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Delicious Holiday Gifts

Updated on December 20, 2015

The Gift of Food

Let's face it, Christmas is spectacular but can also be STRESSFUL! Making sure everyone on your list gets a gift can be not only time consuming but expensive. Whether it is the mailman, hairdresser, teacher, co-worker or vet here is a good way to say "Merry Christmas" without going crazy and breaking the bank. Who doesn't love a homemade treat?? I know I do! Here are some suggestions for some easy treats to turn into gifts. I hope you enjoy!

Photo courtesy of Teo
Photo courtesy of Teo

Coco Crinkle Cookies

Melt in your mouth devine!

These cookies make a great gift placed inside a cookie tin or decorative take out container. I love to make a big batch of these and then divide them up as separate gifts. This recipe makes approximately six dozen.

1 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup sour cream

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 3/4 cups flour

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 teaspoons instant coffee or espresso granules

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground pepper

1/2 cup powdered sugar

In a medium size bowl beat the brown sugar and oil with a mixer. Mix in the sour cream, egg and vanilla. In a separate bowl using a wire wisk or fork, mix the flour, cocoa, espresso, baking soda, salt and pepper. Add the flour mixture to the brown sugar mixture and mix well. Refrigerate the dough for about 3 hours to firm it up. When you are ready and the dough has stiffened preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Place the powdered sugar in a small bowl. Use a small cookie scoop to scoop out dough. Scoop the dough out into your hand. Roll the dough into a ball and then place into the powdered sugar. Swirl the ball around in the bowl to coat it with sugar. Place the covered ball onto a cookie sheet and bake approximately 10-12 minutes or until the tops are firm. (Be careful not to overbake). As the cookies bake they will spread and give the crinkle look. Cool cookies.

Use ribbon, bows, Christmas picks or other decorative items to make your cookies look extra special in their container.

A Few Ideas to Try.... - These tools will make it easy to make these awesome cookies! Oh, and pretty too!

To make and assemble the coco crinkles you may want to try some of these products.

This is what the sugar looks like just about when it is done, but use the thermometer to make sure.  Photograph curtesy of grongar on Flickr
This is what the sugar looks like just about when it is done, but use the thermometer to make sure. Photograph curtesy of grongar on Flickr

Butter Almond Crunch

A fun recipe, if you have never made candy before this is an easy recipe to start with!

This recipe makes about 2 pounds of candy. It is surprising how far this one recipe will go to make a lot of gifts. This recipe will require a candy thermometer. If you don't have one, check out the links below to get one. This is a must make recipe, I absolutely love it. My friends look forward to me making it around the holidays!

1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 3/4 cups chopped almonds

1 1/2 cups butter (3 sticks)

1 1/2 cups sugar

3 tablespoons light corn syrup

3 tablespoons water

Line a 13x9x2 inch pan with foil; butter the foil. Or use a silpat or silicone mat to make life so much easier! Sprinkle 1 cup of the chocolate chips onto the pan. Set aside. In a small sauté pan toast the almonds until just lightly browned. Set aside. In a heavy 3 quart saucepan melt butter, blend in sugar, corn syrup and water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until a candy thermometer reaches 300 degrees. (Make sure not to rest the thermometer on the bottom of the pan, it will give an inaccurate measurement). Remove from heat and stir in 1 1/2 cups of the toasted almonds (Make sure to reserve the rest for later). Immediately spread the mixture evenly over the chocolate chips. Do not disturb the chips. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup toasted almonds and remaining 1/2 cup of chocolate chips. Allow to cool. Break the cooled candy into pieces, any size you wish. I like to break mine. If you prefer you can score the candy after it slightly cools into the size pieces you would like. Then once cool break the remaining candy.

Tools to make your Butter Almond Crunch - A candy thermometer is a must have to make candy.

Photograph of a homemade Peppermint Pattie.  Photo courtesy of little blue hen on flickr.
Photograph of a homemade Peppermint Pattie. Photo courtesy of little blue hen on flickr.

Peppermint Patties

Pretty close to the real thing, give it a try!

Ok, these are a bit more tedious than the others but if you like Peppermint Patties, you have got to try these!

1 egg white

4 cups powdered sugar

1/3 cup light corn syrup

1/2 teaspoon peppermint oil or extract

cornstarch for dusting

1 12oz. bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a medium metal bowl, beat the egg white until frothy. Slowly add the powdered sugar while blending with an electric mixer set on medium speed. Add the corn syrup and peppermint oil/extract and knead the mixture with your hands until it has a smooth consistency. Add more sugar if necessary until mixture is no longer sticky. Dust a rolling pin with cornstarch and roll out the peppermint dough. Roll until about 1/4 inch thick. Punch out circles of peppermint dough with a biscuit cutter or a clean can with a diameter of 2 1/2 inches. Make approximately 20, place them on cookie sheets and let them chill in the refrigerator for about 45 minutes. Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave, set on high for 2 minutes. Stir halfway through. Make sure not to overheat. Drop each patty into the chocolate and coat completely. Using a large serving fork, or 2 dinner forks, one in each hand, lift the coated patty from the chocolate. Gently tap the forks against the bowl to get off excess chocolate. Place onto wax paper. Chill the peppermint patties until firm about 30 minutes.

This recipe is from the book "A Treasury of Top Secret Recipes" by Todd Wilbur (love this book, a must have!)

Photo courtesy of stevendepolo
Photo courtesy of stevendepolo

Chocolate Covered Pretzels

Super simple...if you want simple this is the one!

Who doesn't love something dipped in chocolate? These are simple to do and very easy. You can chose to use whatever shape pretzel you like. I like the rods the best.

