Celebrating 12 Days of Gift Giving

December 02, 2016

Celebrating 12 Days of Gift Giving

DAY 1

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Sugared Pecan Snowballs

Treat your family and friends with edible gifts made with love this holiday season.
These delectable Snowballs will be the talk of the party and the best part is how easy they are to make.

Ingredients
2 cups of pecans
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar (powdered sugar)
Extra confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Method

  • Preheat your oven to 350 F / 180 C. Spread 2 cups of pecans on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in the oven, tossing occasionally, until fragrant, 6 to 8 minutes. Let cool. Process the toasted pecans in a food processor until they are finely ground.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the ground pecans, all-purpose flour and salt. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine unsalted butter and confectioners’ sugar. Using a hand-held mixer, beat the mixture on medium-high speed until it is light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in almond extract.
  • Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add in the flour mixture, mixing until just incorporated.
  • Shape the dough into balls (about 1 tablespoon each) and place them 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.
  • Bake in the preheated oven until just lightly brown, 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool slightly on the baking sheets, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Place extra confectioners’ sugar in a small bowl. Roll the cookies in the sugar to coat.
  • Assemble the Powder Blue treat bags and write your personal holiday message onto the label using an Artline pen. Place the Sugared Snowballs into the bags and seal closed. Your delicious home made sweets are now ready for gifting. Happy Holidays!
  • Makes 36 balls. Double the mixture to gift 6 balls per treat bag.

Recipe adapted from: Real Simple Magazine

DAY 2

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Cinnamon Candied Pecans

This is one of our absolute favorite recipes for the holiday season. Your kitchen will begin to smell of cinnamon, a reminder of the festive season ahead. Just remember to make a batch for your family too, as they are guaranteed not to make it past the front door!

Ingredients
1 lb (450g) pecan halves
1 large egg white
1 tbsp water
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt

Method

  • Preheat oven to 250 F / 120 C degrees.
  • In a large mixing bowl, vigorously whisk egg white with water and vanilla until very frothy
  • In a separate small mixing bowl, whisk together sugar, cinnamon and salt.
  • Add pecans to egg white mixture and toss until evenly coated.
  • Pour half of the sugar mixture over pecans and toss several times then add remaining sugar mixture and toss until evenly coated.
  • Pour coated pecans over a parchment paper lined baking sheet and spread into an even layer. Bake in preheated oven 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Allow to cool.
  • Assemble Black Tie Treat Bags and prepare personalised labels. Scoop candied pecans into treat bags and seal closed with the labels. Your heavenly sweets are now ready for gifting. Happy Holidays!
  • Recipe adapted from: allrecipes.com

DAY 3

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Festive Butter Cookies 

Cookies are always a good idea whether it’s the holiday season or not. These super delicious butter cookies are a joy to create. Get the kids involved in making their own shapes and gifting them to friends and teachers.

Ingredients
285g butter
1 egg yolk
100g icing sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
315g plain flour
115g cornstarch
2 tablespoons full cream milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method

  •  Preheat oven to 180 C. Reduce the oven temperature to 160 C if using fan-forced heat.
  •  Line two baking sheets with baking paper.
  •  Cream butter, sugar, egg yolk, salt and vanilla extract until fluffy. Add in milk and mix well. Fold in flour and cornstarch. Mix until dough becomes soft and does not stick on hands.
  •  Roll the dough to 1/4 inch thick. Cut into whatever shapes you wish using cookie cutters. Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheets and place in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes. This will firm up the dough so the cookies will maintain their shape when baked.
  • Bake for 15 minutes, or until cookies are lightly brown. Cool on rack. Using piped icing to decorate your cookies. Allow icing to dry before packaging.
  • Assemble the Candy Cane Red Treat Bags and personalize the labels. Place 6 cookies per treat bag and seal closed. Your delectable home made treats are now ready for gifting. Happy Holidays!
  • Recipe adapted from: rasamalaysia.com

DAY 4

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Exotic Chocolate Bark  

Bold flavors like rosewater, pistachio, coconut, and coffee create Exotic Chocolate Bark which is certain to surprise and delight anyone you gift these to this holiday season!

