Thursday, December 27, 2012

Homemade Christmas Gifts

One way we bless a lot of people at Christmas time, while on a tight budget, is to make a wide assortment of cookies and fudge and package them up in cute presentations, either on plates wrapped in cellophane or small tins.  I love it when people feel so special because they received a gift of homemade baked goods.

While on the subject of being on a budget, I clip coupons and watch the baking sales all throughout the fall, and spend about $5 a week of my grocery budget every grocery shopping trip on baking supplies. In this way, I am able to gather all the ingredients necessary for our big cookie baking extravaganza. One store puts bags of flour for 99 cents, and bags of sugar for 1.99! There is a limit of 2 so I just added 2 bags to every shopping order for a few weeks! Chocolate chips always go on sale at one point, and there are always coupons to be had on the internet.... Then another week I buy extracts and spices.... By the time mid-December rolls around, I have everything I need!

For the tins and packaging supplies, I take a quick run out after Christmas and shop the after-Christmas clearance sales. While the best selections are all picked through, I can usually find enough tins, plates, wrappers, and treat boxes at 75% off. After purchasing, I will pack them up in my attic for storage till next year, and always have more than enough packaging supplies for the cookie plates!

Cookie trays waiting to be delivered

This year, we made two new cookies that were a huge hit - melted snowmen and Cucidati.

The melted snowmen cookies were from a recipe I found on Pinterest.

As far as Cucidati, my husband loves them, but I have never made them before. I am not Italian, and have never seen them made. So I searched out a recipe and gave it a try.  It was pretty amusing. My first few attempts looked funny, and my family had all kinds of opinions of what they resembled.... from scones to pizza bites! I finally did have some success and had a few that turned out looking halfway decent. No matter what they looked like....they tasted wonderful! I think I might have to find some Italian grandma to give me some lessons before next year!

I think the funniest moment was when Kelly asked what was in them....and called them Cuci.."mommy's" instead of cucidati's!

First attempt at making cucidati

I love the memories I make with the girls as we bake cookies together. I hope as they grow older, they will continue our tradition of blessing others with the labors of our hands.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for sharing your thoughts!