Planning my food gifts for the holiday season (buckeyes, pub bark, etc,) and I'm looking for some new ones, especially any that ship well. Help!
I love spiced chickpeas. Soak your dried chickpeas overnight, spread them out on a tea towel and dry them well, then toss with some olive oil and spices of your choice and roast at 300, shaking occasionally, for 30-40 minutes. I've used wasabi and ginger, or pimenton, or chili powder, or a mix of cumin and turmeric and curry. Let them cool and then bag them up.
I also like to do toasted spiced or candied pecans. Also, my chocolate cherry cordials from an earlier Food 52 recipe are a favorite. I love to do pralines -- my never-fail, easy-as-pie recipe here: http://kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com/2009/12/20/christmas-goodies-part-ii-sweets/#more-887, but they don't ship so well, as they're fragile. And I have done nice little crocks of chicken liver pate, but of course can't ship them, unless you want to pack them to stay cold. Recipe here: http://www.epicurious.com..., Oh, and sweet potato yeast bread is always a big hit.
JenniferF you can get loads of ideas from this site - it was a ctaegory last holiday season!
It's also fun to send homemade quick bread mixes (banana, pumpkin, gingerbread, dried cranberry & pecan, dried cherry, etc.) with instructions. They come in really handy for people who do a lot of holiday entertaining. When more people show up than expected, it's really fast and easy to mix up a quick bread when all the dry ingredients are already combined. They also ship well. I send mine all the way from Seattle to Vermont and I've never had a complaint about the flours making a mess.
Homemade chai masala is also easy to ship. Mix up the spices, add black tea, and it's ready for anyone to brew on their own stove. I find that 2 parts tea to 1 part spices is a good balance.
If you're willing to do a little canning, you could come up with a couple of different tasty sweets for gifts. There's a recently-published book called Canning For A New Generation that's got some nice possibilities. Off the top of my head, I remember a recipe for spiced cranberries and one for slow-roasted figs. Both of those are nice little things to have a jar of to use with desserts or as garnishes. Plus you can perform a couple of simple variations to exercise your own creativity.
I usually send apple butter, homemade chocolate truffles, and peanut butter/chocolate fudge. I've also made mini pizzelle (this takes a special iron) and shipped them in pringles canisters. I wrap the pringles canisters in wrapping paper and send them on their way. (Usually my husband eats the potato chips). Any cookie could be shipped via pringles canister.
I've recently posted three crispy nut recipes here on food52 . . . you brine the nuts in an herb, spice, etc. infused water (that's also salty), then roast them very slowly to partially dehydrate them. Very subtle, and delicious if I might say so. I'll be posting a few more, later this month, if time permits. Here are the links:
Have fun! ;o)
I'm surprised no one has mentioned pickles yet! But yes: pickles. People love pickles. Especially when you branch out from cucumbers. I like to do carrots and watermelon radishes. You can slice them thinly on a mandoline or grate them on a box grater. You can pickle with salt for a more subtle flavor, or use vinegar for a super-sour and longer lasting pickle.
Great idea, linzarella!! ;o)
I always made brandied peaches - not even bothering to peel them - for gifts and they were so welcomed by friends. Another great idea is rum balls. Anything with a little booze keeps well and matures.
Thanks, everyone. I'm definitely going to add the chickpeas and spiced nuts to the roster. Also, I have had a request to try and create a more upscale version of the cereal-peanut butter-chocolate mix known as "puppy chow".
Walnut and Raisins Cookies
Healthy and Fast