Make Food Gifts for Christmas
Edited by Maureen D., Eng, Lynn
What better way to create great gifts this coming Christmas but to make tasty cookies, fudge, candies and a lot more? Save some money by not buying gifts for all of your friend's family, as food gifts can make the holiday even sweeter! Plus, you will be able to let your creative juices flow through making gift baskets, boxes and jars at the same time. So basically, you are doing yourself a favor too. Check out these Christmas food gift ideas, and share them with your friends and co-workers to spread the fun.
- 1 Coconut Macadamia Macaroons
- 2 Sugar Plum Spice Bread
- 3 Tangy Pancake Mix
- 4 Nut Crunch
- 5 Honey Granola
- 6 Cherry and Dark Chocolate Bars
- 7 Mouthwatering Crackers
- 8 Peppermint Nougat
- 9 Comments
Coconut Macadamia Macaroons
This recipe yields 48 servings. Unsweetened coconut can be found in the baking or healthy food shelves.
- 2 1/2 cups of coconut flakes, sweetened
- 2 1/2 cups of finely shredded coconut, unsweetened
- 1 cup of macadamia nuts, finely chopped
- 1 cup coconut cream
- 4 egg whites
- 2 tablespoons of corn syrup, light
- 2 tablespoons of vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 ounces of chopped semi sweet chocolate
- 1 teaspoon of shortening
- 1Combine the three kinds of coconut in a mixing bowl, together with the macadamia nuts. In another bowl, mix coconut cream, corn syrup, egg whites, salt and vanilla, and stir well. Pour into the coconut mixture, cover with a lid and refrigerate for about 15 minutes.Advertisement
- 2Line baking sheets with parchment papers and drop about a tablespoonful of the mixture at a time, making sure they are about 2 inches apart. Shape them into loose heaps. Place in a preheated oven and bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes, or until they are slightly golden brown in color. Cool on wire racks.Advertisement
- 3Melt chocolate and shortening in the microwave oven for about a minute, or until smooth. Dip the macaroons in the melted chocolate mixture or simply drizzle it over them.
These can be placed in nice transparent boxes with homemade decorations, and a ribbon will look nice too.
Sugar Plum Spice Bread
This fruit studded magical bread is best served with hot chocolate. Wrap the breads in store brought loaf tins with lids for a perfect food gift. This recipe makes 40 servings.
- 3/4 cup of softened butter
- 3/4 cup of sugar
- 4 pieces of eggs
- 6 cups of all purpose flour
- 1/2 ounce of quick rise yeast
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of cardamom, ground
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 3/4 teaspoon of cinnamon, ground
- A pinch of nutmeg, ground
- 1 1/2 cups of milk
- 1 cup of dried fruit, diced
- 1/2 cup of raisins
- 1/2 cup of golden raisins
- 2 tablespoons of softened butter
- 2 tablespoons of shortening
- 2 cups of confectioner's sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 2 to 3 tablespoons of milk
- 1Cream the butter and sugar in a big mixing bowl, adding eggs one at a time and beating well after each addition. Add in 4 cups of flour, and the yeast, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt and cardamom. Set aside.Advertisement
- 2Bring the milk to 130 degrees on the stove and pour it into the creamed mixture; beat well until the mixture is moistened.
- 3Add the remaining flour to make firm dough, then place the dough into a heavily floured flat surface and sprinkle the fruits and raisins.
- 4Knead the dough until elastic; this will take about 8 minutes. Cover it and put it in a warm place to rise, which will take about 40 minutes.
- 5Lightly flour a flat surface and punch the dough down. Divide it into eight equal parts, and shape each portion in loaves.
- 6Grease eight 5 x 3 x 2 inch loaf pans, place the loaves in them, cover and let rise again until they are doubled in size. This process usually takes about half an hour.
- 7Preheat the oven and bake the loaves at 350 degrees for half an hour, or until you see the loaves turn golden brown in color. Place on wire racks to cool down.
