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Nov 12, 2006 10:47 PM

Homemade gifts for sweets haters?

I've been wondering what you guys are making for people who don't like sweets. I have all kinds of cookies and cakes lined up to be baked and then realized I had a bunch of friends who don't even like that stuff. Also, I am poor so I can't get them what they really want (expensive booze)


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  1. wow - if you're nice enough to spend your time and energy to lovingly make treats for your friends for the holidays, I say you should make the same thing for everyone! It's the thought that counts and they should be lucky to receive a handmade gift from you.

    - jumping off my soap box now... :)

    8 Replies
    1. re: bostonfoodie111

      oh they very nice and would appreciate anything but i realized i had so many sweet hater friends that if i'm going to make something, might as well be something they would actually eat. lol

      1. re: choctastic

        there are some good flavored vodka and recipes for liquers which can be relatively inexpensive. I saw a recipe for Amaretto and Peppermint Schapps? Or how about a nice and cheap bottle of wine and some homemade cheese straws? Easy and yummy. There are a lot of nice wines under $10/bottle. :)

      2. re: bostonfoodie111

        Then again--there are those of us who aren't sweet-haters--on the contrary, we LOVE sweet stuff--but being diabetic means we can't indulge freely. I am infinitely grateful for the friends who remember this and don't just leave me out of the holiday goodie-giving--or load me down with stuff I can't enjoy!

        1. re: MsMaryMc

          Of course. But she did not say DIABETIC friends. She specifically said SWEET HATERS. That's not exactly the same. I think it's great to have choices, etc. but I also believe we need to remember and appreciate the gesture of what the gift is.

          1. re: bostonfoodie111

            yeah i have diabetic friends who love sweets so i make sweet stuff with splenda.

        2. re: bostonfoodie111

          It is the thought that counts, but some of us get so overloaded with sweets during this time of year (or are trying not to gain weight, or whatever) that the reality is that many sweet gifts go straight into the garbage (or, they linger at work where no one eats them because they are all sick of cookies, too, then they go into the garbage). It's just like getting a bad pair of's nice that the giver thought of you but egad, you wouldn't ever wear them.

          1. re: christy319

            Let's face it - the holidays is gluttony for sweet and savory! ot only do a lot of sweets get tossed but other foods as well. It's sadly wasteful but tis the season I suppose.

          2. re: bostonfoodie111

            Of course, people should appreciate the effort that goes into a homemade gift or the time and money spent on a store bought one and it's possible to choose something with the best of intentions and still get it wrong, but actually giving someone something you know for sure they won't like? Seems to me that the thought there pretty much amounts to "I don't care." So kudos to the OP for wanting to give people gifts that demonstrate that their tastes and interests have been taken into account.

            In this situation, I've made flavored nuts (Frog Commissary Cookbook has some good recipes) and packed them up nicely. I've also done loaves of quick breads. Depending on just how sweet adverse they are, they might enjoy a pumpkin or zucchini or cranberry bread.

          3. breads - like a nice ciabatta or focaccia? savory scones?

            1 Reply
            1. re: marthadumptruck

              as a mostly sweet hater (i make exceptions for dark chocolate), marthadumptruck's suggestion sounds like things i would definitely devour! and the nut suggestions below sound like something that fits better w/ holiday themes.

            2. what goes well with booze? i dont drink so i have no idea bout these things

              1. What about a savory biscotti, perhaps with rosemary and pine nuts.

                1. I make herbed and/or spiced Nuts, mostly Pecans because that is what I like best. I package them in cello bags. They are easy to make and there are so many different recipes available.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: halimundy

                    Yes. fried almonds, the rosemary and chili spiced cashews from Barefoot Contessa are wonderful. Sweet and spicy buttered pecans etc. etc. there are lots of wonderful roasted or fried and spiced nut recipes out there.

                    I posted a recipe for deviled/potted country ham with bourbon about 1.5 weeks ago. I am planning on making up contianers of that as gifts this year along with my other nuts and cookies.

                    1. re: halimundy

                      1/3 c pine nuts (toasted-then chopped roughly)
                      2 c flour
                      1/2 c grated parmesan
                      1/4 c yellow cornmeal (I use polenta)
                      3 T grated pecorino romano
                      2 tsp fennel seeds
                      1 1/2 tsp salt
                      1 1/4 tsp baking powder
                      1 tsp sugar
                      1/2 tsp baking soda
                      3/4 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
                      1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
                      1/2 c buttermilk
                      2 eggs-beaten

                      Combine flour through cayenne, stir in chopped pine nuts.
                      Make a well in the center of the dry ingredient mixture.
                      Whisk together the buttermilk and the eggs and pour into the well. Stir with a fork until a crubly dough forms; knead until smooth but slightly sticky. Gather into a ball, cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rest for 10 minutes.
                      Quarter the dough and roll each quarter into a 1 inch diameter log.
                      Bake for 20 minutes at 375 degrees (the tops may split-this is okay), allow to cool for 10 minutes and then cut each log into desired slices. Return the sliced biscotti to the baking sheets cut side up for 40 minutes, then turn over and bake for 40 minutes more.

                      This was from a December 1999 Food and Wine issue. I've been making it every year since then and is a great little snack to have on hand during the holidays. Enjoy.