Gifts from the Kitchen

From p. 16 of the November/December 2007 Issue
of Simple & Delicious

Holiday Truffles Recipe

Holiday Truffles Recipe

Homemade treats from your kitchen make great gifts. Take a look at these recipes for gift ideas, as well as learn some helpful tips for packaging your treats for the holidays. And don’t forget to check out the video featuring more gifts from the kitchen!

Holiday Truffles

Jennifer Lipp of Laurel, Nebraska likes to lavish the chocolate lovers on her list with these sumptuous truffles. They always bring rave reviews.

Molasses Cookie Mix

"For holiday gift-giving, I put a batch of this mix in an attractive basket along with the recipe and a festive tea towel," says Barbara Stewart of Portland, Connecticut.

Homemade Coffee Mix

Starting with a basic recipe, Toye Spence of Baker City, Oregon created a mix for several varieties of creamy coffee drinks. They’re great to offer at a get-together or to give as gifts.

Nutty Caramel Popcorn

“Folks who’ve tasted my popcorn are quick to remind me to make it again for them the following Christmas!” says Sharon Buchinski from Endeavour, Saskatchewan.

Pulled Molasses Taffy

French-Canadian children traditionally make this soft, chewy taffy on November 25, the feast day of St. Catherine. Often, Betty Woodman of Wolfe Island, Ontario and her husband recruit some of their children and grandchildren to get in on the fun of pulling the taffy.

Chocolate Mini Loaves

“The moist texture of these loaves resembles a pound cake,” says Elizabeth Downey from Evart, Michigan. Each bite is rich and succulent, making this perfect for dessert as well as snacking.

Calypso Cups

These are great cookies to prepare for parties throughout the year. Mrs. Frank Kaczmarek from Steubenville, Ohio simply tints the frosting for the occasion—red for Valentine’s Day, pastel colors for baby showers and green for Christmas.

Tips for packaging your treats

  • If you make several kinds of cookies during the holidays for a cookie tray at a party or to give as gifts, here’s a tip that is sure to simplify your baking. I spend a couple weekends before the holiday rush (sometimes as early as October) mixing up all the cookie dough. Then I freeze it in large freezer bags. When I’m ready to bake, I just put the dough in the refrigerator the night before to defrost. —Cindi P., Anchorage, Alaska
  • Mold popcorn balls around the straight ends of candy canes. Wrap with plastic wrap, tie with ribbon and hang on your Christmas tree by their crooks. They are great gifts for drop-in guests…and recipients have tasty “handles” to hold their popcorn balls. —Kathryn A., Oak Harbor, Washington
  • You don’t have to spend a fortune or valuable time at the mall in search of perfect Christmas gifts. Decorative tins, plates and candy dishes can often be found at bargain prices throughout the year at stores and rummage sales and at after-Christmas sales. Keep them on hand for last-minute gifts. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
  • Stack cookies in a wide mouth canning jar, cover the lid with fabric and screw on the band. You may also want to include the recipe for the cookies. Instead of discarding potato chip cans, coffee tins or shortening cans, wash them, decorate the outside with wrapping paper or Con-Tact paper and fill with cookies or candies. Attach a bow to the lid and close. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
  • Wrap cookies in plastic wrap, place a bow on top and tuck inside a pretty coffee mug or teacup. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen