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Grown-up goodie bags: what would you make?

For a forthcoming party, I was thinking of sending guests home with a little bag of treats to nibble on on the way home, I was thinking of making some chocolate chip cookies, homemade oreos, maybe Mexican wedding cookies. I'm looking for some inspired suggestions. Doesn't have to be cookies, for instance, I could make like a homemade hot cocoa kit or something...just trying to think of something fun and make-ahead that won't be too ambitious. Grateful for any suggestions.

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  1. My suggestion: Bark, super easy to make a couple varieties at once and makes for a pretty package. (although peppermint bark should be packaged separately or everything else it's packaged with takes on the mint flavour)

    Otherwise, DH got a small mason jar of Hot Toddy mix as an office christmas present and we've thoroughly enjoyed it :)

    1 Reply
    1. re: maplesugar

      I agree on the bark, easy and can be made ahead and has numerous combinations...this year I added a white chocolate lemon crunch that was really good...and I have some leftover chocolate so goodie bags are a really good idea for a superbowl party I'm having - thanks!

    2. I immediately thought of chocolate-chip cookies, too. I love the recipes that use ground oatmeal. My biscotti always go over big. In coffeeshops, biscotti are usually ridiculously priced and nothing special, so getting a few good ones to take home would be a real treat for many people.

      The homemade cocoa kit doesn't work for me. Most people can't be bothered beyond Swiss Miss. Fusspots like me will prefer my own ingredients. (I hate to think of your efforts going to waste.)

        1. re: Jennalynn

          This was my first thought as well. Over the holidays, I gave away some nuts made with the Union Square Cafe recipe (fresh rosemary, brown sugar, salt, cayenne - let me know if you need exact recipe) and I can't believe how much people raved about them.

          1. re: cookiegirl

            Agree, thanks for the suggestion--I like the idea of something savory for variety. Would be interested in your recipe, too, cookiegirl.

            1. re: Mandymac

              The Union Square Cafe's Bar Nuts

              2 1/4 cups (18-ounces) assorted unsalted nuts, including peeled peanuts, cashews, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans and whole unpeeled almonds
              2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
              1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
              2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
              2 teaspoons Maldon or other sea salt
              1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

              1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
              2. Toss the nuts in a large bowl to combine and spread them out on a baking sheet. Toast in the oven until light golden brown, about 10 minutes.
              3. In a large bowl, combine the rosemary, cayenne, sugar, salt and melted butter.
              4. Thoroughly toss the toasted nuts in the spiced butter and serve warm.

              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                Thanks goodhealthgourmet! You beat me to posting the recipe.

        2. My first thought was the almond bark recipe made with saltine crackers as the base - caremel-y, sweet, salty, chocolate, nuts.

          I've got the recipe if you want it.

          1. CH has a great recipe for prosciutto palmiers. I made these for a cocktail party once and they were a hit. It's easy to make in large quantities and are quite pretty.


            1. I don't have a big sweet tooth, so I would lean more towards a spicy party mix, cayenne pretzels or some type of seasoned nuts.

              4 Replies
              1. re: danhole

                ooooh, this made me think of the homemade water crackers with rosemary I've mentioned several times throughout the years on here - so easy and addictive and impressive. Also, I have a great recipe for equally addictive cheddar and cayenne crackers.

                1. re: krissywats

                  Could you post these recipes? My CH search didn't find them. Thanks!

                  1. re: h2o

                    Here's the link for the rosemary crackers:


                    I'll have to search for the other and post it later. I don't seem to have it on my computer. Enjoy!

                    1. re: krissywats

                      The cheddar ones sound good to me too.

              2. i'm all about the savory so i'd try to fill the bag with homemade parmesan crackers, lavash, or pita chips and a jar of olive tapenade or pesto...

                1. Someone on a CH posting this summer mentioned goldfish crackers mixed with wasabi peanuts. Super easy, would look festive in clear cellophane bags with some curly ribbon, tastes great too!

                  1. If you want something really memorable, make the spiced nut mixture with sugared bacon bits that was in the New York Times recently. The nut mixture is supereasy to make and the bacon (which gets kind of lacquered and crunchy) takes it right over the top. It would be great in little celophane bags.

                    I brought this to a holiday party and people went wild for it. Absolutely wild.

                    The only thing is you would have to be able to make the bacon not too far ahead. But it is easy enough to do. (You just put good bacon with brown sugar on a rack like a cooling rack) then bake it.

                    Here's the link: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage...

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: karykat

                      Wow wow, that sounds awesome, thanks!

                      1. re: karykat

                        I made this for a xmas party and it disappeared so quickly! It was fabulous. Next time I'm making it just for me!

                        I also would suggest pistachio biscotti.

                      2. all of the thoughts i immediately had upon seeing the post were already suggested...ch minds certainly think alike!

                        if you want to appeal to a variety of palates, i'd suggest miniature cello bags of several different munchies, so perhaps you can just choose your favorite bark, spiced nut and snack mix recipes, and choose 3...one sweet, one savory/salty, and one spicy.

                        the ny times recipe for "spiced nuts with sugared bacon" that karykat mentioned is fantastic.

                        one other thought...homemade truffles.

                        1. Chocolate dipped dried fruits like apricots, mission figs, candied orange peel.

                          1. All of these seems appropriate and would appeal to both the sweet tooth and the savory fans and they're decidely adult :)

                            - Biscotti
                            - Madelines, earl grey flavored!
                            - Macarons
                            - The suggested spiced nuts and bacon mix (throw in sun chips - they're fantastic)
                            - Pita chips with tapenade are fantastic (got them for Christmas and loved them)
                            - Rosemary shortbread (sweet and a bit savory!)
                            - The suggested peppermint bark
                            - A piece of rum cake (wrapped in cellophane)
                            - Baklava (purchase, it's simply easier)

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Beignets

                              I say go for a "throw back" and make Chex Mix! I got some over the holidays and the bag was gone before I could stop myself...a vintage snack for all ages.

                              1. re: bubbles4me

                                My daughter makes a combo of Chex mix with an oriental party mix that is so tasty! I don't know how she does it but it is very good.

                            2. I like the bark idea. My sister's friend makes a bunch of different kinds, but one of the best ones has pieces of pretzels mixed in. Sweet and salty all in one bite!

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: valerie

                                Bark with pretzels? Sounds delicious and easier than dipping all those pretzel rods in chocolate like I usually do. I'm thinking semi sweet chocolate with skor pieces and pretzel bits YUM (goodbye new year's resolution lol)

                              2. Many of the ideas sound great! I will just add one more option:

                                A mix of savory scones (e.g. bacon and chives) and sweet scones (any fruity scones). Biscuits will do too. I thought scones will be good as snack or for breakfast the next day.

                                1. Homemade marshmallows! I am amazed how easy they are to make and how utterly delicious. A bit of a mess, but super simple, and they keep for several weeks.

                                  Package with fancy (or not) hot cocoa mix or with s'mores fixings (I assemble s'mores and then warm in a 250* oven for 5 minutes).

                                  Here is Alton Brown's recipe. I double the vanilla.


                                  1. Just to follow up, I made three things for my goodie bags: the bacon nuts from the NY Times suggested here. Shortbread (Mark Bittman's from How to Cook Everything), and Salted Fudge Brownies from Food + Wine:


                                    The brownies were amazing, with a touch of Maldon sea salt! Very fudgy, this is now going to be my go-to recipe. I think the shortbread got the most raves.

                                    Thanks again everyone for your suggestions!

                                    1. I've never done this but you could make home made fortune cookies with fortunes related to the event or peron. It would be a surprise when they open them. Kind of like putting a note in someone's lunch bag.