Thursday, November 18, 2010

Have lots of time & don't want to spend tons of money?

Have you been wracking your brain on what to give the neighbors this holiday season? Have lots of time but not lots of money? Fancy store-bought presents are great but if you want to make people feel really cared-for, nothing's better than a tasty homemade treat - carefully prepared and packaged in pretty wrapping.

Some of my favorite edible holiday gifts are:

Cookies in a jar are simply the best unexpected spin on gifting cookies without baking!! Layer a resealable jar with the pre-measured dry ingredients for sugar or chocolate chip cookies. You can find the jars at or you can usually find a set of mason jars at your local grocery store or Target. Trim it with the handwritten recipe, a bright ribbon and a fun cookie cutter or measuring spoon.

If you don't have a favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe, Neiman Marcus' Chocolate Chip Cookies are to die for!

Cupcakes in a jar are another fun spin on edible holiday gifts. You will have people drooling over these delicious treats and their adorable presentation! Bake the cupcakes (boxed mix is completley acceptable!) as usual then let cool. Depending on what size mason jar you are using, you can include one or two cupcakes per jar. Place frosting in between each cupcake and on the top to make a nice contrast of color. For Thanksgiving, a Pumpkin Spice Cupcake with Cream Cheese frosting would be delicious and for Christmas, red velvet with buttercream frosting would be decedent. Again trim with a holiday ribbon and a spoon for digging in!

Quick Breads don't have to be handmade from scratch to be delicious. There are a million pre-made boxed mixes that are just as mouth watering. Pumpkin or Zucchini breads will be a smashing hit during the holidays. Bake them in mini paper loaf pans, and wrap up with parchment paper or clear cellophane paper with festive holiday ribbon. If you want to splurge a little, wrap in a holiday kitchen hand towel and tie with ribbon.
Peppermint Bark is a mouth watering delicacy perfect for the holidays! If you don't have time to bake, head over to Costco and pick up their mammoth tub of Peppermint goodness. You'll be able to get a few gifts out of the one tub. Package in a striking candy-striped gift box with coordinating ribbon. I saw boxes like this in the Christmas section at Target just yesterday.

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