- 8To do your frosting, take a small bowl and cream the shortening and butter. then add in confectioner's sugar, vanilla extract and milk gradually. Check the quantity of milk; it should be only enough to achieve a spreading consistency, so it should not be runny at all.
Tangy Pancake Mix
Place this tasty pancake mix in resealable plastic bags; tie them with ribbons before giving away to your friends or relatives. And oh, make sure to include the directions in the package!
- 2 cups of all purpose flour
- 1 1/3 cups of whole wheat flour
- 1 cup of buttermilk (blend powder)
- 1 cup of oats
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons of baking powder
- 3 teaspoons of baking soda
- 1 teaspoon of orange peel (dried)
- 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, ground
- 1 cup of golden raisins
- 1 cup of almonds, sliced thinly and toasted
- 1Take a food processor and put the first nine ingredients in it. Cover it and process until the oats are finely ground.
Cooking Pancakes Directions
- 1Combine the contents of one plastic bag of flour mixture with one plastic bag of the fruit-nut combination in a mixing bowl. In another bowl, add 1 egg, water and oil, then mix well. Stir into the dry ingredients, and mix well until moistened.
- 2Pour the batter of about 1/4 cup into a hot pan coated with cooking spray. Turn the pancake when bubbles turn up on the top side. Cook until the other side is brown.
For this recipe, you can use cashews, almonds, or any other nuts that you prefer for a more delicious alternative. Or better yet, you can use all of your favorite nuts and make it "Mixed Nut Crunch"!
- 10 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons butter (divide)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon corn syrup, the light variety
- 3/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups of salted cashews, almonds or any nuts you prefer
- 1Line a 15 x 10 x 1 inch baking pan with an aluminum foil and grease the foil with 2 teaspoons of softened butter, then set it aside.
- 2Combine the sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, salt, cayenne pepper and the remaining butter in a big saucepan and cook it, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.
- 3Add the nuts in and bring to a boil, take a thermometer and keep cooking and stirring until it reads 280 degrees, which usually takes about 5-6 minutes.
- 4Pour it right away in the prepared baking pan, as soon as it reaches the desired temperature. Spread it with a spatula. (Use a metal one as this could be really hot.) Cool it completely and cut up into pieces. Store the crunch pieces in airtight containers or jars.
This cereal mix is so addictive you will have to make several batches for yourself to store at home.
- 6 cups of oats
- 8 ounces of sliced almonds
- 1 cup of cranberries (dried)
- 1 cup of dried apricots, chopped
- 1 cup of light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, ground
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup of honey
- 1Get the oven preheated to 350 degrees.
- 2Combine the ingredients in a mixing bowl (except the butter and honey).
- 3Melt unsalted butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Pour in honey and stir. Pour it over the dry ingredients and mix evenly.
- 4Line a baking pan with parchment paper and place the mixture on it.
- 5Bake for 30-35 minutes, and stir occasionally for even cooking. It should be caramelized after 30 minutes, remove from the oven and cool down completely. Place into nice transparent cereal jars with lids.
Cherry and Dark Chocolate Bars
This is the best gift for the chocoholics. The total preparation time is 25 minutes, plus the chocolate wrapping time. It should not take very long.
- 8 ounces of dark chocolate candy melts
- 1/4 cups of dried tart cherries, chopped
- 1Heat the chocolate over a double boiler set in low heat, and stir frequently to keep the chocolate from sticking to the bottom of the sauce pan. Melting chocolate this much will take about 5 minutes.
- 2Take 5 pieces of 3/8 x 2 1/8 x 1/8 inch candy bar molds and fill them halfway with chocolate melts. Divide the dried cherries among the molds, and cover with the remaining chocolate melt. Smooth the tops with a spatula and remove the bubbles by tapping the molds on the surface.
