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Dec 5, 2011 02:20 PM

Christmas Tins - What Shall I Put in Them?

I am planning on making edible Christmas presents this year. My list of people is pretty long & my budget is pretty short. I was thinking of doing a variety of sweet & savory, smooth & crunchy for each tin. That way I think I will have all taste categories covered. Will you help me fill the tins with some goodie recipes that you make? Yes, I know there are tons of recipes out there, but so many of them are flops & I just don't have time or money to waste on finding the real deal. I will treasure every one of your tried & trues. Oh yes, please specificy if the recipe can me made ahead of time. Getting a jump on this project will certainly help.

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  1. Union Square Cafe's nuts are both sweet and savory, with a little spicy too. And the roasted rosemary needles are to die for. I wouldn't freeze them, but they can be made ahead of time. I can't imagine anyone wouldn't be happy to nibble on them with cocktails Christmas Eve.

    4 Replies
    1. re: katecm

      katecm, are those recipes listed in a cookbook or on the net, sorry I do not know about "Union Square"?

        1. re: cstout

          I just did a search: union square cafe nuts recipe
          found several. Here's one link:

          1. re: wyogal

            My my, wyogal, those cafe nuts are going into my tin.

      1. I usually put in a rolled out white cookie, or fudge. I follow a recipe in an old church cookbook for the cookie (adding almond flavoring, maybe some cardamom), and the fudge is just sweetened condensed milk with chocolate chips, melted. Another good and easy thing is chocolate dipped pretzels with some holiday sprinkles. I also love ritz crackers, spread with peanut butter, sandwich together, dipped in melted chocolate. One of those decadent things one finds at pot luck holiday parties.
        As for salty/savory, some kind of cocktail nut would be good. I haven't made those, so can't be much help there. I'd probably do a search: spicy cocktail nuts recipe.

        1 Reply
        1. re: wyogal

          Just love your ideas wyogal, easy, tasty & variety, you can hardly go wrong! Thanks.

        2. Just remember that if you put crisp cookies in the same tin as anything softer - fudge, chewy cookies, etc. - the crispness will vanish. Pack them either in separate containers or wrap them airtight before adding them to your tin.

          1 Reply
          1. re: greygarious

            greygarious, you are so right on, I would have never thought of that. Just goes to show you how many tins I have assembled before. Bless you for preventing a "flop" in my treasure chest of goodies.

          2. 3 years ago I posted about a lost recipe that I later located and included: This is for a fruitcake that uses fruit sauce, jam, and dried fruit (your choice - can be a combo or you could go, say, all cherry or all apricot). I have yet to make it again so I can't be of help as regards changes in baking time or temp when making it as mini-loaves for gifts but you could use as a guideline any other large, dense fruitcake in big bundt pan recipe with mini-loaf option. It would also be good made as mini-muffins or muffin tops. I think regular sized muffins would be a little too large since this is a rich, heavy cake.

            I would also suggest making up small cellophane bags of really premium dried fruit like the Blenheim apricots from BTW they have a discount shipping deal this week.

            2 Replies
            1. re: greygarious

              greygarious, that is one of my next posts...trying to find a really good fruitcake recipe that I could make into mini loaves for gifts or perhaps just some really yummy gooy rich squares of fruity goodies wrapped up in plastic wrap to put in my gift tins. I have yet to find that special recipe. So many people cringe at the thought of a fruitcake that you won't get them to touch a bite, but I do know that a wonderful recipe exists out there that has all the spicyness of Christmas with a great mixture of dried fruits & lumpy nuts. I will go to your old post & perhaps someone can contribute another one or two recipes to get us interested in "fruitcake" again.

              1. re: cstout

                I always give fruitcake, but I make it early and let it sit in the fridge, well "likkered up" for weeks before I give it out.
                Another idea if you want to do mini cakes that are ready to go earlier, make a poundcake with ground almonds or hazelnuts, brush with amaretto when cool. I will sometimes brush it with a glaze made from melted apple jelly (NOT mint) with the booze added and stirred in right before glazing the cakes.

            2. This year, I'm thinking about candy for my edible gifts--maybe salted caramels, toffee or cashew brittle, and probably chocolate truffles--however, cookies are probably a more economical choice. I highly recommend biscotti, which keep and transport well. A couple of my favorites are cranberry pistachio biscotti from The Gourmet Cookbook (yellow book) and Cornmeal-almond biscotti in Richard Sax's Classic Home Desserts (he credits Judy Rodgers of Zuni Cafe with the recipe). Biscotti are also easy to make in large quantities.

              1 Reply
              1. re: lisaonthecape

                lisaonthecape, those salted caramels sound wonderful,,,,maybe I shall go with just a candy tin instead of a mixture of other things. There is plenty of room for sweet/savory & crunchy & smooth in the candy department. Oh dear, here I on a candy tangent.