Give the gift of great recipes this holiday season. Surprise someone special with one of these favorite food gift ideas—Christmas cookies, fudge recipes, Christmas candy and more!
Gingerbread Cookies Recipe
- 3/4 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cup molasses
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Vanilla frosting of your choice
- Red and green paste food coloring
- In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and molasses. Combine the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight or until easy to handle.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/8-in. thickness. Cut with floured 2-1/2-in. cookie cutters. Place 1 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets.
- Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until edges are firm. Remove to wire racks to cool. Tint some of the frosting red and some green. Decorate cookies. Yield: 5 dozen.
Sweet & Salty Snowmen Recipe
- 8 pretzel rods
- 6 ounces white baking chocolate, melted
- Assorted candies: M&M's miniature baking bits, miniature chocolate chips, small gumdrops, jelly rings, Fruit by the Foot fruit rolls
- Dip pretzel rods two-thirds of the way into melted white chocolate, or drizzle chocolate over pretzels with a spoon. Attach baking bits for buttons and noses and chocolate chips for eyes.
- For hats, dip the bottom of a small gumdrop into chocolate and press onto a jelly ring; attach to the top of each pretzel.
- Carefully stand snowmen by placing them upright in a tall glass or pressing the bottom of the pretzel rods into a 2-in.-thick piece of Styrofoam. For scarves, cut fruit rolls into thin strips; tie around snowmen.
- Yield: 8 snowmen.
Note: This recipe was made with Chuckles jelly rings.
Celebration Spoons Recipe
- 1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
24 metal or plastic spoons
- Peppermints and/or Andes candies, chopped
- In a microwave, melt semisweet chips; stir until smooth. Dip spoons into chocolate. Tap the handle of spoon on the edge of the bowl to remove excess chocolate.
- Place on waxed paper. Sprinkle with chopped candies. Let stand until set.
- Yield: 2 dozen.
Gumdrop Fudge Recipe
- 1-1/2 pounds white candy coating, coarsely chopped
- 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1-1/2 teaspoons Spice Islands® pure vanilla extract
- 1-1/2 cups chopped gumdrops
- Line a 9-in. square pan with foil; set aside. In a heavy saucepan, combine the candy coating, milk and salt. Cook and stir over low heat until chips are melted. Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla and gumdrops.
- Spread into prepared pan. Cover and refrigerate until firm. Using foil, remove fudge from the pan; cut into 1-in. squares. Store at room temperature.
- Yield: about 3 pounds.
Shortbread Ornament Cookies Recipe
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1-1/2 cups cold butter, cubed
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- 1/2 teaspoon rum extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons 2% milk
- Food coloring of your choice, optional
- Colored edible glitter and nonpareils
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt; cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in water and extracts until mixture forms a ball.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/4-in. thickness. Cut with floured cookie cutters. Place 1 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Bake at 325° for 15-18 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool for 2 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.
- For icing, in a large bowl, whisk the confectioners' sugar and milk. Divide into small bowls; tint with food coloring if desired. Gently spread over cookies. Decorate as desired.
- Yield: about 3 dozen.
Cinnamon Hot Chocolate Mix Recipe
- 1-3/4 cups nonfat dry milk powder
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1/2 cup powdered nondairy creamer
- 1/2 cup baking cocoa
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup miniature marshmallows
- 3/4 cup hot milk
- In a large bowl, combine the milk powder, sugar, creamer, cocoa and cinnamon. Add the marshmallows; mix well. Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place for up to 3 months. Yield: 18-19 batches (about 3-1/2 cups total).
- To prepare hot chocolate: Dissolve about 3 tablespoons hot chocolate mix in hot milk.
- Yield: 1 serving per batch.
Peppermint Lollipops Recipe
- 1-1/2 cups sugar
- 3/4 cup water
- 2/3 cup light corn syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/2 teaspoon peppermint oil
- Red and/or green paste food coloring
- 10 lollipop sticks
- Crushed peppermint candies, optional
- Butter 10 assorted metal cookie cutters and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet; set aside. In a large heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, water, corn syrup and cream of tartar. Cook and stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil. Cook, without stirring, until a candy thermometer reads 300° (hard-crack stage).
- Remove from the heat. Stir in oil, keeping face away from mixture as odor is very strong. For each color of candy swirls, pour 1/4 cup sugar mixture into a ramekin or custard cup; tint red or green.
- Immediately pour remaining sugar mixture into prepared cookie cutters. Drizzle with colored mixtures as desired; cut through with a toothpick to swirl. Remove cutters just before lollipops are set; firmly press a lollipop stick into each. Sprinkle peppermint candies over tops if desired.
- Yield: 10 lollipops.
Note: This recipe was tested with LorAnn peppermint oil. It can be found at candy and cake decorating supply shops or at www.lorannoils.com.
- It's recommended that you test your candy thermometer before each use by bringing water to a boil; the thermometer should read 212°. Adjust your recipe temperature up or down based on your test.
Chocolate-Coated Pretzels Recipe
- 1 to 1-1/4 pounds white and/or milk chocolate candy coating, coarsely chopped
- 1 package (8 ounces) miniature pretzels
- Nonpariels, colored jimmies and colored sugar, optional
- In a microwave, melt half of candy coating at a time; stir until smooth. Dip pretzels in candy coating; allow excess to drip off. Place on waxed paper; let stand until almost set. Garnish as desired; let stand until set.
- Yield: 5-6 dozen.