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Homemade Holiday Gifts?
Posted: 20 November 2008 11:48 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Just wondering what everybody is putting in their homemade holiday gifts.  I was looking for some more creative ideas rather than just snickerdoodles and rice krispie treats like I usually get.

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Bianca

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Posted: 20 November 2008 12:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Last year I did a variety of cookies and bars from Rose’s Christmas Cookie book. Needless to say it was a huge hit. I baked the brownies, lemon bars, shortbread and (I think it’s called) David Shamah’s cookies.

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Posted: 20 November 2008 05:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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This year I’ll be travelling so won’t be doing any except the icecream ‘plum pudding’ and rocky-road chocolate tree for Christmas Day :(

Last year I made stained glass cookies - they looked really lovely using red and green for the glass.

I also made teeny tiny petit four Christmas puddings which were so simple:

Use a large melon baller (or tiny icecream scoop) to make 1 to 1.5 inch pudding shaped balls from a rich fruit cake*, place on a rack and (drop from the point of the spoon)  a scant teaspoon of thick white Poured Fondant (Rose’s of course!) on top so it covers the top and drizzles a little down the sides (like the traditional sauce on a big pudding), decorate the top Christmas style with cachous, tiny candy holly sprigs made from sliced candy spearmint leaves (even a mini red or green m+m works!) They look so cute when packed together in a chocolate box!


Also made some square ones which I completely dipped in thinned fondant per traditional petit fours with a piped Royal Icing Christmas Tree on top (the Wilton icing Christmas Tree tip made it a snap too!!)

...edited… to say if the little scoops of cake don’t quite come out clean from the melon baller, mould them in shape with very lightly oiled hands

(* Confession: Time was short last year so I cheated and purchased a (good quality, I promise!) fruit cake rather than from scratch!)

Sorry I didn’t take pics but the google link above will give you some idea of what I mean!

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Posted: 21 November 2008 01:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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hand cut taggliatelle or pappardelle are always a hit, hang them till dried and warp them inside a paper cup or foil pan to protect the precious strands from smashing.

last xmas I made rose’s traditional butter cookies with my 3 year infused vanilla sugar.

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Posted: 21 November 2008 03:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Last year I made a huge batch of Rose’s gingerbread cookies, replacing the molasses with dark (grade B) pure maple syrup for a regional variation.  Some were cut into men/women and festively decorated, others were cut into simple rounds and dipped half way into white chocolate or dark milk chocolate (ie., dark chocolate with some milk added).  I’m not fond of a strong molasses taste- the maple syrup variation was delicious and blended nicely with the chocolates.

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Posted: 21 November 2008 06:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I thought the title of this thread said “Holiday GRITS!” I was going to give you my recipe for grits! lol

jen

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Posted: 21 November 2008 07:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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I usually send a box of toffee, since the company I work for carries it and I can get it at a discount. This year I’m thinking of trying the toffee recipe from Rose’s Christmas Cookies. Also thinking of cookies but haven’t decided what they should be…

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Posted: 22 November 2008 06:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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jen68 - 21 November 2008 10:08 PM

I thought the title of this thread said “Holiday GRITS!” I was going to give you my recipe for grits! lol

jen

Ha!!!
smile

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Posted: 22 November 2008 09:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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I would love a recipe for Holiday Grits! 

I usually give a half dozen homemade chocolate truffles.  No recipient feels too guilty because the quantity is so small, but the oomph of flavor is huge.

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Posted: 24 November 2008 10:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Yes, truffles are a wonderful homemade gift.  I like to put them in little tartan bon-bon cups.

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Posted: 25 November 2008 12:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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I love giving candy—every year I make pistachio/almond nougat, vanilla caramels and ginger caramels. I wrap half of them plain in colored foils; the other half get covered in dark chocolate and put in matching foil cups. They look really pretty packed in 1/4 pound boxes and everybody loves getting them. DH gave me a chocolate temperer for my birthday last year, so the dipping process is a lot more efficient (and predictable) than it used to be.

I also give individual decorated cookies—pairs, if they’re mittens—in cellophane treat bags. Great for coworkers, my knitting group, the neighborhood kids, Salvation Army bell ringer volunteers, and (of course!) ANYBODY who says anything remotely encouraging about how cute they are while I’m handing them out. Pics below….

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Posted: 25 November 2008 05:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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I love those mitts, what a lovely idea!  It isn’t a tradition here(in the UK ) to give cookies at Christmas but I’m beginning to think I might try it!

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Posted: 25 November 2008 09:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Laurie - 25 November 2008 04:20 AM

I also give individual decorated cookies—pairs, if they’re mittens—in cellophane treat bags. Great for coworkers, my knitting group, the neighborhood kids, Salvation Army bell ringer volunteers, and (of course!) ANYBODY who says anything remotely encouraging about how cute they are while I’m handing them out. Pics below….

Oh how adorable!!!

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Posted: 25 November 2008 02:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Those mitts are really cute.

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Posted: 27 November 2008 01:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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The first weekend in December, a group of friends spend a Sunday dipping a variety of truffles.  Kind of like a cookie swap.  We each make 2 varieties, and make 100 centers.  Then we spend the day dipping them, letting them set while we have lunch and then pack them into boxes.  We leave with a really nice assortment of truffles to give as gifts and get to spend a really nice Sunday to boot!  Last year we had caramel, white chocolate cranberry, peanut butter, black raspberry, mint, passion fruit, a milk chocolate Grand Marnier, a Champagne one and there two others I can’t remember.  Dede Wilson has a truffle book that came out a while ago, and there’s another chocolate book from an author named Carol (? - my girlfriend has the book, I have the Wilson one) that has lots of good ideas in it.

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Posted: 28 November 2008 05:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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what a great idea Jeanne!

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