a peek inside the fishbowl

21 Nov, 2010

Edible Christmas gifts to make and to give

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Recipes and Food

I’ve been feeling Christmassy these past couple weeks. Perhaps I’m infected by 25 Days of Christmas? It’s funny how it makes the holiday season seem longer than it is (in a good way!). Stretching it out this way is good for me.

Today I’m thinking ahead about edible things we can make as gifts. Foodie-type items can make a wonderful gift for someone; moms, dads, the in-laws, the school bus driver, and other people who are hard to shop for. :) But here’s the dilemma: what can I make that people will actually eat … and enjoy?

I’m trying to plan out some non-perishable thank you and hostessy-type gifts; for teachers, friends, neighbours etc. I can bake cookies – that’s a given –  but if I’m honest with myself I know that it’s not something I really enjoy doing. Hmm. But I do like the idea of cooking up yummy little things to give away, so what can I make instead of cookies at Christmas?

This year I’m seriously considering making my own Almond Honey Nougat. It actually doesn’t look too hard. Check out this recipe.

Other things worth considering:

  • Chocolate-covered stirring spoons. Directions here. (I like their suggestion of using thrift-store spoons instead of plastic ones!)
  • Spicy-sweet candied nuts (here’s my DIY recipe – I swear to god everyone I give this to LOVES IT. I’ve been giving the nuts with little bowls to keep. Chinatown is a great source for pretty bowls in case you’re looking.)
  • Homemade Nuts and Bolts (the edible kind) – a past post about it is here. The recipe I linked to in that posts makes a HUGE quantity of Nuts & Bolts (we call them Bits n’ Bites). It makes enough for you and all of your neighbours, but it freezes well, so no worries there.
  • Chocolate bark – I think this is one of the easiest things to make around the holidays, and it’s guaranteed to be a winner. And look at all the variations – almond bark, pretzel bark, candy cane bark, white bark, dark bark, crispy bark, peanut butter bark. Oy! Pick your fave and make a giant batch. The bulk store is a great place to pick up the ingredients for candy barks.
  • These chocolate-hazelnut truffles don’t exactly fit into the non-perishable category, but they sound amazing. They’d make a great treat to bring along to a dinner party or holiday potluck. Yum.
  • Oooo – here’s a good one – Candy-Cane Marshmallows from Ms. Martha.

But tell me, what are your favourite edible gifts to receive?


9 Responses to "Edible Christmas gifts to make and to give"

1 | Melissa

November 21st, 2010 at 3:58 pm

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My annual gift to my FIL for the past 8 or 9 years has been a few dozen biscotti in varying flavors. He loves it and, dipped in dark chocolate, it’s a decadent treat. ;)

I like to blend teas with the specific recipient in mind — one year my BFF had just returned from a trip to Morocco, so I did her up a pretty glass jar of Moroccan style tea!

2 | elsewise

November 21st, 2010 at 4:22 pm

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I like making my own hot chocolate mix – any sort of blend of cocoa, sugar, and milk powder, plus some special flavourings to doctor it a bit (spicy cayenne, or cinnamon-clove, or candy cane bits, or marshmallows… lots of options!). Easy to make in large or small batches, wraps beautifully in a mason jar, and is totally appropriate for all ages and occasions.

3 | Valerie

November 22nd, 2010 at 11:21 am

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I am definitely going to try your spicy nuts and the Nuts & Bolts. Did a double-take on the marshmallow recipe, though, thinking at first that it was a sauce to dip ‘smallows in rather than the ‘smallows themselves! :)

4 | Jen_nifer

November 22nd, 2010 at 9:43 pm

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I never thought of MAKING chocolate bark before! I think I might need to try the candy cane bark.

5 | Ginger

November 22nd, 2010 at 11:03 pm

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I just made your candied nuts tonight. SO EASY! I have a feeling I am going to be making a ton of these! I used cashews, pecans, and almonds because those are the favorites around the family. AMAZING! Thanks for sharing!

6 | bushidoka

November 23rd, 2010 at 9:32 am

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One we did once was make a bunch of herbed and spiced oils and vinegars. They look really nice, keep forever and are useful too. Basically just put some herbs and spices in a wine bottle – we used the smaller 375ml ones from a local u-brew wine shop. You also use the whisky-cork style corks from the wine shop.

Basically just put a bunch of fresh herbs and spices into each bottle – whatever you think will work and look nice. Then heat up the oil or vinegar to about 90C and use a funnel to pour it in and fill the bottle. Then cork it.

We then melted crayons and parrafin wax and dipped the mouth of the bottles numerous times to get a nice wax covering on it – more for show than for any useful purpose. And finally, while the wax is still warm, tie a piece of raffi around it.

That was about 12 or 13 years ago, and just last year one of the recipients finally opened theirs and it was really good still. That’s the toughest part – convincing them to open and use it :-)

7 | More Christmas preparations « 4 Days Home & 3 Days Off…well kinda

November 25th, 2010 at 12:46 pm

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[…] Later we baked a batch of homemade marshmallows.  I got the idea from A Peek Inside the Fishbowl […]

8 | Amy

November 26th, 2010 at 1:05 am

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I started making these Cookie Dough Truffles (http://www.pauladeen.com/index.php/recipes/view2/cookie_dough_truffles/) a couple years ago. So good. I usually put in skor bits and mini m&m’s, and then dip them in melted easter bunny. I’ve also used melted butterscotch or peanut butter chips in a pinch. The dipping is somewhat labour intensive, I think this year I might just drizzle them with melted chocolate instead.

9 | Pure Cleanse MX

March 6th, 2016 at 4:50 pm

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Hi, all is going sound here and ofcourse every one is
sharing facts, that’s truly fine, keep up writing.

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our two daughters Emma (17) and Sarah (15). I am the managing editor of our community newspaper, the Kitchissippi Times. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger, and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999... which makes me either a total dinosaur or a veteran, I'm not sure which! The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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