Gift Season 2017

Discussion in 'Off Topic Chat' started by ChesterV, Nov 12, 2017.

  1. ChesterV

    ChesterV Well-Known Member

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    It's gift season again...........whether it's Thanksgiving, Birthdays, Christmas, Hanukkah, New Years, or any other, do you give lots of food gifts? Do you like to GET food gifts?

    Food gifts have become a significant trend in the past decade, and many home crafters have come out with some pretty awesome ways to package a multitude of foodie gifts over the years.

    What do you usually make for food gifts?
    Anything of your own creation?
    (post the recipe!)


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    ChesterV, Nov 12, 2017
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  2. ChesterV

    ChesterV Well-Known Member

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    I have a bread machine, and I love to use it. (yeah, I know....cheating, but I don't have the needed counter space)

    I usually give out specialty breads to my friends for this time of year. I like to experiment, and they always claim to like eating what I make. I think, so far over the past few years, I've made cheese/herb bread, walnut/cranberry bread, Pecan bread (a fav), 5 Herb bread, Sesame bread, and my own concoction Beef Jerky bread.

    I think this year I'm going to make bacon/cheese bread and another herb bread. My friend seems to like the herb breads and pecan bread, and her hubby is a meat eater, so I thought I'd do something besides jerky bread.

    My friends Birthday is the day before Thanksgiving, so I think this year, I'm going to make her my favorite cookie I created a long time ago. I really don't have a name for it, but I call it "The Everything Cookie". I also don't have a recipe...like my "Sin" cake, I never really wrote it down, simply because it's my own personal creation and I don't want it falling into "the wrong hands", LOL!!!

    The Everything Cookie is a triple chocolate fudge brownie cookie with pecans, walnuts, choco chips, peanut butter chips, and butterscotch chips in it. There's a couple of "special ingredients" for taste boosting I put in it, but thats about it. These are expensive to make, and I rarely have ever made them, but my friend is having a difficult time with her ailing father right now, and they have already had to deal with his family members passing this year, so it's a difficult time for both of them. I think something expensive and drool worthy is needed.

    As a side note............

    My friend loves rabbits, so I got her this cookie jar as a gift, and will put the cookies in a gift tin so she has something to fill her cookie jar with.

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    ChesterV, Nov 12, 2017
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  3. ChesterV

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    The cookie jar is absolutely adorable! That’s so sweet of you to think about your friends in their time of grief. I gotta say, beef jerky bread would be my favorite. I love beef jerky. I won’t go on a road trip without a big bag of beef jerky riding shotgun.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Nov 13, 2017
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  4. ChesterV

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    I have a full list of Thanksgiving and Christmas food gifts to bake. But things got unexpectedly hectic with the need to help a brother having surgery; caring for my niece, needing to help my SIL when my brother goes on a business trip. And some friends want to do a Friendsgiving the day after Thanksgiving, so I’m not sure how much time will be left for baking.. I have such a large family, six siblings, so we give food gifts and trinkets. Buying gifts for everyone would send us all to debtor’s prison.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Nov 13, 2017
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  5. ChesterV

    floursugareggsandbutter Active Member

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    Every summer I battle the thorns and the heat in order to harvest dewberries.
    They grow wild ...s'pose they could be cultivated but I tried with zero success a couple of decades ago.
    I use some for cobblers the rest are frozen or made into jam.
    The jars of jam are set aside for Christmas gifts.
    If the pickins are slim the jars are small and I make up the difference with home baked bread.

    The grandkids and nieces and nephews are legion and of course they want to gift everyone they know .
    I prebake stars and trees and santa shaped shortbread cookies and set aside a day for them to invade my kitchen and decorate.
    Best day of the year IMO.
     
    floursugareggsandbutter, Nov 13, 2017
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  6. ChesterV

    Jean S. Well-Known Member

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    For a long time I made chocolate covered pretzels with a special chocolate that is only in the stores this time of year in OR. This was before the big companies started making it, it was an OR "thing to do" at the holidays. Long hours dipping each pretzel by hand.

