Holiday Recipes Collection Special Edition Issue #1

Happy Holidays!

Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa is the focus now that Thanksgiving is behind us. Homemade gifts are on my list to give this year. I enjoy the making gift baskets filled with homemade goodies, socks, soaps and other little items.

I was at my daughter's the other day and noticed the jar of cookie mix I have her last year was still sitting on top of her cabinets. She told me it was too pretty to bake.'s not exactly how I thought she would enjoy it...

Here's a festive recipe for a Gift In A Jar...makes a great gift for teachers and friends! Kids will enjoy putting these together.

Pretty, festive and easy to make, Cranberry Oat Cookies make a welcome holiday cookie-in-a-jar gift. Dried cranberries and white chocolate chips give a seasonal spin to these chunky oatmeal cookies.

Cranberry Oat Cookies in a Mason Jar

  • 1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 c. uncooked rolled oats
  • 1/3 c. granulated sugar
  • 1/3 c. packed brown sugar
  • 1 c. dried cranberries
  • 1/2 c. white chocolate baking chips
  • 1/2 c. walnuts or pecans, chopped

In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt.

Layer 1/2 the flour mixture in the bottom of a 1-quart, wide mouth canning jar, then add oats to the jar. Continue layering the remaining ingredients: flour mixture, granulated sugar, brown sugar (tamp tightly), dried cranberries, white chocolate baking chips, and chopped nuts.

Create a gift tag with these recipe instuctions:

Cranberry Oat Cookies

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease cookie sheet or line with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, beat together 1/2 cup softened butter, 1 egg and 1 teaspoon vanilla until fluffy. Add contents of jar, and mix until well blended.

Drop rounded tablespoons onto the prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until edges start to brown.

Cool on wire rack.

Makes 18-24 cookies.

Use squares of material to top mason jar; secure gift tag with ribbon.

Do your remember the hard candy your grandmother would have out in a glass candy dish. The ribbons of green, white and red confections, red candies in the shape of raspberries filled with a gooey raspberry center...short straws of sugar with a chocolate center? They were so tempting. I can remember reaching for a piece that turned out to part of a large sticky ball of candy, but we still broke a piece off and enjoyed. What were we thinking? I love those funny childhood memories.

This Christmas candy recipe won't stick around long enough to stick together, and is sure to bring on a lot of smiles. Packs easy into a gift box and makes a delicious gift to share with friends.

Chocolate Almond Toffee

  • 1 c. flaked almonds, toasted
  • 2/3 c. superfine sugar
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 4 3/4 oz. dark chocolate pieces

Line a baking sheet with parchment. Spread almonds over the paper.

Combine sugar and water in small pan. Stir over low heat, without boiling, until the sugar dissolves, brushing sides of pan down with a pastry brunch dipped in water to remove sugar crystals. Bring mixture to boil, then reduce heat and simmer 10 - 15 minutes until mixture turn a golden color.

Working quickly, pour toffee over almonds; allow to set.

Cut toffee into thin small wedges or break into pieces.

Melt chocolate pieces in a double boiler. Dip wide end of the toffee pieces into the chocolate. Allow to set on foil-lined tray.

Toffee can be made up to two days in advance. Store in an airtight container between sheets of wax paper.

For more holiday recipes, click here.

Next week look forward to "Make Ahead" Snacks and Appetizers. Don't get caught unprepared for your holiday guests. Get two delicious recipes that are sure to please your friends and family.