Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Handmade Gift ideas.

For once, I hope my girlfriends aren't checking out my blog.

Last year, I saw an article in Cosmo magazine that featured three handmade "foodie" gifts for the holidays. I was really excited about the Vodka recipe, and bought some cute bottles to make gifts for my friends. The idea never panned out, however, and I am planning to give it a go this holiday season.

The article had instructions for an Orange Poppyseed Pound Cake, and a Chocolate Chip and Dried Cherry Cookie Mix in a Jar, as well as the Raspberry and Lemon Vodka . Here are the instructions for the first two foodies-- I'm keeping the vodka recipe to myself ;)

Orange Poppy-Seed Pound Cake
This cake is an indulgent treat! I like to give a box of tea along with it.
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • ½ teaspoon orange extract
  • 6 large eggs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9-inch-by-5-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray. In a bowl, combine the flour, salt, and poppy seeds. In another bowl, use an electric mixer on medium to beat the butter, sugar, orange zest, and extract until fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time. Turn the mixer to low, and add the flour mixture, beating until just combined. Pour into the prepared pan. Bake until the cake is golden, about 50 minutes. Cool completely before wrapping.

Chocolate Chip and Dried Cherry Cookie Mix in a Jar
Perfect for the baking-challenged friend. Print the instructions on a card, and attach.
  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ²⁄³ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped dried cherries
  • ²⁄³ cup brown sugar
  • 8 ounces chocolate chips

In a bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Then add the granulated sugar, cherries, flour mixture, brown sugar, and chocolate chips to a jar in layers. Seal the jar, and tie with a ribbon.

Attach this recipe to the jar:
To make cookies: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Using an electric mixer, beat 1 stick of room-temperature butter until creamy. Add 2 eggs and1teaspoon vanilla. Stir in cookie mix. Drop by the tablespoonful onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, until golden. Cool. Makes 36 cookies.

Season's Greetings!


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