Been extra sentimental for family that has passed away. In that vain, I have made my grandmom's lemon cookies, my mom's checkerboard cookies and my mother in law's chex mix. My homemade gifts to myself. For others I make homemade chocs, spice nuts, a granola and tac. Did have fun this year making chocolate houses and gave those out with a bag of candies and frosting for kids to decorate. Too much fun to make and hopes all the kids have fun with them..
Did something new this year - herb/spice blend in a new peppermill, recipes tied to it, basket filled with some of the ingrediants to play with the recipes (olive oil, pita bread, popcorn, parm cheese).
Also made almond toffee this year, my first time - delish and addictive! And a very different spiced nuts mix (where instant coffee was highlighted) - very good.
I've made salsa in the past that went over well.
I received one of those jars with all the ingrediants for almond/cranberry biscotti and loved that.
Here's a foolproof (if my track record is any indication) caramel recipe. I use 1 teaspoon--sometimes a bit more--of Fleur de Sel or Kosher salt to get that addictive quality. I also typically add pecans.
This recipe also makes great caramel fondue. I leave the finished batch in large blocks, then heat and thin with cream.
Well, I would say my favorite to 'receive' is Gingerbread or Ginger cookies in any form. oh yes, or craft beer :)
Makes 3 pints
FRESH GINGER JELLY
1/4 pound fresh, juicy ginger root (about 1 cup sliced) Try to find the thinnest-skinned roots which means they're young.
1 cup water
6 T strained, fresh lemon juice
3-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 pouch (2 ounces) liquid pectin
1. Scrub the ginger. No need to peel. Trim any dry spots or ends. Rough chop.
2. Combine the chopped ginger and 1 cup water in small food processor or blender and with on-off bursts mash the ginger. Do not totally puree it, but give it a good smash.
3. Pour the mixture into a very fine sieve or sieve with several layers of dampened cheesecloth and press and/or squeeze as much liquid as possible out of the pulp. Let the liquid stand for at least 1 hour to settle.
4. Carefully pour the ginger liquid off the starchy sediment into a 2-cup liquid measuring cup. You should have 1-1/4 cups. If not, add enough water to equal that amount. Discard the sediment.
5. Combine the ginger liquid and lemon juice in a non-reactive pan. Heat to simmering over medium-high heat. Add the sugar. Stir until dissolved. When the mixture reaches a boil that can't be stirred down, stir in the pectin. When the mixture returns to a full boil, start counting. Boil for exactly 1 minute. Remove from heat.
6. Skim off any foam and pour into hot, serilized 8-ounce jelly jars. Leave 1/2 inch head space. Clean jar lip and seal with new 2-part lids according to manufacturer's directions.
I've never hot water processed these, just waited for the seal to "ping" me, but I suppose that would be wise.
This is great on any buttered toasted bread, scone, or muffin. Warm to melt, then brush on to glaze a fruit tart. Make "grown-up" PB&J's. Top crackers spread with cream cheese for an appy.
This jelly is a surprisingly lovely pale pink color -- looks pretty in a gift basket.