This Christmas, give the gift of sweet and savory with homemade edible treats! These four recipes are easy to make in large batches and each treat is easy to package up in a novelty tin or plastic treat bag with a big red bow. These also make great party favours or hostess gifts and can be made by little hands for gifts for the teacher.
Fruit & Nut Chocolate Buttons
150g dark or milk chocolate
7 walnut halves
8 pecan nuts
Small handful mixed jumbo raisins
Small handful cranberries
Small handul shelled pistachios
Break up the chocolate and place it in a microwave safe bowl.
Melt the chocolate in the microwave in 30 second bursts, stirring between each one to ensure it melts evenly. Be careful not to overheat or burn the chocolate, heat only until just melted and smooth.
Drop small spoonfuls of the chocolate into a silicone tart tray or cupcake cases, swirling it around with the spoon to cover the bottom of each cup. Place a walnut half or pecan nut in the middle of each chocolate button, then add a few each of the raisins, cranberries and pistachios around the edges.
Repeat until you have used up all the chocolate.
Once finished, place the chocolate buttons in the fridge to set – 15 minutes or so should do it.
Once set, remove from the fridge, pop out of the moulds and serve, store in an air-tight container or bag up in cellophane bags to give as gifts.
1 pound of white chocolate, chopped
1 pound of bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 box of peppermint candy canes (11-12oz)
1/2 teaspoon pure peppermint extract* (divided)
1 teaspoon shortening (divided)
Break up peppermint candy canes in a plastic bag, setting aside 1/4 of the pieces.
Line a sheet pan with wax paper and set aside.
Melt the bittersweet chocolate in microwave or on stovetop using a double boiler until all pieces are smooth.
Once chocolate is melted, place 1/2 teaspoon of shortening in a small microwave-safe bowl and heat on high for a few seconds until melted. Add 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract and stir well. Then add peppermint shortening to melted chocolate and stir well.
Pour onto the prepared sheet pan and spread evenly. Set aside (do not refrigerate) while you follow the same steps for melting the white chocolate, and prepare peppermint shortening with remaining 1/2 teaspoon of shortening and 1/4 teaspoon of peppermint extract.
Add peppermint shortening into melted white chocolate, stir then and 3/4 of the crushed peppermint pieces.
Spread the white chocolate gently over the dark chocolate layer using a spatula and spread to the edge of the pan.
Immediately sprinkle the top with the remaining peppermint pieces.
Allow peppermint bark to harden completely at room temperature before cutting/breaking into pieces. This will take several hours at room temperature. If you’re in a hurry, you can place the pan of bark in the refrigerator for no longer than 20 minutes to harden. Once set, break bark apart into bite size pieces and serve or package into gifts.
1 cup almonds (raw and unsalted)
1 cup cashews (raw and unsalted)
1 cup walnuts (raw and unsalted)
1/2 cup shelled sunflower seeds (raw and unsalted)
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp avocado or olive oil
Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit and line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Place nuts in single layer on the sheet pan. Place in oven to roast for 15 minutes, turning halfway through.
While nuts are roasting, prepare spice mixture by combining smoked paprika, sea salt and garlic powder in a small bowl.
Remove nuts from oven and allow to cool. Transfer to a bowl and coat nuts with olive oil, then coat with spice mixture.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature until serving.
2 cups pecans
25 caramel squares
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup dark chocolate
1 tablespoons shortening
Sea salt flakes, optional
If roasting your pecans, preheat your oven to 350F
Spread your pecans in an even layer on a cookie sheet and bake for 8 minutes until just slightly darker and fragrant. These burn quickly so watch them!
Allow the pecans to cool before moving on to the other steps of the recipe.
Place the unwrapped caramel squares and heavy whipping cream in a microwave-safe bowl and heat in 30 second increments, stirring well in between each heating.
Arrange the pecans in small clusters to form the turtles’ “feet.”
Place the chocolates and shortening in a second microwave-safe bowl and heat in 25 second increments, stirring well in between each heating.
Add a generous tablespoon of melted chocolate overtop of the caramel and swirl the spoon in the chocolate to make a luscious design. Pour a generous tablespoon of the melted caramel sauce over the pecans.
If desired, sprinkle turtles with a few sea salt flakes.