Dark Chocolate Melting chocolate (or whatever flavor you like)

Decorative sprinkles, candies, crushed oreos, whatever you can think of!

Melt the chocolate in the microwave. Start with 1 minute and then stir. Heat in 10 second intervals until chocolate is smooth and melted. Be sure to not overheat or chocolate will burn. Once chocolate is melted, dip your pretzel in the chocolate. Then dip the pretzel into your topping (sprinkles, crushed oreos, crushed candy pieces, etc.) Place on a piece of wax paper to cool and harden.

Items to make your chocolate covered pretzels spectacular - Terrific Christmas sprinkles to decorate your pretzels or chocolate covered treats.

Guestbook Comments - So, what do you think???

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    • savenlives profile image
      Author

      savenlives 2 years ago

      Awesome, thank you!!

    • annmackiemiller profile image

      annmackiemiller 2 years ago from Bingley Yorkshire England

      yummy - pinned to my cookie board - pardon the pun

    • profile image

      Ruthi 4 years ago

      I might just have to try the peppermint patties recipe as a delicious holiday gift for myself!

    • profile image

      Ruthi 4 years ago

      I might just have to try the peppermint patties recipe as a delicious holiday gift for myself!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I'd love to make homemade peppermint patties!

    • profile image

      dream1983 5 years ago

      Awesome Holiday Gifts, nicely done!

    • profile image

      sheezie77 5 years ago

      Very Nice lens! Thumbs up

    • queenofduvetcover profile image

      queenofduvetcover 5 years ago

      Yummy, Yummy! Glad I found this lens, nicely done! =)

    • profile image

      poutine 5 years ago

      "Butter Almond Crunch " sounds really delicious to my taste buds.

    • profile image

      Ruthi 5 years ago

      Peppermint patties are a favorite of mine!

    • love4randomness1 profile image

      love4randomness1 5 years ago

      Super yummy gift ideas! I love making chocolate covered pretzels for gifts during the holidays. :) Squid-liked

    • fugeecat lm profile image

      fugeecat lm 5 years ago

      All of these look wonderful. Thanks for sharing the great recipes.

    • profile image

      boutiqueshops 5 years ago

      Absolutely yummy gifts! Great ideas ~ thanks for sharing them.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      The chocolate covered pretzel looks so festive!

    • wolfie10 profile image

      wolfie10 5 years ago

      awesome gift ideas. better get cracking in making up my mind what to get for whom

    • CruiseReady profile image

      CruiseReady 5 years ago from East Central Florida

      I think those chocolate covered pretzles would be wonderful!

    • EMangl profile image

      EMangl 5 years ago

      yumyum

    • JenniferAkers LM profile image

      JenniferAkers LM 5 years ago

      Peppermint patties look delicious! It's a nice idea to give homemade Christmas treats - it's filled with love.

    • profile image

      seedplanter 5 years ago

      Saw your link on RedGage and followed it here. Sure glad I did, too! Your crinkle cookies look wonderful, and I'm going to have to try the peppermint patties too. Christmas will be here before we know it!

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 5 years ago

      Yummy, these look like great Christmas baking ideas :)

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 5 years ago from Colorado

      I think I'll try the pretzel recipe first. Thanks! Everything looks delicious.

    • profile image

      mockingbird999 5 years ago

      I'm always looking for more recipes for Christmas treats. These look like winners.

    • profile image

      JoshK47 5 years ago

      Well, these definitely look delicious - the butter almond crunch made my mouth water a bit. I'll sprinkle a little angel dust for extra flavor - Blessed by a SquidAngel. :)

    • profile image

      marsha32 5 years ago

      I need to try those peppermint patties! Everyone looks forward to the cookies and candies that they get from me each year.

    • dahlia369 profile image

      dahlia369 5 years ago

      Those Coco Crinkle Cookies look way too tempting to me - I might have to try your recipe. Very useful collection of Christmas treats & blessed! :)

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 5 years ago from Central Florida

      I've never been a big holiday cookie baker. I would like to make some sugared almonds and pecans like my mom used to make.

    • profile image

      MintySea 5 years ago

      my mom made peppermint patties but without the coating

    • savenlives profile image
      Author

      savenlives 5 years ago

      @julescorriere: Thanks, it is really good! I love making that recipe!

    • julescorriere profile image

      Jules Corriere 5 years ago from Jonesborough TN

      Thebutter almond crunch looks great!

    • savenlives profile image
      Author

      savenlives 5 years ago

      @the-good-stuff: Thanks for stopping by, they are very tasty...a definite must try :)

    • the-good-stuff profile image

      the-good-stuff 5 years ago

      Your treat recipes sound delicious! The cocoa crinkle cookies sound so easy too. Must try making them!

    • profile image

      poutine 5 years ago

      Peppermint Patties sound delicious.

    • savenlives profile image
      Author

      savenlives 5 years ago

      @Swisstoons: They have actually become my favorite cookie I think, easy to make....and DELICIOUS! If you make them let me know what you think!! Thanks for stopping by :)

    • Swisstoons profile image

      Thomas F. Wuthrich 5 years ago from Michigan

      Those Cocoa Crinkle Cookies have captured my imagination! They sound easy enough to make, too! :)

    • savenlives profile image
      Author

      savenlives 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Thanks so much for the feedback. I really appreciate it!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I can see that you are new. Thank you for visiting my lens. I want to tell you that you should add some subtitles to your modules with your keyword in them. You should fill in all the spots for titles and text, it's always best. Beautiful lens. Have a great day.