Sunday, December 19, 2010

Even More Home & Hand Made Holiday Gift Ideas for Everyone!

I just had to share these other great home & hand made gift ideas with my readers!

Thanks to Ahmelie (please correct me if I'm wrong) for postings these!

12 cups  popped corn
1 cup  mini pretzels
1 cup  salted cashews
1 large  brown paper grocery bag
1 stick  unsalted butter
1 cup  packed light-brown sugar
1/4 cup  light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon  salt
1/2 teaspoon  baking soda

1. Place the popped corn, pretzels and cashews in the paper bag. Shake to combine.

#2) Snap Cookies

3/4 cup  shortening
1 cup  packed brown sugar
1 tsp.  baking soda
2 tsp.  ground cardamom
1 tsp.  ground cinnamon
1/4 cup  mild-flavored molasses
1   egg
2-1/4 cups  all-purpose flour
1/4 cup  granulated sugar


2. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll balls in mixture of granulated sugar and remaining 1/2 teaspoon cardamom to coat. Place balls 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
3. Bake in 375 degree F oven about 10 minutes or until edges are set and tops are slightly cracked. Cool on wire rack. Package 6 cookies in a small glass tumbler; seal with waxed paper; tie with string. Makes about 48 cookies.

#3) Roasted Nuts

1. In a mixing bowl beat shortening with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add the brown sugar, baking soda, 1-1/2 teaspoons of the cardamom, and the cinnamon. Beat on medium to high speed until combined. Beat in molasses and egg. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in remaining flour.
1. Line a 13x9x2-inch or a 15x10x1-inch baking pan with foil; lightly coat with nonstick cooking spray. Set pan aside. In a small bowl, combine desired seasoning mix and 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.
2. 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.
3. Cocoa Sugared Mix: In a small bowl, combine 1/3 cup granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, 2 tablespoons water, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
4. Curry Spiced Mix: In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons water, 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar, 2 teaspoons curry powder, 1/2 teaspoon onion salt and 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper.
5. Barbecue Seasoned Mix: In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar, 2 tablespoons water, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon garlic salt, 2 teaspoons chili powder, 1 tablespoon ground cumin and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper.
6. Asian Five-Spiced Mix: In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons water, 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar, 1 teaspoon five-spice powder, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon coarse black pepper.

  Nonstick cooking spray
  Cocoa Sugared Mix, Curry Spiced Mix, Barbecue Seasoned Mix, or Asian Five-Spiced Mix (recipes follow)
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
#4) Pepperment Panache
18   chocolate sandwich cookies with white filling
1/4 cup  butter, melted
30   striped round peppermint candies
4 8-ounce packages  cream cheese, softened
1 16-ounce carton  dairy sour cream
1/2 cup  sugar
1 teaspoon  vanilla
1/2 teaspoon  peppermint extract or 3 drops peppermint oil
4   eggs, lightly beaten
  Chocolate curls and/or striped round peppermint candies, coarsely crushed


2. For crust: In a food processor, place chocolate sandwich cookies. Cover and process until cookies are crushed. With the machine running, quickly add melted butter through feed tube. Process with on/off pulses just until cookies are finely crushed, scraping down sides to evenly moisten crumbs. Press mixture onto the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of the foil-wrapped pans.

3. Place the peppermint candies in a clean food processor bowl. Cover and process until finely crushed. You should have about 3/4 cup. Set aside.

4. For filling: In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, sour cream, and sugar. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined. Add vanilla and peppermint extract; beat until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition just until combined. Stir in the 3/4 cup peppermint candies. Pour over crusts, spreading evenly.

5. Place the foil-wrapped springform pans in a 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Pour enough hot water into the baking pan to reach halfway up sides of the springform pans.

6. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes or until the outside edges appear set and the centers appear nearly set when gently shaken. Remove springform pans from water. Cool completely in pans on wire racks. Remove foil. Cover and chill overnight.

