git in ma belly {homemade christmas gifts}

three cheers for almost being done christmas shopping.  all i have left is gifts for two more people (yes, that means almost done to me) and more time in the kitchen to create my favorite kind of gift – homemade and sweet. homemade sweets are a great, personal (and  economical) gift for everyone on your list, from neighbors to friends to party hosts. (i always have a hard time parting with all my delicious efforts, so i make sure to make extra)

here’s what i’m whipping up this year, for both my own belly and gifts.

salted caramels

salted caramels {recipe here}. goodness. because these are my favorite ever and a big crowd pleaser, i made a double batch. there’s some cream left in my fridge, and i have several people to give these too, so i’m contemplating another. maybe i’ll even try dipping some in chocolate once cut (and the sea salt will be sprinkled on once dipped).

pretzels

chocolate covered pretzels. you can’t go wrong. although i think i did go wrong with choosing the mini twists instead of the rods, as it takes me approximately a minute per pretzel since i prefer store-like perfection with no chocolate in the middle holes, which as you can see i didn’t achieve for all. i’ve done two small white chocolate batches so far, and plan another batch of both white chocolate and milk chocolate.

for those not in the know, they are really easy. simply melt your chosen chocolate according to package directions (i’ve done both microwave and a bowl over simmering water), dip pretzels (fully or partially) in chocolate, either dip in toppings or sprinkle toppings on top and let cool on wax paper. i’m a huge fan of sprinkles and also topped some with crushed candy canes (highly recommended).

peppermint bark brownies

peppermint bark brownies. i saw this recipe in real simple, thought it was a great idea, then couldn’t remember where i saw it and couldn’t find the recipe when it came to making them last weekend. i winged it and they turned out so delicious. however, i wasn’t very happy with the cracking of the chocolate that occurred when cutting. they weren’t as neat as i hoped for, but the taste made up for it.

to make them, according to the recipe (and how i made them): make your favorite brownie recipe or favorite box mix (ghirardelli is preferred here). once cooled, melt white chocolate chips (about 1 – 1 1/2 cups) according to directions and spread on brownies. top with crushed peppermint pieces.

what i would change: apply the chocolate and peppermint pieces and cut when the chocolate has dried a little but is still soft ( i ended up putting my brownies in the oven for a minute until the chocolate softened to help lessen the cracking). or, cut the brownies then spread the melted chocolate on the individual brownies and top with the peppermint pieces.

chocolate candy

ingredients

chocolate candy

laurie’s chocolate candy. my mom’s friend gave her this recipe many years ago, and it’s one of my all time favorites. i tried to think of another name for it, but came up short, so laurie’s chocolate candy it remains. there’s nothing particularly christmasy about these, but i never make them except for christmas time. i need to change that.

this recipe is super easy and fast. these cover all the bases: sweet, salty, crunchy, creamy. i’ve made a 1/2 batch already (um, to eat by myself) and plan on making another full batch to gift.

laurie’s chocolate candy
(makes about 60 pieces)

1 ½ packages almond bark (chocolate)
1 cup crunchy peanut butter
1 cup raisins
2 cups rice krispies
2 cups mini marshmallows
2 cups dry unsalted roasted peanuts (i used lightly salted and it was fine)

measure and combine all ingredients in a bowl except for the chocolate and peanut butter. melt chocolate and peanut butter in the microwave in a large bowl, following package directions. add the remaining ingredients to the chocolate and peanut butter mixture, stirring until well mixed. drop spoonfuls of the mix onto wax paper (work quickly) and let cool.

bite

to package your delicious gifts, consider putting them in clear bags tied with festive ribbon. they’re simple yet pleasing as-is, or go one step further (especially if you’re giving multiple types to one recipient) and put your packaged candy in a:

  • pretty bowl or mug
  • cookie tin (or multiple tins stacked on top of one another tied with a satin ribbon)
  • bakers box adorned with twine or ribbon (i found some at the container store for about 99 cents)
  • gable box (also found at the container store for $2)

packaged caramels

candy box{salted caramels and pretzels in a bakers box with festive tissue paper}

bakers box{love this gold wire garland ribbon}

gable boxes

ornament and garland{i also tied off some of my gifts with a small ornament for an extra touch}

or go one step even further, like you are my fave, and turn an empty tinfoil box into a fabulous treat box with wrapping paper, brads and twine.

tinfoil box

are your christmas gifts bought, made and wrapped? do you have other homemade gifts you like to give? please share!

{justine}

linking to the centsational girl, remodelaholic

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10 thoughts on “git in ma belly {homemade christmas gifts}

  1. OMG I think I gained 3 pounds reading this post and drooling over your pictures! Everything looks great.

    Stopping by from Centsational Girl. Hope you can stop by to see the treats that I made!

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