Giving loved ones homemade baked goods during the holidays is such a pleasure for me. It isn't something I do haphazardly at the last minute when there is so much else that needs to get done. Weeks before, I begin to make lists of what I want to bake and what I want to try, then I check my pantry for items I need to stock. If something needs to be bought or special ordered, I do it in advance. Old favorites are baked every single year, but I always try to include something new or different. If I get requests for a special treat, I try to oblige because I know it's going to make someone happy (my niece always gets her Cranberry Coins!). Let me show you what I usually do.
My dough counter in the kitchen is filled with baked cookies, breads & packaging materials. I like to assemble everything in one place to make my packaging go a lot quicker. I try very hard to give everyone the same amount of treats.
Here's a closeup of that fragrant, moist & spicy Pumpkin Bread. Everyone seems to like it, so I bake several batches every winter for the family. Do you see those stickers I had made with 'From David's Kitchen' written on them? A small, personal touch like that really does make something stand out. I'm told by people that whenever they see that sticker come into their homes, they know it's something good.
Chocolate slice & bake cookies are simple to make. Go to my post about Martha by Mail ~ Creating Cookies Booklet and follow the recipe for chocolate cookies. Divide the dough into 3 portions and roll into logs. Seal them in plastic wrap & chill for 2 hours. Simply slice & sprinkle each with sanding sugar before baking. Voila! So easy and so delicious.
Here's a closeup of that cookie. It's pleasantly spiced & the sprinkling of fine sanding sugar (coarse can also be used) gives these cookies a bit of crunch and sparkle.
These giant gingerbread cookies are much easier than the roll out variety. I used a 1" cookie scoop to portion out the dough & baked them for about 12 minutes in a 350° F oven. Find a good recipe for gingerbread cookies and try making them this way.
Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without a batch of my mom's Cinnamon Orange Cookies. This is a double batch sitting in an old 19th century ironstone platter waiting to be packaged. I just know everyone loves these!
I have my labels, an embosser, foil stickers, a fountain pen & notecards to personalize each package. That spool of waxed linen twine (from Martha by Mail) gets used to cinch the cellophane bags shut. The embosser (also from Martha by Mail--I'll blog about that soon) has several disks that are interchangeable. For these treats, I chose the one that says, "It's a Good Thing" of course.
This is a typical treat package ready to go (these are from last year). I have cookies, a bread and a notecard for each recipient. Packaging your baked items in cellophane bags really makes them seem more special. Adding a tag or sticker with the name of the item is the icing on the cake in my opinion. Take an hour or two to whip up a batch of something delicious to hand out to those closest to you this holiday season. They're going to love you for it.
With a bit of planning & a day or two of baking, you can assemble treat boxes or packages like these to give as gifts. Everyone loves homemade baked goods especially around the holidays. Let your tastes & preferences dictate what you bake for the special people in your life. If you plan on shipping your treats, make sure that the items themselves keep well & and travel well. Items that will be given locally can be placed in tins, baskets or even a nice bowl. From my home to yours, enjoy baking this holiday season!