One of the best feelings during the festive season has got to be rocking up to a mate's place carefully balancing jars of home baked gifts. The gift handover moment feels like a delicious combination of love, pride and smugness that never gets old.
If you want to send all three of those emotions through the roof, opt to give a gift featuring bush food. Firstly because the more people baking with Australian natural food sources, the better. Secondly, because bush food tastes amazing. And thirdly because the more Aussie we can inject into Christmas, the better; enough with the cosy snow scenes and overheating Santas, thanks!
So whip up any or all of these bush food treats to give to a particularly special friend this season. Be sure to give your gift when you first see them, don't wait until you're leaving. That way you might get offered a bite yourself!
Chocolate-coated coffee beans are always high on the gift list, especially when they're flavoured with river mint and lemon myrtle. Ideal for munching with your friend's Christmas morning cuppa.
Keep the river mint handy because it also makes fudge brownies extra-special. Throw in a handful of macadamia nuts for added bush food kudos.
Of course, not everyone likes chocolate, but everyone loves olives. At least, those who love olives, really, really love olives. They'll be particularly enamoured this jar of olives infused with lemon myrtle, lemon aspen and shiraz. Cheers!
Infuse your own bush spirits with this easy guide. It will take you more time to find a pretty bottle than it will to put together the infusion.
A fruity accompaniment to a good vanilla ice-cream and sponge cake, infused with flavours of native plums and rosella flowers, made for summer.
Rae Johnston makes a native dukkah using macadamias, wattleseed, lemon myrtle, pepperberry and sesame seeds. If you've ever tasted each of these spices, you'll know what a treat this is.
Australia's 'native lemon' tastes like a cross between a lemon and a grapefruit with added honey. That's definitely a flavour worth concentrating into a curd, dropping into a pastry cup and gifting to a friend.
The only way to make baklava better is to mix it with Aussie bush foods like lemon myrtle, lemon aspen and macadamias. It's the Mark Olive twist we're happy to dance to all night.
Package up some macadamia and lemon myrtle shortbread for teachers, shop keepers, bank tellers and the postie. Everyone deserves a home-baked thank you treat this year.
Picture this: a bunch of your very besties around your table making gingerbread bush shacks. Or utes. Or tents. Now that's nailing the love/pride/smug trifecta for sure.
Make friends with anyone who owns a ute or truck. Our gingerbread truck celebrates our native ingredients - it's made from roasted wattleseed, which adds a coffee note to the biscuit.
The popular Indian sweet ladoos makes a fine gift, especially when it's been infused with wattleseed and macadamia. Now there's a flavour combination that's, fortunately, becoming as popular as chocolate and caramel.
Christmas just isn't Christmas without a giant slab of brittle. Here finger limes deliver the sour, sandalwood nuts the sweet.
For extra-special special friends, bring along a bush fruit Christmas cake. It's a true declaration of love. And pride. And smugness.
"If you grill oranges, it brings out the most beautiful flavor of the orange, the sugar caramelises," says Spencer Watts of his twist on cranberry sauce - great to serve with his smoked turkey.
A delightful Turkish dessert with a zesty lemon glaze that keeps it moist and sticky, and is best served with a pipping hot Turkish coffee. Sweet bliss!
You can't help but smile when you're eating these cute and colourful, rainbow-topped chocolate buttons.
When you remove the white sugar from these guys the texture changes, but I hope Nanna would still recognise them. If it’s any indication that they’re tasty, my youngest son can’t get enough of them.
This Turkish delight-like sweet was invented in my home town. As a child I would pass by mithai (sweetmeat) shops and look longingly at the many vibrant, colourful sweets on offer. There was one sweet that always caught my eye – orange, green or pink chewy, rubber-like shiny halva cut into neat squares and topped with nuts and pumpkin seeds. Magical.
Make a pretty edible gift for friends and family with the fragrant flavours of the Middle East. Package into cellophane bags or small white boxes, sprinkle with some more rose petals and tie with ribbon and flower.
The German word spritzen means to squirt and reflects the way these cookies are shaped – by pushing them through a piping nozzle. The almond meal in the dough gives a lovely soft, almost cakey, texture to these chocolate-dipped cookies that can be piped in various designs, including mini wreaths.