Thursday, December 18, 2014

My Top 5 Edible Holiday Gifts

I know sometimes during the holidays you may feel obligated to bring food and a gift to a party or a family member or friend's house. Why not combine the two? I've found some easy to make and inexpensive treats that will please anyone this holiday season. Check out my top 5 edible holiday gifts!

1. Bacon Peanut Caramel Popcorn

How To Make Bacon-Peanut Caramel Corn

What a delicious combination! Anyone would love to get their hands on some of this while watching their favorite Christmas movie. Here's how to make it:

Makes 16 cups, enough to fill 4 34-oz clip jars pictured above.

½ cup popping corn kernels (or use 16 cups pre-popped popcorn)
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 lb sliced bacon
1 ¼ cup pure maple syrup
2 cups roasted, unsalted peanuts
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon kosher salt
Large (at least 4 quart) sauce pot with lid (if using pre-popped corn, you won’t need this)
Large (at least 4 quart) heatproof mixing bowl
Large skillet
2 large baking sheets
Parchment paper or wax paper

1. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper, and preheat oven to 300°F.
2. To make popcorn: In a large sauce pot, heat 1 tablespoon canola oil over medium-low heat, then add popping corn kernels. Cover the pot, and shake to coat the kernels with oil. In about a minute, kernels will start to pop. Shake the pot, still over medium-low heat, occasionally. When the popping sound has slowed to less than 1 pop every 10 seconds, turn the heat off and uncover the pot. Pour popped corn out into the large, heatproof mixing bowl, discarding any unpopped kernels.
3. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook half the bacon until the fat has rendered out and the meat is crispy. Remove cooked bacon from skillet and allow to cool on a plate or cutting board, leaving the fat in the pan. Add the rest of the bacon to the skillet, and repeat. Set aside the cooked bacon, leaving the bacon fat in the skillet.
4. With the skillet still over medium heat, add the maple syrup, peanuts, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, and kosher salt, stirring to combine. Heat the mixture for about a minute, until it starts to bubble, then remove from heat and set aside.
5. Once the bacon is cool enough to handle, cut it into large strips (about 1 inch long and ¼ inch wide). Add bacon to the popcorn in the large mixing bowl, then pour the maple syrup mixture on top. Mix with a heatproof spoon or spatula, until all the popcorn is evenly coated with the maple syrup mixture.
6. Spread the popcorn out over the two baking sheets, and bake at 300 degrees for 20 minutes. Popcorn may feel slightly soggy but will crisp as it cools.

Let the popcorn cool completely on the baking sheets (if you put it in the airtight containers to early, it’ll be soggy). Once it’s cool, divide into gift jars and cover. Popcorn will keep for five to seven days in an airtight container at room temperature.

2. Shortbread Cookies

Shortbread cookies yum

I love how these are displayed in this cute window-box package. You can really show of your creativity with these! Here's how to make them:

Serves: 4 boxes of 24 cookies (6 of each glaze)
Total Time: 2 hr 45 min
Prep Time: 1 hr 45 min
Oven Temp: 325

4 stick(s) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cup(s) confectioners' sugar
4 teaspoon(s) vanilla
5 cup(s) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon(s) salt

Lemon Glaze
1 1/2 cup(s) confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoon(s) lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoon(s) corn syrup
1 tablespoon(s) lemon zest

Almond Glaze
1 1/2 cup(s) confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoon(s) milk
1 1/2 tablespoon(s) corn syrup
1/8 teaspoon(s) almond extract
1 tablespoon(s) finely chopped toasted almonds

Blackberry Glaze
1 cup(s) frozen blackberries, thawed
1 1/2 cup(s) confectioners' sugar
1 1/2 tablespoon(s) corn syrup

White Chocolate-Pistachio Glaze
8 ounce(s) white chocolate
4 teaspoon(s) vegetable shortening
4 teaspoon(s) pistachio paste
1/8 teaspoon(s) fine sea salt
1 tablespoon(s) finely chopped pistachios

1. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high, beat butter until smooth, about 8 minutes. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Reduce mixer to low, add flour and salt, and beat until combined.
2. Divide dough into 4 equal pieces and pat each into a square. Roll out each square between 2 sheets of lightly floured parchment to 1/4-inch thickness. Transfer to a baking pan, wrap tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate, about 2 hours.
3. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Remove and unwrap 1 dough square. Using a 1-inch square cutter, cut out 24 cookies. Transfer to 2 parchment-lined baking pans, spacing cookies about 1 inch apart. Bake until light golden and firm around the edges, 12 to 15 minutes, rotating pans halfway through. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough squares.

Lemon Glaze: In a small bowl, combine confectioners' sugar, lemon juice, and corn syrup. Dip cookies as directed, and sprinkle with lemon zest.
Almond Glaze: In a small bowl, combine confectioners' sugar, milk, corn syrup, and almond extract. Dip cookies as directed, and sprinkle with finely chopped toasted almonds.
Blackberry Glaze: Press thawed blackberries through a fine-mesh sieve to extract juices. In a small bowl, combine 3 tablespoons blackberry juice, confectioners' sugar, and corn syrup. Dip cookies as directed.
White Chocolate-Pistachio Glaze: In a medium heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water, melt white chocolate and vegetable shortening. Remove bowl from heat and stir in pistachio paste and fine sea salt. Allow mixture to rest for 1 minute. Dip cookies as directed, and sprinkle with finely chopped pistachios.

Dip cookies in glaze on the diagonal, then gently swipe bottom edge to remove excess. If specified, sprinkle with toppings. Set cookies on wire rack placed atop a sheet of waxed paper. Allow glaze to completely harden overnight.

To package, remove dividers from four boxes and line the bottom of each box with parchment. Replace dividers. Arrange 24 cookies (6 of each glaze) in each box, as shown.

3. Eggnog Mini Loaves

Recipe for eggnog mini loaves. Moist loaves filled with just enough eggnog flavor and studded with cinnamon chips. Perfect for gift giving.

Eggnog is a holiday favorite! Incorporating it into a loaf of bread takes this festive drink to another level. Here's how to make them:

Yield: 4 mini loaves

2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
½ teaspoon almond extract
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup eggnog
½ cup cinnamon chips
confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Using non-stick cooking spray or butter, grease 4 3x5 inch mini loaf pans and set aside.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar. Beat on medium speed until creamy, about 3 minutes. Add in the eggs, vanilla extract and almond extract and beat until combined. Next, add in the vegetable oil and eggnog and beat until combined. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add in the flour mixture and beat until just combined. 4. Remove the bowl from the mixer and gently fold in the cinnamon chips.
5. Divide the batter among the four prepared loaf pans. Use a spatula to spread evenly in each pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the loaves comes out clean. Cool for about 10 minutes, then remove the loaves from the pans and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving.

4. Roasted Cinnamon Almonds

This is my favorite smell around the holidays...can't wait to make my house smell this way...super easy!

What an absolute treat and so easy to make. I could eat these for hours! Here's how to make a batch:

1 egg white
1 tsp cold water
4 cups whole almonds
½ cup sugar
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp ground cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Lightly grease a 10×15-inch jellyroll pan.
2. Lightly beat the egg white. Add water and beat until frothy but not stiff. Add the nuts and stir until well coated.
3. Mix the sugar, salt and cinnamon and sprinkle over the nuts. Toss to coat; spread evenly on the prepared pan.
4. Bake 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes, until golden.
5. Allow to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

5. Macaroons

Printable Christmas Labels for Your Edible Gifts

These are not easy to make by any means! Marcarons are one of the most finicky and delicate desserts out there. I highly recommend heading to a French bakery for this one. However, you can add your own personal touches by creating a unique holiday label. You can turn the presentation into a customized present. You can even make the label match the macarons!

I hope this post has inspired you to devour the details of any edible holiday gift this season!

No comments:

Post a Comment