Wednesday, December 8, 2010

DIY: Christmas Goody Gift Baskets - and an overload of pics!

Whew! Today my back is aching... and not just because I'm 17 weeks prego {yep, 17...somehow my count is off according to my doc}. I'm aching because I literally spent 5 hours yesterday working on our Christmas Goody baskets for some friends - this including baking, creativity and TIME. All of which God has graciously given me... yesterday. ;) I love homemade gifts, especially if they taste good. And, I'm hoping that those who will be on the receiving end this year will be blessed! But, before I go into recipes and all that...

Do you recall awhile back I blogged about those awesome candle holder/vase things everyone was making? I can't find my link to show you - but, long story short - people were making beautiful glass vases using Dollar Tree vases and candle holders. I so wanted to have some done for Autumn, but, I'll take Christmas season as a close second! And by only spending $4 bucks... we'll take it! So, here's what I did with mine...
For the big one I just plopped this big shimmery green candle in it... and saved one un-touched candle holder for my lone green taper. :) I went kinda country-Christmas in our dining room so on the other side I filled another vase with mini cookie cutters and yet another with a rustic-y red ball candle, and stuck my little tree right in the middle. I love it - and it was so affordable and mostly free. I already owned my worn looking tray, tree, and candles. :)
Ok, now, onto the good stuff :)
For a few years now I've been holding onto these little buckets...with every intention of filling them with delicious goodness to give away. And this WAS the year! So all day yesterday I made: Merry Mocha Mix, Dipped Candy Canes & Chocolate-Mint Brownie Pops. {drool}
Merry Mocha Mix {or, Mocha Coffee Mix}:
1 c. powdered non-dairy creamer
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. instant coffee granules
2 T. baking cocoa

1) In a blender or food processor, combine the creamer, sugar, coffee and cocoa. Cover and process until fine. Transfer to an airtight container. Store in a cool dry place for up to a year.
*Makes 8 servings.
2) To prepare: Place 1/4 c. mocha mix into mug and add boiling water. Stir until dissolved.
*Marshmallows optional.
*This DOES NOT taste like a Starbucks Mocha... be warned. It's a little stronger {bolder}!

So, I whipped up some of this and they are ready to go!

Chocolate-Mint Browine Pops:
1/2 c. butter
2 (1oz) squares unsweet. chocolate
1 (10oz) pkg. Andes creme de menthe baking morsels
1 c. sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 t. vanilla
3/4 c. flour
1/4 t. salt
Parchment Paper
2 T. shortening
5 (2oz) chocolate candy coating squares
31 craft sticks
4 (2oz) vanilla candy coating squares
Crushed peppermint candies

1) Preheat oven to 350. Combine butter, unsweet choco, and 1 c. mint morsels in a medium saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until melted. Remove from heat; add sugar, eggs and vanilla, beating until smooth.
2) Combine flour and salt; stir into choco mix until blended. Stir in remaining mint morsels.
3) Pour batter into 8 in. square baking dish. Bake for 32 minutes then cool completely on wire rack, in pan.
4) Using a Tablespoon, scoop out balls from cooked brownies in pan. Gently reshape into a ball; place on large baking sheet lined with parchment. Chill 30 minutes.5) Place shortening and chocolate candy coating in a glass measuring cup/bowl. Microwave 1 min or until melted. Stir until smooth. Insert craft stick into each brownie ball. Dip each pop into chocolate mixture and then place on parchment paper. Let stand until FIRM.
6) Place vanilla candy coating in a bowl. Microwave until melted. Spoon into a plastic bag; seal bag. Snip a small hole in 1 corner of the bag - and squeeze chocolate onto dipped brownie balls. Sprinkle with peppermint pieces.
Last but not least, Dipped Candy Canes:

Thankfully, I had some help on this part ;)
So, there you have it... DIY Good bags. Once everything was done I busted out the gold ribbon, green tissue paper, etc. and packaged it all up in one nice presentation. :) Super easy. Delicious. And straight from the heart :)


Becky said...

your centerpiece is beautiful! I've been wanting to make one of those for a while now too...
I made homemade hot cocoa mix last year...maybe we'll try the mocha mix this year for something a bit different, thanks for sharing!

Jo's Health Corner said...

great pictures and ideas!

and new network blog:

Joy said...

How creative! I'll have to remember this idea for next year. Your centerpiece looks wonderful, too! :)

Kim said...

We are going to make these for the Sunday School teachers gifts!