    Then I made a 7 layer cookie. Easy to do.

    This year I am changing things up. Lemon cookies and Spice cookies (both mixes, sorry you true bakers) with a lemon zest glaze. And my Dad's party mix that he made for about 15 years. Much better than any store bought kind. I've made it over and over to get the taste just right like Dad's. I think I have it now. And I hope to make my German grandmothers Brown Bread in a tin can too. I made it last year and still can't understand how it turns brown with white flour, must be the dates and raisins. It is a childhood memory as I remember the tin can rings on the bread. Lovely toasted with gobs of butter. I also hope to make raspberry sauce this year. I found a Raspberry farm here and bought 5 lbs. of frozen fresh raspberries.

    Here is a picture of my Dad with his holiday party mix. As you can see he made A LOT OF IT. And we all got this (3 kids) in large popcorn tins, with other containers of it as well. I think it is the only thing Dad ever did in the kitchen.

    Dadspartymix.jpg
     
    Jean S., Nov 13, 2017
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  7. ChesterV

    Angie CupcakeQueen Well-Known Member

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    Every year for Christmas I bake up lots of cookies, candies, and so on and pack them all up in gift bags and everyone gets one.
    This year things are going to be different though. Because of financial and physical issues, we will be having a cookies swap. Several family members are all signed up to bake certain items.

    I’m making Peanut butter no bake cookies, buckeyes, molasses cookies, sugar cookies, shortbread cookies, hot chocolate cookies, and Oreo Truffles.

    My mom and I will also be making lots of Chex mix. That’s always a hit at parties and one of my moms favorites.
     
    Angie CupcakeQueen, Nov 13, 2017
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  8. ChesterV

    Apocalypso Well-Known Member

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    I've made baked goods for coworkers some years. One year I made three different types of biscotti (since they hold up well for a bit of time), chocolate covered pretzel sticks that were decorated with red and green sugar. The past two years I made some pasta gifts, both dried homemade pasta, and a few frozen ones last year for two people.

    It depends on the people, and whether they are traveling over the holidays, etc. I was just looking for little ideas, and saw some cute examples of "coffee spoons" - spoons that could be plastic or metal, the bowl of the spoon filled with a chocolate ganache, a thick caramel, etc., dipped in melted chocolate, decorated, flavors added, etc. I might make a bunch of those and give them with a little specialty coffee or hot chocolate mix.

    I was originally trying to see if there were any way to make a 'complete' hot chocolate mix, with powdered milk etc, and encase enough for an individual portion inside a thin chocolate covered 'pod' so that the chocolate melts, and you stir everything together, kind of like a bath-bomb but for your mug. Not sure this is practical... I think they'd be too fragile.

    I too love that cookie jar and the thought behind it!
     
    Apocalypso, Nov 14, 2017
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  9. ChesterV

    ChesterV Well-Known Member

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    That hot chocolate pod is an AWESOME idea!!!! You could make a million bucks off of that one!!!!

    Hmm, I'd say you would need to compress the dry ingredients together into a ball form, then dip it in melted chocolate. I would think the bigger problem would be, what type of chocolate to use, as the shell would need to be sturdy, but not have too much wax or hardeners in it.

    Something to definitely think on.



    Have you seen the ones that are adhered to a spoon?
    I think the spoon is dipped in thin chocolate, the rolled in milk powder, then dried. Then dipped in a think chocolate again, then rolled in more milk powder, then dipped in thin chocolate again, and rolled in chocolate granules.

    Although there are hundreds of variations.....

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    Last edited: Nov 16, 2017
    ChesterV, Nov 16, 2017
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  10. ChesterV

    Apocalypso Well-Known Member

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    Oh, the things I shoulda-woulda-coulda made a million bucks with. :)

    I think you do see the shortcomings. Actually, if this were to be only to be mixed with hot milk (cow's, almond, soy, etc.) it wouldn't have to be that much bigger than these chocolate spoon thingies. But if it were the type to be added to hot water, i.e. containing powdered milk, that bulks it up a bit. And, yes, you'd want to have good-tasting chocolate that melts smoothly, but at the same time that makes this thing a bit more delicate.

