I have a passion for cooking, and it's probably my grandmother I can thank for it. She was a marvelous cook who could really stretch a food dollar.
All the same, I've had my share of trial and error over the years. Shortly after we were married, my husband and I were invited to a family picnic. I made the prettiest potato salad you'd ever hope to seen. There was only one problem with that dish I was so proud of—I hadn't cooked the potatoes!
When I got married, a lady at my parents’ church gave me this version of a popular Michigan treat. I sometimes pipe a bit of frosting on each piece for decoration during the holidays. —Kristen Ekhoff, Akron, Indiana
The terrific combination of chocolate and orange makes these some of the best truffles I've ever had. As holiday gifts, they're showstoppers. I have little time to cook, but when I do, I like to "get fancy." In this case, "fancy" doesn't have to be difficult.
-Lori Kostecki, Wausau, Wisconsin
Delicate and crisp with a rich butter and almond flavor, these cookies are irresistible—and they look so lovely on a cookie tray! They're a tradition for us and definitely worth the extra effort they require. —Melva Baumer, Millmont, Pennsylvania
Brown sugar and spice and everything nice—like cinnamon, coconut, oats and chips—are layered together in pretty jars of yummy, ready-to-bake cookies. A quick and easy gift idea that's appreciated any time of year, it was shared by our Test Kitchen. Remember to include preparation instructions and a list of any additional ingredients needed with your gift tag.
A relative visiting from Oklahoma brought these and the recipe with her. Who can resist rich chewy caramel over crunchy pecans drizzled with sweet chocolate? These candies have become a holiday favorite to both make and eat!
-Linda Jonsson, Marion, Ohio
As a farm girl, I often made Christmas goodies with my mother for our family of eight candy-loving kids. Now, my own children and grandkids say the season wouldn't by the same without a tray filled with this chocolaty peanut brittle.