Sunday, November 30, 2014

Homemade Holiday Food Gifts

Samuel Langhorne Clemens (November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910), better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American author and humorist.
Bella's contribution for today's posting    

During the holidays,when budgets are tight, homemade food gifts are a heartfelt way to show you care. And don't forget the packaging. Check out Michael's and Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft stores for interesting containers, jars and boxes to pack your holiday  goodies in. 
Cranberry Hootycreeks
This link has several cookie mason jar recipes. scroll down to Dec 2, 2011 postings which include Cranberry Hootycreeks and Butterscotch Chips Cookie recipes.
This link has 25 mason jar recipes for holiday gift giving. 

Free printable labels

These ideas comes from Midwest Living 
Spiced Mixed Nuts
Give party nuts a holiday twist by roasting them with one of four flavors: Cocoa-Sugared Mix, Curry-Spiced Mix, Barbecue-Seasoned Mix and Asian Five-Spiced Mix. Find frosted-plastic boxes at crafts or scrapbooking stores to make the nuts easy to give away in single servings.
Asian Five-Spiced Mix

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • Asian Five-Spiced Mix (see recipe below)
  • 1/4 cup peanut oil or 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 4 cups pecan halves or 4 cups assorted nuts, such as pecan halves, walnut halves or pieces, whole unsalted cashews, almonds, dry-roasted unsalted peanuts and/or peeled hazelnuts
Asian Five-Spiced Mix Ingredients;
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon five-spice powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse black pepper
  • In a small bowl, combine water, brown sugar, five-spice powder, salt and pepper.
  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil; lightly coat with nonstick cooking spray. Set pan aside. 
  • In a small bowl, combine Asian Five Spice Mix with oil or melted butter. Place nuts in prepared pan. Drizzle butter mixture over nuts, tossing gently until well coated. Spread nuts out in an even layer on foil lined pan.
  • Bake in a 325 degree oven for 25 minutes, stirring twice. Remove from oven. Remove to a paper towel-lined baking sheet; cool. Serve at room temperature. Store any remaining nuts in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Cinnamon Praline Nuts
recipe from Taste of Home and makes 3 cups
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 cups pecan halves
  • 1 cup walnut halves
  • Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, mix the first five ingredients until blended. Add pecans and walnuts; toss to coat.
  • Transfer to a greased baking sheet. Bake 20-25 minutes or until toasted, stirring twice. Cool completely. Store in an airtight container. 
Caramel Crackers and Nuts
recipe from Taste of Home and makes about 3 quarts

  • 2 packages (6.6 ounces each) miniature cheddar cheese fish-shaped crackers
  • 1 cup dry roasted peanuts
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla
  • In a large greased bowl, combine crackers and peanuts; set aside. In a large heavy saucepan, combine the brown sugar, butter and corn syrup. Cook over medium heat until a candy thermometer reads 280° (soft-crack stage), stirring occasionally.
  • Remove from the heat. Stir in baking soda and vanilla. Pour over cracker mixture; quickly stir until evenly coated.
  • Transfer to two greased rimmed baking sheets. Bake at 250 degrees for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Cool; break apart. Store in airtight containers. 

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