Sweets to Make and Give for Christmas

Sunday, December 22, 2013

I know its only 3 days till Christmas but I couldn't let it pass without sharing my favorite sweets to make and eat  give for gifts. I have to confess I usually have to make 2 batches because I we usually devour the first batch before it even gets in the gift bags.

Trust me these recipes are just too good to keep all to myself.  They will astound your taste buds and you might find yourself with an addiction problem. ( Good thing I only make them once a year!) If you decide to take my word for it and make some yourself, you will find that everyone you give them to will ask for the recipe.

Its so easy to get caught up in the commercialism of Christmas and forget that we should actually have a happy heart that wants to give. We shouldn't give just because we feel its expected of us and its just what everyone does this time of year.  It's not how much money we spend or even the time put in that counts, but the thought. The best gifts are the gifts that you find joy in giving and know the recipeient will enjoy and want. These are those kind of gifts!:)

I first discovered these amazing Peppermint Bark treats over at soulemama and she got the recipe from Orangette
Ok , you can wipe the drool off your chin now

The only thing I changed is that I used almond bark instead of white chocolate( its cheaper and my inexperienced palate still loved it) But you are welcome to use real white chocolate if you wish, I am sure it does taste better. Also make sure you do not heat the bittersweet chocolate and cream to fast or it will thicken and be hard to spread.

I put them in the fridge in plastic containers until I am ready to package them. I gift them in Ziploc bags  and then place in paper bags with this pretty printable from biblicalhomemaking.

So please check out this recipe! You will thank me later!

I also have to share this Carmel Almond Popcorn from Martha Stewart. It is also a Christmas staple in our home and makes great gifts! I adapted it a bit.

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus more for baking sheets

  • 3/4 cup corn kernels
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons canola oil/ I use olive oil     
  • 2 cups raw almonds
  • 2 cups packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup / I use honey 
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • Directions

    1. Step 1

      Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Butter 2 rimmed baking sheets; set aside. Place corn kernels and oil in a large pot over medium-high heat; cover. Once kernels begin to pop, shake pot frequently; when popping slows to about 3 seconds between pops, remove from heat; uncover. Transfer to a large bowl. Add almonds; toss.
    2. Step 2

      Cook sugar, butter, and corn syrup in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring, until it reaches 255 degrees. If you don't have a thermometer drizzle some of the mixture into a cup of water, if it forms into individual shapes you are good to go. Its called the softball stage.
    1. Step 3

      Remove from heat. Stir in extracts, salt, and baking soda. Pour over popcorn mixture; toss to coat. Line sheets  with aluminum foil and butter, this will save you a lot of clean up later!  Divide between prepared sheets. Bake, stirring occasionally, 1 hour 20 minutes. Let cool on wire racks.

    Merry Christmas!.. and remember you don't have to make these treats or give the perfect gifts to have a great Christmas(God already gave us the most perfect gift of his son Jesus!!)...but they sure do make it sweeter!

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