Monday, December 8, 2008

Make-it-yourself food gifts

Gifted in 2006. (Photo from [the late] Wish magazine.)
I shudder to think that there might actually still be some
of the ones that I made floating around out there.
(I have my suspicions about a few people. You know who you are.)

For the last few years I've been making homemade food gifts for Shawn's large extended family. I usually agonize over what to make, and last year ended in a white chocolate and caramel corn disaster, of which I will spare you the details.

This year, I'm going in an totally different direction, and saving myself a lot of stress in the process. (Stay tuned to find out what I gift; it is food-related!)

I made the cookie jars pictured above a couple of years ago, and I think they were by far my most successful venture. Here are the assembly instructions.

And the recipe:



1-1/4 cups butter, softened
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 granulated sugar
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 chopped pecans


Cream butter until light and fluffy.
Blend in vanilla extract.
Add remaining ingredients and mix well with your hands.
Press dough into a 13 x 9-inch pan.
Bake at 325 F for 18-20 minutes or until light golden brown.
Cool completely and cut into bars.

I had a hard time finding an appropriate-sized container when I made these, so I stuffed the top with waxed paper, which kept everything in place in the jars and would come handy to the recipient when pressing the dough into the pan.




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