7. To serve, using a small sharp knife, loosen the edge of cheesecakes from sides of the pans. Remove sides of the pan. Garnish with chocolate curls and/or coarsely crushed striped round peppermint candies. Makes 16 servings.

For a 9-inch springform pan
Wrap a double layer of foil around the bottom and outside of a greased 9-inch springform pan to form a watertight seal. For crust, use 12 cookies and 1/4 cup melted butter.

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Wrap a double layer of foil around the bottom and outside of two lightly greased 6-inch springform pans to form a watertight seal; set aside.
#5)  Peanut Butter Toffee Bars
1-1/2 cups  quick-cooking oats
3/4 cup  all-purpose flour
2/3 cup  packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon  baking soda
1/3 cup  butter
1/3 cup  creamy peanut butter
16 ounces  dark chocolate, chopped
2/3 cup  creamy peanut butter
1 cup  toffee pieces


2. In a large saucepan, combine dark chocolate and 2/3 cup peanut butter. Heat over low heat until melted and smooth, stirring occasionally. Spread chocolate mixture evenly over warm crust. Sprinkle toffee pieces evenly over the chocolate mixture. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 2 hours or until chocolate sets. Using the edges of the foil, lift the uncut bars out of the pan. Cut into bars. Makes 24 bars.

To Store
Place bars in a single layer in an airtight container; cover. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
#6) Herbed Cheese Spread

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13x9x2-inch baking pan with foil, extending foil over the pan edges. Set aside. In a large bowl, stir together oats, flour, brown sugar, and baking soda; set aside. In a small saucepan, stir together the butter and 1/3 cup peanut butter. Heat over low heat until melted and smooth. Add the melted peanut butter mixture to the dry mixture. Stir until well combined. Press mixture evenly into bottom of prepared pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Place pan on a wire rack.
1/4 cup  packed fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup  packed fresh parsley leaves
1/4 cup  snipped fresh chives
1 tablespoon  fresh thyme leaves
1 small  clove garlic, peeled
8 ounces  cream cheese, softened


1. Combine basil, parsley, chives, thyme, garlic in processor. Whirl to chop. Add cheese. Whirl until smooth. 
2. Scrape into bowl. Cover; refrigerate at least 24 hours or up to 1 week. 
Mint Oreos
White Chocolate Almond Bark
Candy Canes, Crushed
Christmas Sprinkles, optional

Line cookies closely on wax paper--this is a great task for little hands.  Drizzle with almond bark and sprinkle with crushed candy cane.  Garnish with Christmas Sprinkles if desired.
2 bags (12 oz. size) chocolate chips
1 package (18 oz. size) chow mein noodles
1.5 cups coconut
Heat chocolate chips in double boiler or saucepan until soft. Add chow mein noodles and coconut. Form into balls and cool on waxed paper or just drop spoonfuls of mixture on waxed paper. Let cool until firm.  
1/2 cup  packed brown sugar
1/4 cup  unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup  butter, cut up
1/4 cup  buttermilk or 1/4 cup milk and 1 teaspoon lemon juice
5 oz.  bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup  whipping cream or heavy cream
1/2 cup  light-colored corn syrup
1 tsp.  vanilla


1. In a heavy medium saucepan, combine sugar, and cocoa powder. Stir in butter and buttermilk. Add bittersweet chocolate. Cook and stir over medium heat until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Stir in whipping cream and corn syrup. 
2. Cook and stir over medium heat for 4 to 6 minutes or until mixture just boils around edges. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Cool slightly. Serve warm over ice cream. (Cover and chill any leftovers for up to 3 days. Sauce may also be frozen in a freezer container up to 1 month. Thaw before serving. To reheat sauce in your microwave oven, allow 60 seconds on high power for each cup, stirring once.) Makes about 3 cups sauce.

Amaretto-Fudge Sauce

Prepare as above, except add 2 to 3 tablespoons amaretto, coffee liqueur, dark rum, creme de cacao, brandy or other desired liqueur with the vanilla. Makes about 3 cups sauce.

Espresso-Fudge Sauce

Prepare as above, except add 1 to 2 tablespoons espresso powder or instant coffee crystals with the vanilla. Makes about 3 cups sauce.

