my boss, at my security job in CT a few years back, used to bring us goodie bags, at christmas.. chock full of home made treats, wrapped candies, and stuff to while away our twelve hour shifts, in sugardom…
It is a recipe we found on the back of a Chex cereal box years ago. (I’m not that old, but there is something about the phrase “years ago” that makes me feel old. I think I am going to ban that phrase from my vocabulary.) Anyway, it is sooooo yummy…and easy!!!
I thought about truffles also. I found a couple recipes - one from CI and another from Alton Brown. I like that idea because you can make a huge batch and just roll them in assorted things for variety.
We throw a holiday party for our employees every year (at our house - we’re not noted for our sanity LOL) and this year I’ll be giving little “gift baskets” rather than buying restaurant gift cards or company shirts as we usually do. I’ll do fudge, cookies and other homemade goodies (“Puppy Chow” never occurred to me, but I’m glad someone else thought of it - thanks!) and maybe a little ornament or one of those small Yankee candles. I may do a homemade hot chocolate mix and print up a card with “instructions” on it as well.
Every year in the fall, I make a big batch of my slow-cooker apple butter and put it up in 4-oz. jelly jars - there is only a modest amount of hands-on work to making the butter and it only takes an hour to fill and process the jars. I always include one in a gift basket of fudge and other Christmas cookies, and it probably generates more comments than anything else
I’m making Maida Heatter’s Palm Beach Biscotti, from her last cookbook (I can’t remember what it’s called, but it was published about 5 years ago). I use the variation with pecans and candied ginger (from Penzey’s). You first bake the dough in a loaf pan, then freeze the loaf until needed for biscotti. The loaves keep in the freezer for a long time- just cut them into slices and bake when you want the cookies. The finished cookies keep a long time in an airtight tin. I send them to some friends and relatives who we don’t see during the holidays, give them to neighbors at a cookie exchange, and bring them in to work for our holiday party. (and we keep some for ourselves, of course- great with tea or a glass of Port. My husband likes the variation with green pistachios and lemon zest, so I usually make a batch for him as well.)
I’m starting my baking today with pizzelles. I use the recipe I inherited from my Bisnonna (my Italian great-grandmother, whom I was lucky to have until I was 26 years old). They are hands-down my favorites.
Heat pizzelle iron.
Beat eggs and sugar until thick.
Stir in melted butter and vanilla.
Sift together flour and baking powder, and blend into batter until smooth.
Put half a spoonful of batter on iron, slightly behind the center of each circle.
Bake for 45 seconds, or until steam is no longer coming out of the iron.