Ingredients
12 ounces / 350gms bittersweet or dark chocolate, roughly chopped
6 ounces / 180gms white chocolate
Parchment / Baking paper

Rose Pistachio Chocolate Bark
1 teaspoon Rosewater
1/2 cup chopped pistachios (or any other nut variety)
1/2 cup edible dried rose petals (avail from good food stores)

Coconute Coffee Chocolate Bark 
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
¼ cup strong freshly brewed espresso coffee
1/2 cup dried persimmons (or any other dried fruit)
½ cup shredded coconut

Method

  •  Prepare two rimmed baking trays by lining with parchment / baking paper.
  •  In a heatproof bowl over simmering water, melt the dark chocolate, stirring every so often. After completely melted and smooth, remove from heat and half the chocolate into two bowls.
  •  Stir through rosewater into first bowl and pour chocolate into baking tray. Use the back of a spatula to spread in an even layer, about 1/4-inch to 1/8-inch thick. Sprinkle with chopped nuts and rose petals.
  •  In the second bowl, stir through espresso coffee and cardamom and pour chocolate into baking tray. Use the back of a spatula to spread in an even layer, about 1/4-inch to 1/8-inch thick. Sprinkle with dried persimmons and coconut.
  • Set trays aside. In a heatproof bowl over simmering water, melt the white chocolate, stirring every so often. After completely melted and smooth, remove from heat and set aside for a few minutes. Using a spoon, drizzle white chocolate over both trays to form lines and patterns.
  • Transfer chocolate trays to refrigerator to solidify; at least 2 hours, or preferably overnight. Using a sharp knife, break up bark into various shaped pieces.
  • Assemble the Gold Crush Treat Bags and personalize the labels. Placed bark pieces into each treat bag and seal closed. Your delicious home-made chocolate bark is now ready for gifting.
  • Happy Holidays!

DAY 5

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Superlicious Chocolate Bark

It’s now the kids turn to have their own version of delish chocolate bark!
You can run your imagination wild and add an array of ingredients to
make your very own custom chocolate packs.

Ingredients
12 ounces / 350gms milk chocolate, roughly chopped
1 cup salted or honey popcorn (store bought)
3-4 Candy Cane sticks crushed
Parchment / Baking paper

Method

  • Prepare two rimmed baking trays by lining with parchment / baking paper.
  • In a heatproof bowl over simmering water, melt the chocolate, stirring every so often.
  • After completely melted and smooth, remove from heat; set aside for a few minutes.
  • Pour half the chocolate in each tray and use the back of a spatula to spread in an even layer, about 1/4-inch to 1/8-inch thick.
  • Sprinkle one tray crushed candy cane sticks and the other with popcorn.
  • Transfer to refrigerator to solidify; at least 2 hours, or preferably overnight. Using a sharp knife, break up bark into various shaped pieces.
  • Assemble the Silver Sundae Treat Bags and personalize the labels. Placed bark pieces into each treat bag and seal closed. Your delicious home-made chocolate bark is now ready for gifting. Happy Holidays!

DAY 6

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Meringue Delights

If you can beat an egg, you can make meringues. A simple but oh so sweet recipe that is enjoyed by both the young and older.

Ingredients
3 large egg whites
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
Pinch salt (optional)
Crushed Candy Cane

Method

    • Preheat your oven to 215 F/100 C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
    • Begin whisking the egg whites with the whisk attachment on medium low. Be sure that the mixing bowl and whisk are free from grease and that the egg whites do not have any bits of egg yolks in them.
    • Add in the cream of tartar, vanilla, and salt, if using.
    • After the whites begin to foam, bump up the mixer to medium speed and gradually start adding in the sugar.
    • Watch for the “soft plop” stage. The foam and air bubbles will start to tighten and the whites will become opaque. The “soft plop” stage describes eggs whites that hold onto the whisk but do not form peaks.
    • Add the remaining sugar as the whites turn into “soft peaks.” Continue adding in the sugar until the whites begin to form soft peaks. Here, the whites will begin to hold their shape, but will eventually slump over and melt back into the bowl.
    • After the whites begin to hold their shape, bump up the mixer to medium-high until they hold firm peaks.
    • Watch for the “firm peaks” stage. Firm peaks are achieved when whites hold their shape. If you pull the whisk straight out of the bowl, a peak will form. At this stage, the tip of the peak will fold back over onto itself.
    • Watch for the “stiff peaks” stage. The stiff peaks stage is what we are trying to achieve. At this point, the peaks should stand up nice and straight. The whites will be glossy and smooth. If you rub a bit between your fingertips, it should feel silky (meaning the sugar has completely dissolved.)
    • Fold in any other ingredients, if using. Gently fold in chopped candy canes, nuts, chocolate, etc. with a large rubber spatula.
    • Use an ice cream scoop with release handle to create mini igloo shaped servings. Alternatively use a spoon or piping bag to create any shape you desire. Sprinkle smashed candy cane on top before inserting into the oven.
    • Bake for 60 to 90 minutes. Depending on the size of your meringue, bake for about 60 minutes, or until the outside is crisp and the inside is dry yet chewy. They should feel light and hollow. When done, the meringue should easily peel off the parchment paper. Turn the oven off, crack the door open, and let the meringue cool completely in the oven.

