It has become a tradition for me to make edible gifts for my clients and friends who live far away every year. Here are the treats I’ve shipped in the past:
- 2010: Macarons
- 2011: Biscotti, Madeleines, and Caramels
- 2012: Cookies! The Nostalgic, The Exotic, The Boozy, The Local, The Decadent, and The Elegant
- 2013: Brownies in a Jar with homemade Butterscotch Sauce
This year, it’s candy time! I’m sharing four different kinds of candies with you this week, all of which make perfect homemade gifts. I wish I could ship treats to everyone (that’s how much I love to make edible gifts!) but I figure recipes is second best, isn’t it?
Does making homemade gifts sound exhausting to you? This recipe will convince you an edible treat doesn’t have to be complicated to impress. Four ingredients and no baking: in 15 minutes you’re done (and the dishes are washed). Bag these cute bites in clear gift bags closed with a ribbon and you’ve got your hostess gifts over and done with. Just a warning though: they’re so delicious, easy to make, and—let’s be honest—addictive, that you will most probably want to go down the variations list over the holidays. If you do, please come back to tell me which is your favorite, or to share your own flavor combination ideas.
Dark Chocolate, Roasted Hazelnut, and Dried Cherry Bites
Makes about 20 bites
6 oz (about 1 cup) [170 g, about 250 ml] bittersweet chocolate chips (choose 70% cocoa content high quality chocolate to make the recipe dairy-free)
1 tsp [5 ml] vegetable oil
½ cup [125 ml] hazelnuts, roasted, peeled, and very coarsely chopped
½ cup [125 ml] dried cherries, whole or coarsely chopped
Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper. Melt the chocolate chips in a double-boiler or in the microwave at low intensity until it’s smooth. Add the vegetable oil and mix well. Add the hazelnuts and dried cherries and mix with a spatula until all the nuts and fruits are coated with chocolate.
Drop the mixture by teaspoonfuls on the lined baking sheet. Refrigerate until the chocolate hardens. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to two months. Bring to room temperature before serving.
Note: To give the bites a festive look, dust a little edible glitter over the bites when the chocolate is still soft.
- Toasted almonds and dried apricots
- Macadamia nuts and dried figs
- Toasted pecans and candied orange
- Milk chocolate, 1/3 cup [80 ml] unsweetened coconut flakes, 1/3 cup [80 ml] dried apricots,
and 1/3 cup [80 ml] candied ginger
- White chocolate, pistachio, and dried cranberries
Recipe Credit: Adapted from Lou Seibert Pappas, The Christmas Candy Book