- 3Chill them until set, for about 5-10 minutes. Release the chocolate bars from the molds and store in sealed containers in a cool and dry place until the chocolates are ready to be wrapped; they can be stored for up to a month.
This recipe has a savory cheesy goodness and is best packed in divided wood box for a gorgeous presentation. This makes 60 crackers per batch.
- 1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons of non-fat milk (dry)
- 1 teaspoon of fine salt
- A stick of unsalted butter, cut in small pieces and should be cold
- 1 1/2 cup of grated cheese
For Walnut Parmesan Crackers
- 1/2 cups of walnuts, finely chopped
For Gouda Crackers
- 2 tablespoons of poppy seeds
- 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon of kosher salt
- 1/2 tablespoon garlic (powder)
- 1/2 teaspoon of onion (powder)
Chili Cornmeal Crackers
- 1/4 cup of cornmeal (white)
- 2 teaspoons of chili powder
- 1Take the bowl of a food processor and pulse dry milk, flour and salt. Add the butter and pulse again until the mixture looks like wet sand. Add the cheese and pulse again until combined well. Take ice water and drizzle the mixture with about 6 tablespoons full. Pulse the mixture until it combines well into a dough.
- 2Place the dough onto a floured flat surface, roll it into an 8 inch long log, and divide it into 2 equal parts. Wrap both of them in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 3 hours.
- 3Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Take one piece of the dough and unwrap it. Use a wire cheese cutter to slice the log into 30 pieces of 1/2 inch thick rounds.
- 4Line baking pans with parchment paper and place the rounds onto it; leave at least 1 inch apart of spaces.
- 5For 12-15 minutes, bake them until they are golden brown. Cool them on wire racks completely.
- 6Repeat the last two steps until you have used the whole log.
- 7To pack, line four boxes with parchment paper. Divide the first batch of crackers among the boxes, and repeat the process with the other variations.
- Put together the ingredients for the basic cracker recipe. In step 1, select Parmesan for cheese. Follow the instructions for the basic cracker recipe, but do this after the second step: In a bowl, place the finely chopped walnut. In step 3, press lightly one side of each round into the walnuts before you transfer to baking pans, nut side upwards.
- Put together all of the ingredients for the basic cracker recipe once again, and in first step select the gouda cheese. Again, follow the instructions, but after step 2, combine the seeds in a bowl, along with the salt, onion and garlic powder. For step 3, press the side of each round into the seed mixture and transfer to the baking pan with seeds facing upwards.
- Again, assemble all of the ingredients in making the basic cracker recipe; add cornmeal powder to the dry ingredients, but select cheddar for the cheese this time. Follow the directions in making basic cracker recipe in the given instructions above.
This is different from the usual chopped nuts made - nougat. This recipe will use peppermint instead, for a smooth and creamy goodness twist! Makes about 36 pieces and takes a little while to prepare, but it will be all worth it!
- 4 cups of granulated sugar
- 1 cup of corn syrup (light)
- 3 egg whites (select the big ones)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of peppermint extract
- A few drops of food coloring (red)
- 1Take a 9 x 9 inch pan and grease it with oil, along with one spoon.
- 2In a medium saucepan, combine 3/4 cup water, corn syrup and sugar until it dissolves over medium heat. It should reach 260 degrees (using a candy thermometer). This should take about 20 minutes.
- 3In a mixing bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form; you can use an electric mixer set on medium high. Lower the speed to medium and gradually add in the sugar mixture. Add peppermint as well and continue beating until the consistency is fluffy and thick.
- 4Transfer the mixture into prepared baking pans and smooth it using the back of the oiled spoon from earlier. Create a marble effect by dotting the surface with the red food coloring immediately.
- 5Let it rest at room temperature to set - about a couple of hours. Slice it into 1/4 inch squares of nougat.
- If you desire to be bolder, you can top them with chocolate kisses.
- Make sure to prepare every ingredient and materials prior to cooking this as the candy will harden quickly after the moment it reaches the right temperature.