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"Artisanal" Holiday Presents


maggiethecat
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Help! I'm co-hosting a 75th b-day party for my mom on Saturday. I'd like to give out food-related party favours. Let's face it, I'm not going to do dishtowels or potholders for 15 in two days.

Other ideas? How about a favorite Xmas cookie recipe with a cookie cutter? Other ideas?

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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Help! I'm co-hosting a 75th b-day party for my mom on Saturday. I'd like to give out food-related party favours. Let's face it, I'm not going to do dishtowels or potholders for 15 in two days.

Other ideas? How about a favorite Xmas cookie recipe with a cookie cutter? Other ideas?

Butterscotch pretzels !!!

These are one of the favorite things I make for Christmas cookie plates, it's that marvelous mix of sweet and salty.

Take a bag (or 2) of butterscotch morsels, and add in about 1T of neutral cooking oil (corn is what I usually use) per bag. Melt in the top of a double boiler. Take the mini-pretzel twists, and dip them into the melted butterscotch. I usually use a roasting fork to flip them over and fish them out. Plop them down on wax paper, and if you're feeling really frisky, sprinkle them with red & green Christmas sprinkly things for a seasonal twist. PURELY decorative, the pretzels taste just swell without them. But they do look nice, you can even find the sprinkly things that look like holly leaves and berries. Let them dry on the wax paper, then peel them off, put them in tins, cartons or baggies and watch your guests turn into drooling fools over them.

--Roberta--

"Let's slip out of these wet clothes, and into a dry Martini" - Robert Benchley

Pierogi's eG Foodblog

My *outside* blog, "A Pound Of Yeast"

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Help! I'm co-hosting a 75th b-day party for my mom on Saturday. I'd like to give out food-related party favours. Let's face it, I'm not going to do dishtowels or potholders for 15 in two days.

Other ideas? How about a favorite Xmas cookie recipe with a cookie cutter? Other ideas?

Butterscotch pretzels !!!

These are one of the favorite things I make for Christmas cookie plates, it's that marvelous mix of sweet and salty.

Take a bag (or 2) of butterscotch morsels, and add in about 1T of neutral cooking oil (corn is what I usually use) per bag. Melt in the top of a double boiler. Take the mini-pretzel twists, and dip them into the melted butterscotch. I usually use a roasting fork to flip them over and fish them out. Plop them down on wax paper, and if you're feeling really frisky, sprinkle them with red & green Christmas sprinkly things for a seasonal twist. PURELY decorative, the pretzels taste just swell without them. But they do look nice, you can even find the sprinkly things that look like holly leaves and berries. Let them dry on the wax paper, then peel them off, put them in tins, cartons or baggies and watch your guests turn into drooling fools over them.

Don't know about Snowangel, but these sound terrific to me.

I'm making some this afternoon.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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What I ended up doing was making two kinds of cookies -- Tart Lime Cilantro Cookies and a pomegranate molasses cookie (if anyone wants a link to the recipe, let me know). I put cookies into those cellophane bags you can get at a craft bag, added a small star ornament, and made place cards (cut up un-ruled index cards). I felt like Martha as I printed out copies of the recipes on index cards to include in the festive bags.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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Just made the legendary Korova cookies today to take to a cookie swap on Sunday. Instead of the dark chocolate bits I did Andes Peppermint nibs for the season.

They turned out well, though I'd bake a little less next time, and definitely do more salt. :-)

I don't have photos, sorry!

"You can't taste the beauty and energy of the Earth in a Twinkie." - Astrid Alauda

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Food Lovers' Guide to Santa Fe, Albuquerque & Taos: OMG I wrote a book. Woo!

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What I ended up doing was making two kinds of cookies -- Tart Lime Cilantro Cookies and a pomegranate molasses cookie (if anyone wants a link to the recipe, let me know). I put cookies into those cellophane bags you can get at a craft bag, added a small star ornament, and made place cards (cut up un-ruled index cards). I felt like Martha as I printed out copies of the recipes on index cards to include in the festive bags.

I actually received thank-you notes from guests for the cookies and for including the recipes!

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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What I ended up doing was making two kinds of cookies -- Tart Lime Cilantro Cookies and a pomegranate molasses cookie (if anyone wants a link to the recipe, let me know). I put cookies into those cellophane bags you can get at a craft bag, added a small star ornament, and made place cards (cut up un-ruled index cards). I felt like Martha as I printed out copies of the recipes on index cards to include in the festive bags.

Good job!

I actually received thank-you notes from guests for the cookies and for including the recipes!

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For several years, I've done boxes with fudge and pralines and roasted chickpeas with wasabi and spiced pecan. Great gifts for co-workers, kids' teachers, you name it.

Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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This year my artisanal present package was gingerbread biscotti and assorted caramels (fleur de sel, tangerine-almond, and honey pecan). Last year I did crab-apple butter, but I think many of the recipients were scared of home-canned goods. This is my guess-- last year I heard a lot of comments about the caramels, but nothing about the jam. Also I'm tired of never getting my jam jars back.

Jen

P.S. the caramels and biscotti are both Fine Cooking recipes.

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Hi Emily,

The gingerbread biscotti recipe is here on the FC website:

http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/gingerbread-biscotti.aspx

It looks like it is available without a subscription, let me know if not.

Cheers, Jen

Edited to add: The recipe is also here:

http://www.grouprecipes.com/81243/gingerbread-biscotti.html

Edited by iguana (log)
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Not my own idea, but I ran across a seemingly delicious (and easy) recipe for candied peanuts on David Lebovitz's blog. I used to buy bags of candied nuts in Spain from sidewalk chucherias, or candy shacks. This treat in particular reminds me of the holidays: http://www.davidlebovitz.com/archives/2008/04/candied_peanut.html

I also jarred a quick apricot mostarda, Anjou pear mostarda and last summer's tomato sauce to give away as gifts.

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  • 8 months later...

It's that time of year again! What are we making?

I know I'm making vanilla extract and vanilla sugar this year (husband is sick of me spending $10 for 4 ounces at least 8 times a year so I may as well share the wealth), I'll be giving a couple vanilla beans to each person (in a nice little glass tube if I can find some), and I'll be giving each person a nice album of pictures of my kids from this year with recipes opposite the photos. I'm excited to start, but I have to reread the vanilla extract thread first. And the beans have to get here.

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I usually make a few kinds of truffles, chile lime macadamia with dark chocolate, white chocolate coconut, and something with milk chocolate, which I mix up and do differently every year (last year it was chai) so there's a nice variety. Gives me an excuse to break out the polycarb molds I got during culinary school. I did contemplate doing a certificate for one baked treat during the year instead, since I get hit up a lot to do birthday cupcakes, cakes, etc...although I'm not sure it wouldn't get out of hand and I'm NOT doing a wedding cake for free! I figure I've still got about a month before I really have to get cracking...and, Stephanie, feel free to send some vanilla my way, I'd LOVE that as a gift!

If you ate pasta and antipasto, would you still be hungry? ~Author Unknown

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I'll be preparing my usual batches of candied ginger, various citrus peels and dried and glacé fruits.

This year I am again going to make up "kits" for cookies, so the recipient won't have to measure, just dump the dry ingredients into a bowl, combine with their own eggs and etc., then add the included dried fruits and nuts and bake them. I bought some nice cookie sheets and am including a bundle of baking parchment sheets with the "kit."

A few folks, who have asked for it, are going to get kits of my fruited cocoa cake along with a Bundt pan.

A few months ago Amazon had a fabulous "Gold Box" deal on 12-cup Bundt pans so I bought six for this purpose as they were priced incredibly cheap at $8.99.

I'm also going to be making a lot of shortbread as I was given some lovely shortbread molds last Christmas.

I just ordered some interesting flavors, including violet, lavender and etc., to flavor the shortbreads.

I'm also planning to prepare some mostarda di frutta to jar up and give as gifts to folks who will appreciate it.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I am locked in to a couple of things that, if I didn't make them every year (some of them for 30 or more years), I would never be forgiven. Surprisingly, my plum puddings, with a small jar of clear, boozy nutmeg sauce, a sprig of holly for the top and instructions for flaming. An assortment of prized cookies (about a dozen different kinds) in tins. My perennially popular apricot chutney (which I must acknowledge is great). For some who don't expect these, I like to give classic biscotti di prato with a small bottle of Vin Santo for dunking. It's wildly popular with people who have been to Tuscany. One year I did intense cinnamon-infused vodka with a recipe for what I called a cinnamini and tiny bottles of Boyajian orange oil, one of the ingredients, and it was a huge hit. Another appreciated gift is a holiday sweet bread of some sort (stollen, challah, whatever) wrapped in a beautiful damask towel.

I love this topic! More ideas, please!

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Man, I wish I had seen that bundt pan offer. I don't even own one.

How are you going to package the kits? I don't really like the look of a plain Ball jar, so I'm always on the lookout for ideas.

I seal all the ingredients, both the mix and the additions, into vacuum bags. Place all the bags on the cookie sheet or into the baking pans or sometimes a pretty bowl, if they already have cookie sheets and pans.

Everything then goes into one of the Ziplock storage bags and into a gift bag appropriate for the holiday.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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  • 2 months later...
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