Christmas baking, candy, and treats: Tips for making and buying

'Tis the season to be jolly, and nothing makes for a jolly time like Christmas sweets. On The Coast Urban Foodie Anya Levykh has some gift suggestions, and this week's recipe.

This week's recipe is biscomes (Swiss gingerbread with marzipan)

It's supposed to be a time of joy but many people can find the holidays stressful. (Anya Levykh)

►Like it or not, things are getting awfully Christmas-y these days.

And this season, sweet treats are an awfully popular present for just about anyone on your "nice" list.

So how do you give sweet gifts the right way?

On The Coast's Urban Foodie Anya Levykh has a few tips.

"[It should be] something unique, handmade or made locally, with quality ingredients. Nothing wrong with giving a box of truffles, but make sure they're high quality," she told On The Coast host Stephen Quinn. "It's better to give a smaller amount of something good than a larger amount of something mediocre."

And, now, the best tip of all.

"Don't forget to gift to yourself, the season of giving should extend at least a little bit toward yourself."

A few ideas from Levykh are a box of milk and cookies from Beaucoup Bakery (the box includes a litre of Avalon Dairy's organic homogenized milk plus an assortment of cookies for $30), 49th Parallel Coffee Roasters' Santa Barbara sampler (which has three different coffees from Santa Barbara, Honduras) and for something further afield, chocolate bark from La Petite Sourise on Gibsons on the Sunshine Coast.

And if it absolutely has to be handmade, this week's recipe has you covered.

This week's recipe: Biscomes (Swiss gingerbread with marzipan)

Recipe courtesy of Chez Cristophe


  • ½ cup homo milk
  • 1 Tbsp baking soda
  • 375 g liquid honey
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 medium-sized egg
  • 100 ml cold water
  • 1 Tbsp gingerbread spice
  • 3⅓ cups baking bread flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 150 g almond marzipan (usually one package)


  1. Mix all ingredients together in an electric stand mixer, on low speed for five minutes until ingredients are combined.
  2. Put in a container, and cover with plastic wrap. Place in fridge for at least a week to let the dough rise slowly.
  3. Take it out of the fridge, let it get back to room temperature. Roll it with a rolling pin, about two millimetres thick. Use a round cookie cutter and cut the dough in even sections.
  4. Roll out your marzipan to four millimetres. Cut with a ring cookie cutter, one size smaller than the gingerbread dough.
  5. With a brush, brush some milk on your gingerbread. Then, take your marzipan and put it on top. Slightly press the edge to stick them together.
  6. Poke with a fork, about four times. Brush some more milk on top. Then let it rest in the fridge for at least two hours.
  7. Preheat oven to 340 F. Take the cookies out. Brush more milk on top. Then put in the oven.
  8. Bake for five minutes. Rotate. Then another three minutes.
  9. It is then ready. You can decorate as you wish!

To hear the full interview, click the audio labelled: Gifting sweets this Christmas? Anya Levykh has some tips


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.