You will never experience anything quite like the scent of cookies baking in the oven. With the holidays just around the corner, why not make your house smell heavenly and create gifts for your friends and family at the same time? Whether you are a baker extraordinaire or a novice in the kitchen, edible gifts are easy to bake and even easier to eat.
Find some cute tins or boxes from a craft store (like Michael’s) and pack a variety of treats, separating each layer with wax paper. Or, wrap a sampling of treats in cellophane and tie the bundle with a festive bow. If you’re going to a cookie swap, wrap each cookie individually. These recipes are easy-to-follow and won’t take lots of time to make!
Candy Cane Cookies
(adapted from Pillsbury’s recipe)
Everyone loves Peanut Blossoms, the peanut butter cookies with Hershey’s Kisses stuck in the middle. Here’s a twist on the classic recipe, all dressed up for the holidays.
½ cup shortening
½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
48 Candy Cane Hershey’s kisses
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. Cream together shortening, brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Add egg, milk and vanilla. Beat well.
3. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry mixture to the wet ingredients, and mix until dough forms.
4. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.
5. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.
6. Top each cookie with a Candy Cane Kiss, pressing down to keep it in place. Let cool on wire rack. Be careful when removing the cookies from the cookie sheet. Sometimes the kiss will try to stick to the bottom!
Makes 4 dozen cookies
This recipe is so much fun to experiment with! Try rolling the dough balls in sprinkles before baking, or adding ½ teaspoon of peppermint extract to the dough. You can also sub in any kind of candy or jam on the top—play around with it and have fun!
This is an easy, delicious treat that will look amazing!
½-1 cup milk or dark chocolate chips
¼ cup white chocolate chips
1. Melt the milk or dark chocolate chips according to the instructions on the bag (I melted mine in a bowl in the microwave for 30-second increments at 50% power—careful, this stuff burns easily!)
2. Using chopsticks, dip the pretzels in the melted chocolate and rotate to coat both sides. Then remove them and place them wax paper.
3. Melt the white chocolate chips, then drizzle the white chocolate over the pretzels. Let sit to harden.
So easy! You can also reverse the milk and white chocolate for a little variation.
Just like the pretzels, you can use either dark or milk chocolate for the base, and white chocolate for the top. Or you can reverse them- do whatever you think looks best!
1 cup milk or dark chocolate chips
1 cup white chocolate chips
4 candy canes
1. Unwrap the candy canes and place them in a plastic bag. Crush them into small pieces using a rolling pin or a mallet (an ice cream scooper works well, too!).
2. Melt the milk or dark chocolate chips using the same method as the pretzels. Mix half of the crushed candy canes in with the melted chocolate.
3. Spread the melted chocolate mixture onto a sheet of wax paper.
4. Melt the white chocolate, and spread it over the dark chocolate mixture.
5. Sprinkle the remaining candy cane pieces over the top.
6. Let it harden, then break up into pieces and enjoy!
Pumpkin Apple Butter
(recipe from Camilla Saulsbury’s blog, Enlightened Cooking)
This pumpkin-apple butter is a perfect fall/winter treat. It’s great spread on toast, mixed into yogurt, or even as a topping on ice cream!
1 15 oz. can pumpkin
1 cup unsweetened apple juice
1 apple, peeled, cored, and grated (the original recipe suggests a tart apple, like granny smith, but I used a golden delicious and it turned out great!)
½ cup honey
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
1. Combine all ingredients in a medium, heavy saucepan.
2. Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce to low.
3. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 1.5 hours. Cool completely in pan, then transfer to an airtight container. The pumpkin-apple butter will last up to 2 months if refrigerated.
Makes 3 cups.
If you liked these recipes, be sure to also check out All Recipes’ Christmas page and Whole Foods’ Gift Giving Guide! You’ll find more great ideas and delicious recipes to try during the holidays. Be sure to make extra for yourself!