Wednesday, February 2, 2011

12 Treats of Christmas

Ok, so each year the Christmas season comes around and people start stressing over gifts and wrapping, etc, etc, etc. A couple of years ago I found Advent Conspiracy and decided to do things a little differently. Instead of buying gifts for each person in the family, I decided to sponsor a child through World Vision. So I spend $35 each month, about the equivalent of a Christmas gift, and someone in the world has medical care, education and gets to know about Jesus. That's better than any physical gift I could give my family in my opinion.

But, because I still like to have stuff under my tree, I've started doing Twelve Treats of Christmas! This year I tried quite a few new things and really enjoyed my time in the kitchen. I got to wrap them all individually and then put them in bags I'd stamped and tied up with an ornament I made. I loved it, and think most of the recipients did as well.

Here are the links to the treats I made:

Gingerbread Biscotti (My first attempt at biscotti - and it was easy and tasty - will definitely be trying more...)

Peppermint Marshmallows (I know, I know, WHY in the world make homemade marshmallows? Because they're AWESOME! SO much better than the plain ol store brand!)

Almond Roca (My mom's favorite! I burned it a little this year :o(, I went by temperature, next year I think I'm going to just focus on how it looks!)

Chocolate Nutella Fudge with Sea Salt (How do you make fudge even better? By adding Nutella and a touch of sea salt!)

Vanilla Caramels with Fleur de Sel (Homemade caramels! So much easier than I thought it'd be, and SO much better than store-bought!)

Pecan Pralines (I'll tweak this a little bit next time - I went with the 'bars' rather than spooning them and letting them spread into the 'circle's - this led to a lot of breaking when I cut them up - I'll try the spoon technique next time.)

Poppy Chow (A simple spin on the typical 'puppy chow')

Peanutbutter Brownies (Holy Moses these are as good as the first time. Definite winner!)

Pecan Pie Bites (My dad liked these a lot the first time I made them, so I thought I'd make them for him again.)

Vanilla Bean Shortbread (Another recipe I made for my dad - he's not real big on the really rich sweets.)

I also made, but don't have the recipes for:
- Snickerdoodles
- Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 5-star Brownies

I know that's technically 13, but I split the dough for the cookies - made 1/2 of it into Snickerdoodles and the other 1/2 into chocolate chip cookies, so I'm claiming it as only one! ;)


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