Recipe Notes Storage: Baked meringue may be stored in a covered container at room temperature for a few days. Do not refrigerate.

Recipe adapted from www.thekitchn.com

DAY 7

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Shortbread Mitten Cookies

A delicious batch of shortbread cookies is as easy as four ingredients. There’s no reason not to make a treat bag full for every family member and friends.

Ingredients
1 cup (226g) salted butter, cold and diced into 1 Tbsp pieces*
2/3 cup (142g) granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 1/4 cups (318g) all-purpose flour

Method

    • Butter a 13 by 9-inch baking dish and line with 2 sheets of parchment paper (one horizontally and one vertically. It’s good to butter between parchment sheets so they stick) leaving a 1-inch over hang on all sides, set aside.
    • In the bowl of an electric stand mixer cream together butter and sugar until well combined. Mix in almond extract. With mixer set on low speed slowly add in flour and mix until combined (it will take a while and will appear dry and sandy at first but it will start to come together).
    • Press dough into an even layer in prepared pan smooth it out. Chill dough in refrigerator 20 – 30 minutes. Meanwhile preheat oven to 350 F/180 C degrees. Remember to reduce the temperature to 300 F/160 C if using fan-forced heat.
    • Lift dough from pan using parchment overhang on all sides. Cut shapes with cookie cutter and transfer to an unbuttered baking sheet (also do not line pan with parchment or silicone liners). Bake in preheated oven 8 – 12 minutes (keep remaining dough refrigerated). Repeat process with remaining dough, adding them to a cool baking sheet. Cool completely before spreading the top with strawberry jam and sprinkling with white sprinkles.
    • Assemble the White Treat Bags and personalize the labels. Place cookies into each treat bag and seal closed. Your delicious home-made mittens are now ready for gifting. Happy Holidays!

recipe adapted from: cookingclassy.com

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DAY 8

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Coco for Two

Nothing makes you feel more comfy and cozy than a warm cup of hot chocolate on a frosty winter day. These easy to make cups of coco are sure to delight your recipients!

Ingredients
(Makes one gift pack)
2 mini jars
4 tablespoons good quality chocolate powder
2 tablespoons mini marshmallows
2 candy cane sticks
1 mini whisk

Method

    • Place 2 tablespoons of chocolate powder into each jar. Top with 2 tablespoons mini marshmallows and seal jars tight.
    • Assemble Limoncello Treat Bag and Place both jars in the bag.
    • Adorn with 2 candy cane sticks and a mini whisk and tie ribbon to close the package
    • Include simple instructions for the receivers to, “add contents of one jar to a cup of hot milk and whisk.
    • Personalize the labels and place on the bag. Your creative coco for two set is now ready for gifting! Happy Holiday!

DAY 9

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Fruit Cake Pudding

We often think of fruit cake as being overly rich and packed with boring, dried ingredients. This recipe will change the way you feel about fruit cake and you’ll be baking it for years to come – guaranteed!

Ingredients
½ cup dried apricots, chopped
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup dried cherries
½ cup golden raisins
1 cup bourbon
½ cup pistachios, chopped
½ cup hazelnuts, chopped
½ cup pecans, chopped
½ cup sliced almonds
12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons orange zest
Pinch of cinnamon
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Raw sugar, for garnish

Method

    • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease 4 mini round pans with nonstick spray.
    • PREPARE THE FRUIT: In a medium-size heat-safe bowl, toss the apricots with the cranberries, cherries and raisins. In a small pot, bring the bourbon to a simmer. Pour it over the fruit and let sit for 10 minutes.
    • Drain the fruit, reserving the bourbon. Transfer the fruit to another medium bowl and toss with the pistachios, hazelnuts, pecans and almonds. Set aside.
    • MAKE THE BATTER: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping the side of the bowl well after each addition.
    • Beat in the vanilla extract, orange zest and cinnamon. Add the flour and baking powder; mix just until combined.
    • BAKE THE CAKE: Add the fruit-and-nut mixture to the batter and mix to combine. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and smooth the surface. Garnish with a sprinkle of raw sugar, almonds and pecans, then bake until golden and cooked through, 1 to 1½ hours.
    • While the cake is baking, bring the reserved bourbon to a simmer and reduce to about ¼ cup. Pour the reduced bourbon over the warm cake as soon as it comes out of the oven. Let the cake cool completely.
    • Assemble the Marshmallow Pink Treat Bags and personalize the labels. Wrap each cake with parchment paper and place a single cake into each treat bag and seal closed. Your delicious home-made fruit cake is now ready for gifting. Happy Holidays!
    • *The uncut cake will keep for up to one week sealed in the treat bag.

