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Make your Own Holiday Gift Baskets
Many of us would love to give hand made holiday gift baskets. Christmas gifts from the kitchen are always welcome and Christmas gift baskets, especially home made food gift baskets, are a real treat.
   It's easy to become overwhelmed by the thought of making your own holiday gift baskets but with a few easy recipe ideas it is easy to create a personalized and thoughtful hand made Christmas food gift basket.
   Any of these recipes make a wonderful gift packaged in a plastic or cellophane bag with a colorful bow or in a pretty jelly jar with a fabric covered lid. Add a hand made card with the recipe attached to it and your gift is complete.


    To make the mix you will need:
    · 2¾ cups all purpose flour
    · 2 tablespoons sugar
    · 2 tablespoons baking powder
    · 1 teaspoon salt
    · 1/4 teaspoon each of dried thyme and oregano
    · Dash of dried dill

In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt oregano, thyme and dill. Pack this mixture into an airtight container or bag. The mix can be stored at room temperature for up to 1 month. It will make 1 loaf of bread.

Recipe to print on attached card:
For Herbed Beer Bread

    · Herbed Beer Bread Mix
    · 1 can of beer at room temperature
    · 1 teaspoon butter, melted

Place the Beer Bread Mix in a large bowl. With a wooden spoon, stir in beer just until incorporated. Scrape into greased 8"x4" (1.5L) loaf pan.
Bake in 375ºF oven for 45 to 50 minutes or until crusty and golden brown. Let stand in the pan for 5 minutes then remove to rack and brush with melted butter. Makes 1 loaf.


    To make the mix you will need:
    · 6 cups rolled oats
    · 4 cups all-purpose flour
    · 3 cups packed brown sugar
    · 2 teaspoons cinnamon
    · 2 teaspoons baking powder
    · 1½ teaspoons salt
    · 1 teaspoon baking soda
    · 1 pound shortening
    · 2 cups raisins
    · 1½ cups shredded coconut
    · 1 cup chocolate chips
    · 1 cup chopped pecans

In a large bowl, stir together oats, flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, salt and baking soda. With a pastry blender, cut in shortening until crumbly.
Stir in raisins, coconut, chocolate and pecans. This mix can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 10 weeks. Makes about 5 batches of cookies.

Recipe to print on attached card:
Old Fashioned Oatmeal Cookies

    · 4 cups Oatmeal Cookie Mix
    · 1 egg, lightly beaten
    · 2 tablespoons milk
    · 2 teaspoons vanilla

In a bowl, combine the Oatmeal Cookie Mix with egg, milk and vanilla until dough forms. Shape into 1½” balls and place on greased baking sheets. Flatten balls with a fork.
Bake in 375ºF oven for 15 to 18 minutes or until golden. Remove to racks and let cool. Makes 24 cookies.


    To make the mix you will need:
    · 3/4 cup crushed cinnamon sticks
    · 3/4 cup chopped dried orange rind
    · 1/3 cup whole allspice
    · 1/4 cup whole cloves

Combine all ingredients in a jar. Makes about 2 cups.

Recipe to print on attached card:
Spicy Mulled Cider

    · 4 cups apple juice, apple cider, or half apple juice and half cranberry juice
    · 2 tablespoons Spicy Mulled Cider Mix

In saucepan, combine juice and cider mix. Cover and bring to a simmer. Gently simmer for 20 minutes. Strain into mugs. Makes 4 servings.
Place a few of these gems in a wicker basket, Christmas tin or other fun and seasonal container. Fill in the spaces with wrapped chocolates, holiday napkins or a bottle of wine and you have beautiful and sure to be appreciated holiday gift baskets with that extra personal touch.

Karen Ciancio is a cook and lover of all things food and cooking related. Her website contains easy dessert recipes, plus lots of other recipes, cooking tips, measurement conversions and kitchen ideas.

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