Author Topic: Christmas Food Gifts  (Read 6284 times)

Offline Melomom

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Christmas Food Gifts
« on: December 15, 2009, 01:07:50 PM »
Not sure if this topic has another thread on this forum, but thought I would start it.  I have been baking for Christmas as far back as I can remember.  While I was growing up, my mother did not have time to do a lot of baking during the rest of the year, but during the holidays she pulled out the stops.  She always gave away the nicest plates of cookies and treats and now I enjoy doing the same thing. 

I have a few things I almost always make, and I try some new recipes each year just for fun.  I always make the rolled butter cookies from Joy of Cooking cause I can use my fun Christmas shape cutters and sugar sprinkles.  I've never tried the fancy Martha Stewart-esque icing decorations but I might this year.  I love anything with pecans, like the mini pecan tassies or "mothballs," pecan butter cookies rolled in powdered sugar that are simple but addictive.  I have made different kinds of biscotti, and I have a really good and easy English toffee recipe cut from Bon Appetit years ago.  Linzer cookies are good, and last year I bought some of the free-standing large paper muffin cups and made mini poundcakes that went over well.  This year I am going to try fleur de sel caramels, this recipe is one I saved from the Times from a number of months back.

I am also paying more attention, but not more money, to presentation.  In the current spirit of re-use, recycling and thrift, I have haunted the aisles of Goodwill and the like and have assembled a collection of brass and silverplate trays and plates, most at $1-$2 each (cheaper than paper boxes from the craft store).  Clean and polish them really well and package with a beautiful ribbon and I think they will look great.

So what do other folks like to make and give?

Offline Otto

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Re: Christmas Food Gifts
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2009, 01:28:43 PM »
I love baking cookies the most, but I can't bake cookies without eating lots of dough and the finished products.  With diabetes in my family it's clear I should slow down my sugar pig-outs, which I've done all my life.  So the plan is to stick to items impossible to sample while baking: pumpkin and apple pies, tarts, and the like.  I need to do the baking this week so we'll see how this goes. 


Melo, I like your idea about sending the food off in nice containers.  I'll have to check out my local Salvation Army.

Offline Mike GadgetGeek Stock

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Re: Christmas Food Gifts
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2009, 01:54:50 PM »
Not sure if this topic has another thread on this forum, but thought I would start it.  I have been baking for Christmas as far back as I can remember.  While I was growing up, my mother did not have time to do a lot of baking during the rest of the year, but during the holidays she pulled out the stops.  She always gave away the nicest plates of cookies and treats and now I enjoy doing the same thing.  

I have a few things I almost always make, and I try some new recipes each year just for fun.  I always make the rolled butter cookies from Joy of Cooking cause I can use my fun Christmas shape cutters and sugar sprinkles.  I've never tried the fancy Martha Stewart-esque icing decorations but I might this year.  I love anything with pecans, like the mini pecan tassies or "mothballs," pecan butter cookies rolled in powdered sugar that are simple but addictive.  I have made different kinds of biscotti, and I have a really good and easy English toffee recipe cut from Bon Appetit years ago.  Linzer cookies are good, and last year I bought some of the free-standing large paper muffin cups and made mini poundcakes that went over well.  This year I am going to try fleur de sel caramels, this recipe is one I saved from the Times from a number of months back.

I am also paying more attention, but not more money, to presentation.  In the current spirit of re-use, recycling and thrift, I have haunted the aisles of Goodwill and the like and have assembled a collection of brass and silverplate trays and plates, most at $1-$2 each (cheaper than paper boxes from the craft store).  Clean and polish them really well and package with a beautiful ribbon and I think they will look great.

So what do other folks like to make and give?  

Last year we gave away some of Mickle's Pickles, some on our gift list called and asked for more.. LOL

We also on the last couple years made a HUGE group of those midnight rum balls and gave them as little token gifts to neighbors and the like. I should dig that recipe out again, they are way good and easy.

I did go by Tuesday Morning the other day looking for something in particular and spied a bunch of kitchen related things that were on the discount table.  I am trying to spend less so I didn't buy any, but I might go back?

