EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


December 6, 2013

Ideas for gifts from your kitchen

Homemade 'Snickers' are always an appreciated present

It’s that time of year when we start thinking of food gifts, making our shopping lists and filling our kitchens and pantries with everything we will need.

Homemade gifts are special because they are more personal and come right from your kitchen. And food gifts are usually joyously received. Putting together a homemade food gift can be as easy as putting together a pancake mix with a bottle of real maple syrup, and a fancy hot chocolate mix.

Try to personalize your gift to the person or family. Teenagers love monster cookies. Someone who loves to cook would love a tin of homemade spice rub. Candied or spiced nuts are perfect for co-workers. For candy lovers, make something special like a fruit and nut brittle, peppermint bark, or the decadent homemade Snickers (recipe below) that have wowed my family and friends for years. A popular gift that I made for my neighbors was a basket that contained a homemade walnut-cheddar cheese ball and a sleeve of crackers with an attached cheese spreader, all prettily wrapped with the recipe. My neighbor Joanne looked forward to that each Christmas.

Once you have made all your gifts, be creative with your packaging. Use jars, tins, or boxes. I have gotten some wonderful ideas for packing my gifts at The Paper Store and Michaels’s craft store, such as already decorated “chinese food” boxes that make festive and easy containers for many things. Finish everything off with a ribbon or bow and don’t forget to include a copy of the recipe if it is a homemade item.

I have been making homemade Snickers for Christmas since 1996 when I was looking for a new candy recipe to make for gift giving. I then had so many requests for the recipe it became a tradition. When my son moved to Colorado, he started making it himself for gifts for his friends.

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