The holidays are upon us, and it’s time to start thinking about your gift list. Personally, I love making handmade gifts for others. Especially edible ones. After all, there are plenty of people out there that have everything, and they’re terribly difficult to buy for. In addition, buying gifts for everyone on your list can get expensive rather quickly. Homemade edible gifts make it easier – they’re usually less expensive, don’t take a ton of time, and they are truly appreciated by the recipients. There’s nothing quite as awesome as receiving a homemade truffle, candy, nut brittle, or a jar of artisanal jam or other condiment. And if some of the people on your list have food allergies or intolerances, then it’s extra special that they receive something they can eat!
Coconut Raspberry Truffle Cups from Ricki Heller
The holidays present a quandry. There’s the desire to give gifts from the heart and the absolute time crunch of shopping, cooking, cleaning, and of course partying that dominate this time of year.
What can a well-meaning gift giver do?
Make your own candies! Homemade chocolates are delicious, and because they come from your own hands they are definitely a personal gift. Best of all, homemade chocolates look impressive, but are actually pretty easy to pull off. Keeping the ingredients simple ensures that you can give a tasty gift that even friends with dietary restrictions can enjoy.
These Peppermint Chocolates have a minty ganache filling inside a crisp chocolate exterior.
These easy-to-make treats serve double duty as either a snack or a breakfast option when paired up with a smoothie or some scrambled eggs. If you’re traveling over the river and through the woods this holiday season, tuck a few of these Apple Muesli Balls in your bag for a quick snack that will kick your sweet tooth to the curb and fill you up at the same time.
When I bake, I try to pack in extra protein, fat, and fiber to make my baked goods more nutritious and satisfying. I drew inspiration for these treats from the classic concept of muesli, which is really just nothing more than oats, nuts and seeds, and dried fruit served with milk or yogurt. To add a little texture and extra sweetness, I added grated apple to the muesli balls. You could also try grated carrots (or zucchini when it’s in season).
Lord knows the last thing we need this time of year is another baked good recipe, but I think you’ll find that these treats are healthier than most. If you have company coming into town around the holidays, tuck a few muesli balls in the freezer and you’ll have a quick grab-and-go snack at the ready at all times.