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Offline uOTPia Dweller

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Re: Christmas Food Gifts
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2009, 02:10:27 PM »
« Last Edit: December 15, 2009, 02:12:36 PM by uOTPia Dweller »
Gospel of uOTPian dining http://scoopotp.com/author/joe-duffy/

Offline Daki

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Re: Christmas Food Gifts
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2009, 03:10:28 PM »

Offline MoT

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Re: Christmas Food Gifts
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2009, 03:11:24 PM »
My Mother also did English Toffee Squares as her gifts to her friends.

Have been invited by another family to join them at the Ritz this year. Weird going to a hotel for Christmas dining, but I have no complaints. I didn't even think of the Santa being there. He should be finished by then and back to the North Pole. I'm very confused.

I was thinking about making these little mini cake loaves I've had a recipe for, that has praline icing on them. We shall see.

It seems we get a lot of nuts (the eating kind) for holiday gifts. Glad to hear nowadays they are good for you because I sure do get sick of eating them.

Offline Melomom

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Re: Christmas Food Gifts
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2009, 06:17:47 PM »
my paternal grandfather used to bake tons of cookies, kolaches, and caramels as gifts.

Daki, do you have the caramel recipe?  I have never been much of a candy maker, but I'd like to try it this year. 

Otto, yes, definitely check out Salvation Army, Goodwill, etc.  Lots and lots of baskets, cut glass dishes, platters, what have you - the recipient can use it or pass it on. 

Offline Melomom

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Re: Christmas Food Gifts
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2009, 06:14:37 AM »

Offline Otto

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Re: Christmas Food Gifts
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2009, 09:52:10 AM »
Speaking of cookies:

Cruel, cruel I say!!!

Questions about chocolate: 
1/ I need semisweet chocolate chips.  What brands should I consider?  
2/ Can I use chocolate that's been in a zip-lock back for two years?
« Last Edit: December 16, 2009, 10:50:25 AM by Otto »

Offline Melomom

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Re: Christmas Food Gifts
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2009, 12:46:20 PM »
I like Ghiradelli chips, you can find them at Publix and, I think, at YDFM.  Re the bagged chocolate, if it smells and tastes good I think you are OK.  It doesn't usually last that long at my house.   ;)

Another article, about many-layered chocolate cake.  I had a slice of this cake at a funeral luncheon a little while back and never did get the recipe (it was not from the dear departed, smarty pantses):

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/16/dining/16Bake.html?em

Offline LizR

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Re: Christmas Food Gifts
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2009, 01:34:29 PM »
DH whipped up several batches of a Bailey's knock-off that is very yummy and easy. Should make good, if not really inexpensive, gifts.

Offline Mike GadgetGeek Stock

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Re: Christmas Food Gifts
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2009, 01:42:45 PM »
I like Ghiradelli chips, you can find them at Publix and, I think, at YDFM.  Re the bagged chocolate, if it smells and tastes good I think you are OK.  It doesn't usually last that long at my house.   ;)

Another article, about many-layered chocolate cake.  I had a slice of this cake at a funeral luncheon a little while back and never did get the recipe (it was not from the dear departed, smarty pantses):

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/16/dining/16Bake.html?em 

Again Quoting from Cooks Illustrated that does real tastings every couple years the Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Chips were the best.. You are right again Melomom.  For $.10 less an ounce the Hershey's Special Dark Mildly Sweet Chocolate Chips were #2...

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Finding offense where none is intended is a form of selfishness.

When facts change, I change my mind.  What do you do?

It's a poor craftsman that blames his tools.

Offline Jmolinari

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Re: Christmas Food Gifts
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2009, 02:16:11 PM »
I like the nestle semi sweet CHUNKS. They must be different chocolate than the chips, b/c they taste much better and higher quality.

Offline foodnearsnellville

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Re: Christmas Food Gifts
« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2009, 03:27:14 PM »
I have, at times, sent relatives tupelo honey from Georgia. I have a sweet spot for orange honey, though, which is best purchased from Florida.

This url has sources of Georgia honey:

http://www.honeylocator.com/location_results.asp?Location_ID=11

Jellies, jams, and marmalades I've sent. Cookbooks are pretty common gifts from me. I'd be giving Thomas Keller's new cookbook, but Amazon ran out of copies.

Offline Daki

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Re: Christmas Food Gifts
« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2009, 06:20:57 AM »

Daki, do you have the caramel recipe?  I have never been much of a candy maker, but I'd like to try it this year. 


Unfortunately I don't :(.  The last time I made them, I believe I used a recipe from my BHG cookbook (1980's red checkered edition).

 

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