Peanut Butter-Fudge Sauce

Prepare as above, except stir in 1/2 cup creamy or chunky peanut butter and 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon with the vanilla. Makes about 3 cups sauce.
#10) Butterscotch Cookie Mix 
1   mason jar (1-quart)
  Dry Mix (for the gift):
3 cups  all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon  baking powder
1/2 teaspoon  baking soda
1/4 teaspoon  salt
2 tablespoons  unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup  packed dark-brown sugar
1/2 cup  packed light-brown sugar
1/2 cup  granulated sugar
1 cup  butterscotch chips


1. Dry Mix: In large bowl, blend flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In smaller bowl, stir together half of this flour mixture and the cocoa powder so cocoa is partially mixed in.
2. Layer dry mix ingredients in jar: Spoon flour-cocoa mixture into bottom of jar; press down very hard to compact (a small spice jar works well for compacting). Spoon plain flour mixture on top of flour-cocoa mixture; compact. Continue layering with dark-brown sugar, light-brown sugar and granulated sugar, compacting each layer. Top with butterscotch chips. Seal jar tightly. Store up to 2 weeks at cool room temperature.
3. To present as gift: Decorate lid of jar with felt or fabric. Tie with ribbons and bows. Attach recipe to jar with ribbon. Include appropriate kitchen utensils if desired, such as a small whisk and wooden cooking spoon.
4. 4. Prepare instructions for using mix: Type or handwrite following recipe on large gift tag, 4 x 3 inches.Cookie Mix in a Jar: In large bowl, combine 3/4 cup cooled, melted butter with 3 large eggs and 1 tablespoon vanilla extract. Stir in contents of jar just until mixed. Drop dough by rounded tablespoons, 2 inches apart, onto a greased baking sheet. Bake in 350 degrees F oven for 12 to 13 minutes or until firm. Cool on baking sheet on wire rack for 1 minute. Remove cookies to rack and let cool completely.
#11) Cran Crackle Bars
6 cups  tiny pretzel twists
2 tablespoons  packed brown sugar
1/2 cup  butter, melted
1-1/2 cups  dried cranberries
1-1/2 cups  lightly salted mixed nuts
1 cup  white baking pieces or semisweet chocolate pieces
1/2 cup  granulated sugar
1/3 cup  butter
1/3 cup  light-color corn syrup
1 teaspoon  vanilla
1/4 teaspoon  baking soda


There will be more to come from this blog author, so stay posted!
1. Preheat oven to 325F. Lightly grease a 13x9x2-inch baking pan; set pan aside.
2. Combine pretzels, brown sugar, and melted butter in a food processor container. Cover and process until mixture resembles fine crumbs, scraping sides of container occasionally. Press crumb mixture onto bottom of prepared baking pan. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Sprinkle cranberries, nuts, and baking pieces evenly over crust.
3. Combine granulated sugar, 1/3 cup butter, and corn syrup in a small saucepan. Bring to boiling over medium heat, stirring constantly (this will take about 10 minutes). Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla and baking soda. Pour syrup mixture evenly over cranberry-nut layer.
4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until syrup mixture is bubbly over entire surface. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Cut into bars. Makes 24 cookies.
5. To store: Place bars in a single layer in an airtight container; cover. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month. Thaw bars, if frozen, before serving.

2. Melt butter in a large microwave-safe bowl, 1 minute. Stir in brown sugar, corn syrup and salt. Microwave 2 minutes. Mixture will boil. Carefully stir and microwave for additional 2 minutes.
3. Stir baking soda into sugar mixture. It will foam up. Carefully pour over popcorn mixture. Fold top of bag over and shake to coat popcorn.
4. Place bag in microwave; cook -1/2 minutes. (Watch carefully, as higher wattage ovens may cook faster. Alternatively, transfer mixture to a greased sheet pan; bake at 250 degrees for 1 hour, stirring.) Remove bag and shake. Microwave an additional 1 minute. Pour onto large cookie sheets to cool.

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