As you all know, I like making food gifts. Heck, I like EATING food gifts . I’m pretty food oriented-Hence the extra 10 lbs of post baby weight that still haven’t come off since having Buddy. . . .
Anyway, I have my little repertoire of things to make that folks seem to love and be impressed. Well, either that or they are trying to humor me. I chose to believe they love them. Anyway, all of these things are cheap to make and impress the heck out of folks (especially the folks who think dinner comes in the microwave).
The first is my Caramel Corn. Butter, Sugar, Salt, Baking Soda and Popcorn-all very cheap ingredients (don’t use microwave popcorn in the little bags though). I know I’ve mentioned this particular favorite many times on the blog. Any basic recipe will do-I use the one from my Betty Crocker Cookbook. The first time I made this and brought it to a party I was told that I had to bring it as my standard food offering for all future parties. This is also what I give to each couple in our “gang” at our Christmas get together.
The second is Biscotti. Considering the fact that a single PIECE of biscotti can run you $.75 or more at a coffee shop, getting homemade biscotti impresses the heck out of folks. And it is easy to make, just a basic cookie dough type recipe that you bake in one big long loaf shaped cookie, cut, then bake the little slices again, flipping half way through. No weird or expensive ingredients, just basic baking items. For extra wow factor dip or drizzle with chocolate-obviously that does increase the cost slightly.
Now for my newest addition: Shortbread!
I needed some cookies to make for my MOPs meeting on Wednesday and decided to try shortbread. Holy cow, talk about easy, delicious and impressive! I have yet to meet someone who doesn’t sort of swoon at the mention of shortbread-it’s just one of those things that most folks like. I was surprised to find out that there are only 3 ingredients.
Yes, you read that right, 3 ingredients! I used my Betty Crocker Cookbook, and all it took was flour, butter and sugar. All of which can be bought very cheap!
You cut the butter into the flour and sugar (I use my hands a’la the biscuit directions in the Hillbilly Housewife) and then sort of squish it into a pile on the counter. The directions said to knead it, but that wasn’t happening. I just sort of squished it into a low pile, then when I rolled it a little bit it more or less stuck together. Any crumbly parts got some extra squishing with the heel of my palm. I used a shot glass to cut out rounds (uh, cause of course I’m not using it for anything else *wink*) and then baked them.
Yum. Let me say that again. Yum.
Totally not on my calorie plan, but soooo good. I’ll have to make some more of these. I think if I sprinkled some of the red and green colored sugar on top it would look especially festive.