Recipe adapted from purewow.com

 

DAY 10

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Caramel Kisses

These melt in your mouth caramel kisses are fun and easy to make. Wrap them up like candy and enjoy gifting them this holiday season.

Ingredients
1 cup plain (all-purpose) flour, sifted
½ cup desiccated coconut
4½oz unsalted butter, melted
½ cup brown sugar

Caramel filling
4½oz unsalted butter, chopped
2 x cans (7oz ea) sweetened condensed milk
⅓ cup golden syrup

Chocolate topping
7oz dark chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Method

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Place the flour, coconut, butter and sugar in a bowl and mix to combine.
  • Using the back of a spoon, press the mixture into the base of a lightly greased 8 x 12in tin lined with non-stick baking paper and bake for 15–20 minutes or until golden.
  • While the base is cooking, make the caramel filling. Place the butter, condensed milk and golden syrup, in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk until the butter is melted and cook, whisking frequently, for 5–7 minutes or until the mixture has thickened slightly. Remember whilst stirring the caramel, scrape the sides and bottom of the pan so the mixture doesn’t stick.
  • Pour the caramel over the cooked base, spread evenly with a palette knife and return to the oven to cook for 15–20 minutes or until golden. Cool slightly and refrigerate until cold.
  • To make the chocolate topping, place the chocolate and oil in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, and stir until melted and smooth. Pour the chocolate over the caramel mixture and spread evenly. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, or until firm. Using a warm knife, cut into small slices or squares. Using parchment paper, wrap each slice individually to resemble a piece of candy.
  • Assemble the Apple Green Treat Bags and personalize the labels. Place a few caramel wraps into each treat bag and seal closed. Your delicious home-made kisses are now ready for gifting. Happy Holidays!

Recipe adapted from donnahay.com.au

DAY 11

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Christmas Fruit Pies

Making heavenly christmas pies doesn’t need to take up an entire day. With this delectable, no fuss recipe, you’ll be gifting tasty pies in no time at all.

Ingredients
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 stick butter, cut into cubes
2 tablespoons sugar
Pinch of salt
Grated zest (1 tablespoon) and juice of 1 orange (1/3 cup)
1 jar gourmet fruit mince
Icing sugar for dusting

Method

  • In a bowl, sift the flour and salt together.
  • Add the butter and rub into the flour until it looks like breadcrumbs.
  • Add the sugar, grated zest and orange juice and mix together until the dough comes together. Knead the dough into a ball and cover with cling wrap.
  • Place the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  • When you’re ready to roll the dough, set the oven to 350C degrees and spray a muffin tin with oil. The muffin/cupcake tin should be a shallow tin. The deep ones will work but probably not as well.
  • Roll out the dough to about 2mm in thickness and with a round cookie cutter, cut the bases out of the dough and place them in the tin, gently pressing the bases down.
  • Place a tablespoon of fruit mince in each casing.
  • Now cut out the dough to cover the tops of the pies – the dough can be a little thinner for this. We used a round shape pinched around the edges with a few leafs on top but you can use a star shape as well.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the pastry has browned nicely.
  • Cool in the muffin pan before removing. Dust with icing sugar, ready for packaging.
  • Assemble the Navy Treat Bags and personalize the labels. Place pies into each treat bag and seal closed. Your delicious home-made Christmas Pies are now ready for gifting. Happy Holidays!

Recipe adapted from Just Easy Recipes

 

DAY 12

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Reindeer Brownies

 We’ve kept the best till last. The fudgiest, deepest, darkest, most intense chocolate brownies EVER! From scratch, pantry staples, just one bowl, no mixer needed. Add some holiday cheer by turning them into reindeers!

Ingredients
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Red Candy Balls for the nose
Pretzels to make the ears
Powdered sugar for dusting (optional)

Method

      • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F, and mist an 8 by 8-inch or 9 by 13-inch pan with non-stick spray.  Line with parchment/baking paper.
      • Stir the butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt together, over simmering water, until melted and hot. Take off the heat and add the vanilla. Beat in the cold eggs, one at a time. Throw in the flour, and bake the whole glorious mess in a parchment-lined baking dish.
      • Bake for 45-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs.  Before cooling completely, mark your rectangle shapes with a knife in the pan. Place the red candy balls in place of a nose. Put the pan in the fridge overnight to cool completely and use a knife again to cut them. This really helps them hold their shape and cut cleanly.
      • Using the pretzel pieces, cut in half and shape to make reindeer ears. Poke into the top sides of each brownie rectangle. Dust with powdered sugar if desired.
      • Assemble the Mint To Be treat bags and place brownies inside. Write a personalized message for each label and seal bag closed. Your delicious Brownie Reindeers are now ready for gifting. Happy Holidays!

Recipe adapted from www.bakingamoment.com




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