think about.


225g (8oz) unsalted butter, softened
225g (8oz) caster sugar
170g tube Carnation Condensed Milk
350g (12oz) self-raising flour

150g (5½oz) white chocolate, chopped
175g punnet raspberries


  • Preheat the oven to 180°C, 350°F, Gas Mark 4.
  • In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar, until pale and then stir in the condensed milk.
  • Sift in the flour and then work into a soft dough with your hands.
  • Mix in the chocolate.
  • Take a small handful of dough and flatten with your fingers.
  • Place 2 - 3 raspberries into the centre of the cookie and fold over the sides of the dough to encase the raspberries.
  • Repeat with the remaining dough.
  • Place onto parchment lined baking trays, spacing well apart and bake for about 15-18 minutes or until golden brown at the edges, but still a little soft.
  • Leave to cool slightly and set before transferring to a cooling rack.
  • The dough without the raspberries will keep in the fridge for 2 - 3 days or for about 1 month in the freezer - freeze in small slightly flattened chunks and bake as required!

Try these other combinations:

  • Roasted hazelnuts and dark chocolate
  • 3 tbsp cocoa mixed into plain dough with white and dark chocolate chunks added at the end.
  • Dried cranberries and macadamia nuts
  • Ripple in some Carnation Caramel and add some chopped stem ginger
  • Orange zest, raisins and cinnamon

Serves about 20-30 cookies (depends on the size)

Still looking for inspiration? Why not logon to where you can look through a variety of Phil's tasty recipes and download the pudcasts.

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