Holiday treats to make two weeks in advance?
I know there have already been several threads about holiday food gifts, but many of the recipes seem like they will only last a few days. Is there anything I can make (cookies, candy, nuts) this weekend that will still be just as good two weeks later for Christmas? Some ideas I had were: bourbon balls, shortbread, marshmallows, and toffee. Do these last? Any other ideas? Thanks in advance!
You'll need the molds, but Springerle (german anise xmas cookies) are great when 2 weeks old and hardened. Great for dunking in coffee/tea.
Bourbon balls definitely last up to a month.
Also, Pfeffernusse. Adapted from Dede Wilson's Baker's Field Guide to Christmas Cookies.
2.75 cups all purpose flour
1/3 c. blanched almonds
1/4 c. diced candied lemon peel
1/4 c. diced candied orange peel
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
3 large eggs
1 c. firmly packed light brown sugar.
Pulse flour and almonds in food processor until nuts are finely ground. Add candied peels and pulse until finely ground. Add baking powder, salt and spices.
Combine eggs and brown sugar in another bowl and beat until creamy. Add about a cup of the flour mixture, and stir by hand until combined. Add remaning flour mixture and stir until combined. Scrape dough into a large plastic bag, flatten into a disk, and refrigerate overnight.
Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Take some dough and roll it into a 1" diameter snake on a lightly floured surface. Cut each snake into two inch lengths so that the cookies have flattened ends. Leave out at room temperature overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake until light brown around the edges, about 15 minutes. Slide parchment onto racks. Top with powdered sugar while still warm, or glaze with a glaze made from powdered sugar, vanilla and warm water.
Ripen cookies at least 1 week by storing in an airtight container along with a slice of apple.
These also last about a month.
Maybe this goes without saying, but if you are keeping these at home, most cookies freeze very well. If I make several dozen I almost always pop some in the freezer after they've cooled - even if I eat them a week later, they taste better frozen fresh than a week old (not talking about varieties that are meant to sit for a while like those mentionned below).
I've made jars of Prunes in Beaujolais as gifts. The jars have to be refrigerated, but they're good for a few months. I put a personalized label on each jar, listing the ingredients and a "Keep Refrigerated" notice, as well as serving suggestions. Makes a nice gift.
Place 2 pounds (1 box) of prunes(with pits) in a deep bowl and pour a bottle of beaujolais over. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temp overnight.
Next day, put the prunes and wine into a saucepan. Add 2 cups of sugar, the peel of 1 lemon, and a teaspoon of vanilla. Gradually bring the heat up, while stirring, to melt the sugar. Bring it to a boil, then let it simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the syrup has thickened a bit.
Refrigerate the prunes in the liquid. Serve alone or over vanilla ice cream.