Giving and receiving homemade gifts is probably the best way for a person to show gratitude, love, and the best sentiments in a very unique way. Today, when one can easily find information, tutorials, and instructions about various homemade gifts, homemade food gifts are possibly the best choice. Affordable and time-effective, food gifts are not just gifts; they show care and effort, have a personal note, and they are much more than a small gesture. There are many great homemade food gifts that can bring joy to anyone. And if you pay closer attention to packages, you can make them original and very personal.
This is the list of 3 Perfect Homemade Food Gifts you can make and give this year.
CARAMEL CANDIES FOR YOUR SPECIAL PERSON
Caramel candies are delicious, buttery and extravagant. They are easy to make, even though one needs to pay attention to details.
What do you need? For classic caramel candies:
Vegetable oil (for baking sheet)
2 cups heavy cream
2 1/4 cups sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 1/4 cups light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
How to make them?
Prepare baking sheet, brush bottom and sides lightly with oil. Line with parchment, and leave a 2-inch overhang on long sides. Brush parchment with oil also, lightly.
Use a large saucepan and boil cream, sugar, butter and corn syrup over high heat. You need to stir it until sugar dissolves. When sugar is dissolved, reduce the heat to medium-high, and cook with occasional stirring until caramel reaches 248 degrees on a barometer (which is about 15 minutes). Remove caramel from the heat fast and stir in salt and vanilla. Pour caramel onto baking sheet, and let stand, uncovered at room temperature at least 8 hours and up to one day. Lift parchment overhang, and transfer caramel to a large cutting board. Cut the caramel into ¾ by 1 ¼ inch pieces (you can also cut them differently, triangle for instance). Wrap them in cellophane or waxed paper (this is where you can be very creative).
Preparation takes 25 minutes; Total time is approximately 8 hours and 30 minutes. From this recipe you will make approximately 120.
You can also make sesame caramels, or caramel mixed with thyme and nuts. For sesame caramels you will also need:
1/3 cup toasted sesame seeds
1/3 cup finely chopped candied ginger
1/3 cup toasted sesame seeds
When preparing baking sheet you need to sprinkle sesame seeds on parchments-lined baking sheet. When you add salt and vanilla you need to add ginger as well, and when you pour caramel onto baking sheet you need to sprinkle the remaining sesame seeds.
For caramels with nuts and thyme, you need to include 3 cups mixed salted roasted nuts and 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves in the recipe. Add nuts and thyme the same time you add vanilla and salt.
What you need to remember?
A large pan is mandatory
Watch the temperature
Work very quickly the moment the syrup reaches needed temperature
GINGERBREAD COOKIES FOR FRIENDS
Apart from its delicious taste, making gingerbread cookies is both fun and easy. One can enjoy very much making these cookies. All one needs to do is to prepare various shaped cookie cutters.
For the ingredients you will need:
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled, plus more for the work surface
1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1 large egg
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
Use a large bowl and whisk together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, cloves and salt. Use an electric mixer and beat the butter and granulated sugar until smooth. Add egg and molasses and beat until fluffy (about 2 minutes). Reduce the mixer speed to low, add flour mixture and mix together. Shape into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm (at least 30 minutes).
Heat oven to 350° F. On a floured surface, roll the dough to ¼ inch. Use cookie cutters and cut into shapes, then place on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until firm (10 to 12 minutes). Cool it slightly. Use small bowl for confectioners’ sugar and whisk in 1 tablespoon water to form a thick icing. Transfer to a plastic bag and snip a small hole in one corner. Decorate cookies as you wish, and store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week.
From this recipe you can make 36 medium cookies. Total time: 1 hour and 15 minutes.
FLAVOURED VODKAS FOR ALL THE SPECIAL PERSONS IN YOUR LIFE
Some may argue whether or not flavored vodkas should be a part of holiday gift list (due to the alcohol of course). Whatever you may think about flavored vodkas, these gifts are not for all night long parties, but for romantic and enjoyable evenings. Not to mention that homemade flavored vodkas are a lot tastier than the ones you can find in stores, and more fun making.
For the recipe/infusions you can combine various ingredients with (usually) 1 ½ cups vodka.
Flavored vodka with coffee bean and hazelnuts
4 coffee beans
2 tablespoons toasted hazelnuts
Infuse for 3 days, store in a cool, dark place. Shake occasionally and then strain and sip into airtight jars. Try it with ice.
Flavored vodka with fennel and lemon
2 sprigs fennel fronds
2 thin lemon slices.
Infuse for 2 days. Mix it with tonic and squeeze of lemon.
Flavored vodka with coriander and grapefruit zest
2 strips grapefruit zest
1 tablespoon coriander seeds (toasted and coarsely ground)
Infuse for 3 days, shake occasionally.
Flavored vodka with dried fruit and chestnut
1 peeled roasted chestnut
1/4 cup mixed dried fruit (raisins, apricots, prunes)
Infuse for 3 days. You can use this vodka to sweeten your apple cider or black tea.
You can store all flavored vodkas at room temperature for up to 1 month and frozen for up to 2 months.
Enjoy your holidays and use these homemade gifts to make the most important people in your life happy and special.
Images credit: 123RF Stock Photo