Thursday, December 17, 2009

Thrifty Thursday

Are you looking for a last minute Christmas gift for those hard to buy for people? Why bother with going out to the crowded, overpriced stores when you could possibly find the perfect gift right in your own house?

I am talking about baked goodies! Cookies, fudge, chex mix, puppy chow, anything chocolate covered, trail mix, and the list goes on and on. Today I am going to give you some recipes that are sure to be a HUGE hit this holiday season. And who doesn't love goodies!

Chex mix is a huge hit in our house. We make it every year, and several times each year. Better than trail mix but takes a bit longer. If you want to just go with a trail mix, get a big ziploc bag and throw a variety of snacks in there. Peanuts, cashews, m&m's, reese's pieces, raisins, goldfish crackers, pretzels. Shake it up, then fill a decorative tin or jar as a gift. Chex mix is very similar but you have to cook it. You will need all three flavors of Chex, pretzels, mixed nuts, cheerios and if you want you can also do Bugles or an extra can of cashews (like we do). You can find the recipe for that here. We always skip the bagel chips, but you can use those too.

Our favorite holiday cookie around here are Buckeyes. Being from Ohio, and HUGE Ohio State fans, you shouldn't be surprised. These are chocolate, peanut butter, sugary goodness. Basically the only ingredients you need are peanut butter, melted chocolate, and powdered sugar. You also need a bit of butter and vanilla extract and you can find the recipe here. Unless your recipient has a peanut allergy, these are probably the best home baked gift you can give. So yummy.

Fudge is one of those things that sounds difficult but well worth it. Plus it is so versatile, you can add different flavorings and textures (like nuts, m&m's and even bits of peppermint). I bought a fudge kit made by carnation for right around $6 which makes two trays of fudge. I have not made it yet, but it seems easy enough. Here is a link to making the perfect fudge.

Some of the easiest things you can make are anything chocolate covered. We have done chocolate covered pretzels, chocolate covered triscuits and chocolate covered animal crackers. Other things you can cover in chocolate include peppermint sticks/candy canes and cherries. Pretty much any kind of cookie can be chocolate covered too. All you need is one package of "make your own almond bark" in chocolate (you could do vanilla too) and your choice of snack to dip. Melt your chocolate in a microwave safe dish then dip. Lay snack to dry on a cookie sheet covered in wax paper. Once they are dry/hard, transfer to a decorative tin or jar, or you can put on a colorful paper plate and wrap in festive saran wrap. What kinds of things would YOU cover in chocolate?!

There are so many things you can make for your gifts this year. I hope you find something that intriques you to either give to someone or try yourself. If you are reading this from facebook and the links don't work... just do a Google search. The chex mix recipe can be found on the chex website and the perfect fudge was found on Good luck, have fun, and enjoy!

No comments: