Homemade Holiday Gifts to Share
This Holiday Season, give your family, friends, and co-workers a gift from the heart of your home, the kitchen. Food gifts will appeal to anyone, especially your foodie friends. Making your own gifts can be a great opportunity to involve your children and family as well!! Here are several ideas, some are a bit healthier than others but all are fun and will be enjoyed by those special to you!
Spicy Company Pecans
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 4 tsp. Tabasco sauce
- 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tsp. Sea Salt
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 6 c. pecan halves
- Preheat oven to 325°F with racks set in the top and middle positions. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together all ingredients except pecans.
- Place pecans in a large bowl. Pour butter mixture over pecans, tossing to combine. Spread pecans evenly on 2 baking pans and bake until toasted and fragrant, 12 to 15 minutes, rotating pans halfway through. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined baking pan and let cool completely, 20 minutes. To package, place 1 1/2 cups pecans in each of 4 lined craft paper bags.
Easy Pecan Pie Bites
- 3 cups chopped pecans
- ¾ cup sugar
- ¾ cup dark corn syrup
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 5 (2.1 oz.) packages frozen mini phyllo pastry shells
- Preheat oven to 350º. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant.
- Stir together sugar and corn syrup in a medium bowl. Stir in pecans, eggs, and next 3 ingredients.
- Spoon about 1 heaping teaspoonful pecan mixture into each pastry shell, and place on 2 large baking sheets.
- Bake at 350º for 20 to 22 minutes or until set. Remove to wire racks, and let cool completely (about 30 minutes). Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Yields: 6 dozen.
Caramelized Onion and Bacon Jam
- 1 1/2 lb. bacon, finely chopped
- 3 large onions, finely chopped
- 1 medium leek, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1/2 c. balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 c. packed brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
- In deep 12-inch skillet, cook bacon on medium 30 minutes or until crisp and fat has rendered, stirring occasionally. With a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Remove and discard all but 2 tablespoons bacon fat in skillet.
- To fat in skillet, add onions, leek, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook on medium 50 minutes or until caramelized and soft, stirring occasionally. Add vinegar sugar, oregano, nutmeg, bacon, and 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper. Cook 15 minutes or until onions are very soft.
- Transfer mixture to food processor; pulse until finely chopped. Transfer to 4 small jars; refrigerate until cold. Jam may be refrigerated up to 2 weeks.
Mexican Hot Chocolate Mix
- 2 cups hot chocolate powder
- 1/4 cup cocoa
- 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- A pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
- 2-3 cinnamon sticks (optional)
- Mix all ingredients except for the cinnamon sticks together in a jar.
- Add the cinnamon sticks to the jar as decoration, if you’d like. Seal with the lid.
- To serve heat up 1 cup of milk. Add 2 tablespoons of the Mexican Hot Chocolate Powder Mix. Stir.
Holiday Chocolate Bark
- 1 lb. white chocolate
- 3 oz. red candy melts
- Line a 9×13-inch cake pan with nonstick foil or parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on all four sides.
- Place the white chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and melt on medium, stirring every 20 seconds, until smooth (about 80 seconds). Spread into the prepared pan.
- In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt the red candy melts on medium, stirring every 20 seconds, until smooth (about 60 seconds). Drop small spoonfuls of the red candy melts onto the white chocolate and using a knife or skewer, swirl the red candy melts through the white chocolate.
- Refrigerate the chocolate until set, about 20 minutes. Break into pieces before serving.
Believe It or Not Edible Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup chocolate chips
- 2 to 4 tablespoons whole milk
- Place the flour on a baking sheet and toast at 300F for 10 minutes. You can also heat it in the microwave for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring occasionally until an instant-read thermometer reads 160F. Let cool completely before using.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, stir together cooled flour, salt, brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Pour in butter and vanilla extract. Mix until a dry dough forms. Add chocolate chips and mix on lowest speed When chocolate chips are evenly dispersed, add whole milk 1 tablespoon at a time with the machine on low speed. Scoop the cookie dough into six 4-ounce jars and twist the lids on tightly!
Yields: 6 4-ounce jars
Captain Crunch Candy Bars
(Definitely a splurge, but so yummy)
- 3 c. Cap’n Crunch cereal
- 1 1/2 c. crushed pretzel sticks
- 3/4 c. chopped cocktail peanuts
- 1 (11-ounce) bag caramel candies
- 1/4 c. Creamy Peanut Butter
- 2 tbsp. heavy cream
- 1 c. semisweet chocolate chips, melted
- Lightly grease a 9×9-inch baking pan and line with parchment paper.
- Combine cereal, pretzels, and peanuts in a bowl. Cook caramels, peanut butter, and cream in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring often, until melted and smooth, 15 to 16 minutes. Pour over cereal mixture and stir until combined. Press into prepared pan. Chill until set, about 1 hour. Cut into 12 bars.
- Drizzle bars with melted chocolate. Let bars stand until chocolate is set, about 1 hour.