Here we are. December. Holiday time. Gift giving time. Spending money time…unless you’re on unemployment (ahem.)
All right. So, maybe you have a job (way to go!), but you’re being very frugal with your money this year. Or maybe you have gobs of money (way to go!), but you still prefer to give homemade gifts. Something that says, “Hey, I actually took the time to make you something. See how much I love you?”
Look no further. Have I got two yummy ideas for you to wrap up. And they’re so easy and inexpensive, you could make a batch for yourself, too. Minus the bow.
You’re familiar with this treat, right? You see it in the Williams Sonoma and Crate and Barrel catalogs every year. Your local market probably sells it. Well, I just discovered how simple it is to make at home. (I know, I’m slow.) Added perk: you can create different dried fruit and nut combinations to suit the recipient’s likes.
If you don’t have any family or friends who like chocolate, than figuring out what to give as Christmas gifts is the least of your worries.
White Chocolate Popcorn with Cranberries and Sliced Almonds
Early childhood memory: my Dad attempting to make popcorn. Result? We sat in the living room and watched the reflection of flames on the refrigerator.
I love popcorn. Air popped or made in oil. Plain or saturated in butter. Big ‘ol tub resting in my lap, while I witness a train wreck of a movie. True.
I think most people either really like popcorn, or they don’t. There’s no in between. However, for those who don’t – melt some white chocolate over those kernels, and they might change their mind.
Notice both these creations include dried cranberries. Coincidence? Not really. That 48 ounce bag from Costco, I bought for Thanksgiving, isn’t going to stay fresh forever.
Print the recipe for the White Chocolate Popcorn (adapted from Healthy Cooking)
Cranberry Almond Bark
Makes 1 pound
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
• 8 squares (1 ounce each) white baking chocolate, chopped
• 3 squares (1 ounce each) semisweet chocolate, chopped
• 1 cup whole, raw, unsalted almonds
• 1/2 cup dried cranberries
Line a baking sheet with waxed paper or parchment paper.
Place white chocolate in a small bowl and melt in the microwave for 1 minute; stir. Microwave at additional 10-20 second intervals, stirring until smooth. Place semisweet chocolate in a separate bowl and repeat process.
Stir cranberries and almonds into the white chocolate. Spread onto the lined baking sheet (the more you spread it out, the thiner the bark will be. I spread mine until it reached about an 8×11 in size.)
Drizzle the semisweet chocolate over the white chocolate and cut through with a knife in a swirling motion.
Chill in the freezer for 20 minutes (or longer) until set. Break into pieces. Refrigerate in an airtight container.
(adapted from Taste of Home)