Sweets and Smiles: Holiday Treats

Hello, lovely–how has the first week of December been for you?

I had an exciting week of tests and the like, balanced out by seeing some of my dear friends. With the end of school rolling around, many of them will be around for the Holidays–specifically Christmas and New Year’s. And this is a time when people traditionally exchange gifts. So, in light of that, I thought I would share some gift ideas for the DIY girls out there. (And, yes, if you know me you can still read this post; I promise, no spoilers!)

1. Let’s start off with a little something not food-related. While the Holidays are typically a time of treats, there are some non-caloric sweets. Like sugar scrubs.

2. Fun little kits–think brownies in a jar, only something-elses in a box. For instance, for a cupcake themed box, you could get some cute cupcake liners, pastry bags and tips, and sprinkles. Or an ice cream sundae themed one with nuts, sprinkles, caramel or chocolate sauce (I like the ones from Trader Joe’s, if you have access to that chain), and an ice cream scoop (“Just add ice cream!”).

3. Don’t forget chocolate, though. It is almost always a good idea (I did know a guy who hated chocolate, and there are allergies that can effect chocolate enjoyment). By far the best chocolate cookbook I have ever read was called BitterSweet by Alice Medrich. The brownie recipes are to die for, but there was something else that totally captured my fancy: mendiants. Little disks of dark chocolate with a pinch of dried fruit and nuts. They are actually super simple to make–just heat some chocolate gently in a double boiler (you can totally makeshift it with a sauce pan and a bowl–that is what I do), then spoon it into little circles on some wax paper, and add a touch of fruit and nuts. (Can I suggest slivered almonds and candied orange peel? Because orange + chocolate + almond is to die for!)

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