Inexpensive Gifts From The Kitchen

Now, before holiday rush hours begin in earnest, go out and buy some inexpensive but pretty gift tins, baskets, deep boxes or other containers suitable for foodstuffs. Large mugs will do. So will wide-mouthed jars or vases — but plan to cover a vase with plastic wrap and a festive ribbon.

With such items in hand you can take the odd free hour or two to make the recipes below, perfect for filling your containers and creating a charming, homemade, and very tasty gift to delight anyone on your list (or who you overlooked but need a gift for.) These two recipes are super-easy to make and ready to wrap in less than an hour, for Happy Holiday giving or serving.


CHOCOLATE COVERED POTATO CHIPS

Salt, chocolate and something different – what’s not to love?

1 bag good-quality chocolate chips, dark, milk or white (make sure it’s real chocolate, not chocolate “tasting”).

1 Tbls coconut oil
1 bag plain potato chips (or sweet potato chips)
1/2 Tbls sea salt flakes (optional)

In a large, ceramic bowl, melt chocolate chips and coconut oil in a microwave oven on medium. To keep the chocolate from scorching, microwave it in 30-second bursts, stirring in-between until smooth. Remove and place bowl on heat-proof surface.
While chocolate is hot, dip potato chips into the bowl one or a few at a time. Let excess chocolate drip into bowl before placing dipped chips on a piece of parchment paper or tin foil. Sprinkle with sea salt, if desired. Allow chocolate to harden in a cool location. Can be stored in fridge for up to a week.
Note: It’s the holiday. Go ahead and be creative! Try butterscotch or peanut butter chips. For two-tone treats, melt white and dark chocolate chips separately, then swirl lightly together in a bowl before dipping the potato chips.

You can also dip mini pretzels or pretzel sticks or popcorn for another change-up. Pack separately or mix with the chips in one container. If coating popcorn, place corn in a large bowl and drizzle with chocolate, stirring to get some on all kernels. They will stick together if you don’t separate with more stirring as they harden (but connected corn is still tasty).


EGGNOG MUFFINS

Just 2 ingredients, this rachaelrayshow.com recipe is easy and yummy.

2 C egg nog
1 1/2 C self-rising flour

Preheat oven to 350°F. Fill a 12-cup muffin tin with paper inserts. In a glass measuring container, measure 2 cups of egg nog and whisk in 1 1/2 cups of self-rising flour.
Pour muffin batter into prepared tins and bake for 18 minutes until golden and a cake tester comes out clean. Makes a dozen regular or 2 dozen mini-muffins.
Tip: Make festive with optional toppings — add while warm: ground nutmeg dusting, crushed peppermints, cinnamon-sugar, crushed almonds, cocoa powder (sweetened), minced maraschino cherries, etc.

 

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