    I suppose I ought not to call them pods, as everyone thinks of the Keurig or Nespresso pods. I guess they'd be more like "hot chocolate bombs." And, once I Googled that, I see that someone has already thought of it, making ganache chocolate truffles, though of course they are not shelf-stable and have to be refrigerated or frozen. Still a fun idea! https://www.bakepedia.com/hot-chocolate-truffle-bombs-recipe/
     
    Apocalypso, Nov 16, 2017
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  11. ChesterV

    ChesterV Well-Known Member

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    Ah, truffle bombs.............haven't seen those in years.

    I was thinking, you could mix your dry ingredients into the chocolate, roll it into a ball, and then coat the ball with a thin harder chocolate, or flavored chocolate like raspberry or mint..........drop it in hot water or hot milk and it melts.

    My granny was good at making candy type things...me...not so much.
     
    ChesterV, Nov 17, 2017
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  12. ChesterV

    Apocalypso Well-Known Member

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    That's kind of what I was thinking too, except that I'm not sure I could get the chocolate right. It would have to be melt-resistant enough to hold its shape, but melt easily in the hot milk.
     
    Apocalypso, Nov 17, 2017
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  13. ChesterV

    ChesterV Well-Known Member

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    I've had some of those fancy chocolates shaped in balls before, they have a thin hard choco shell which seems to resist melting in your hand, but melts in your mouth.

    From what I got from eating one, is that the outer shell is a dark chocolate, with very little hardener in it. They are molded by plastic or rubber molds to get the hard smooth shine on them.

    Thats the closest thing I've ever had to anything like that.
     
    ChesterV, Nov 17, 2017
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  14. ChesterV

    Apocalypso Well-Known Member

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    Maybe I'll look into chocolate info, or a class, at some point. Probably not in time for this holiday season, but I think those little powdered truffles are cute, and maybe I could try coating some frozen ones with simple melted chocolate.
     
    Apocalypso, Nov 18, 2017
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  15. ChesterV

    Jean S. Well-Known Member

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    Jean S., Nov 28, 2017
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  16. ChesterV

    Jean S. Well-Known Member

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    How much Party Mix do you and your mom make? My dad's records show he started in 1985 and his last batch was 1998. He kept records of every year, and was always adding in new things to "mix". He'd shop year round for deals on nuts at every flea market they went to. He went all out. Yes Party mix (not the store bought kind) is a wonderful snack. I love it too much! But now I can make a small batch for myself any time of the year.

    My Dad would get angry/upset when he saw the way I ate it, I picked out the parts I like best, and he would tell me "You aren't suppose to eat it that way, you just take a handful and eat that". I always ate the cashews and Rice Chex first, seemed to aggravate him, silly eh.........
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2017
    Jean S., Nov 28, 2017
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  17. ChesterV

    Angie CupcakeQueen Well-Known Member

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    We usually make a batch that amounts to about 12 cups.
    And I’m the same way. I always pick out the parts I like. I was never a fan of those rye chips or the wheat Chex cereal.
     
    Angie CupcakeQueen, Nov 29, 2017
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  18. ChesterV

    Jean S. Well-Known Member

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    Jean S., Nov 29, 2017
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  19. ChesterV

    Jean S. Well-Known Member

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    I never liked the Wheat chex either. I think my Dad added those bagel bite type things, they were too hard. I leave out the Wheat Chex, but use goldfish and pretzels, and of course extra cashews!
     
    Jean S., Nov 29, 2017
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  20. ChesterV

    Angie CupcakeQueen Well-Known Member

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    That sounds good. This year we are doing mixed nuts with extra peanuts as well. We will have to add extra cashews as well as they are my favorite.
    One of the things I like most about party mix is that it is so versatile.
     
    Angie CupcakeQueen, Nov 29, 2017
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