Every year I bake up a box of goodies to give to my family and to send to family and friends across the country. I have a few treats that have made it into the box each year, but I also add and swap snacks in and out based on ingredients, giftee feedback, and what I feel like dealing with.
So, here is this year’s rundown with links and modifications listed.
- Apple Cider Caramels– chewy caramels with apple cider and a hint of cinnamon. I made a half recipe and it was enough for about three good sized caramels per box. Recipe here.
- Peppermint Patties– What else do you need to know? A great and easy recipe. You really do need to let the mint patties dry for several hours, flipping at least once. Be patient! And temper your chocolate for best results. I made a half recipe but should have done a whole one. I skip the crushed candy on top to make them more like the store-bought variety. Recipe here.
- Oreo Truffles— this is a simple classic. Crushed Oreos and cream cheese, dipped in almond bark. Recipe here. I only used white almond bark and didn’t bother with the chocolate version. I also only use about 6oz of cream cheese instead of 8. 8 makes the “dough” too sticky in my opinion.
- Molasses Doodle Cookies- Chewy, spicy, great molasses and ginger flavor. These were one of my favorite items this year! Recipe here.
- Raspberry Almond Cake Bites– These were my ill-fated attempts at petit fours. I was inspired by this King Arthur Flour post here, and made a half recipe of this cake. I made it in a 9×13 pan and still had to cut it in half to fill it. Next time I would make it in a jelly roll pan and then hopefully be able to just stack two layers. I tried to use the white chocolate icing recipe in the first link, but had a lot of trouble getting it to coat the cakes. I ended up giving in and just covering them in almond bark. The end result was tasty, but ultimately too much work with everything else I think.
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch Brownies– I have made these brownies several times and they are my favorites. I used a recipe for Peanut Butter Cup Crack Brownies here. I add some extra rice cereal and I put Reeses Pieces on top too!
- Coconut Ice Candy– This is mainly for my mom and my grandma. It’s like a slightly firmer version of the inside of a coconut candy bar. They would be great dipped in chocolate. Recipe here. I used an 8 in square pan and made only a half batch, skipping the pink food coloring.
- Dark Chocolate Earl Grey Truffles– These are amazing and, aside from chilling the ganache for a few hours, fairly easy. They are definitely a messy project, but completely worth it. These make my list year after year. Recipe here.
- Coconut Cookie Butter Sandwiches– Another no-bake “recipe” that produces quick and tasty results. Thin coconut cookies sandwiched together with crunchy cookie butter, then dipped in white chocolate. Recipe here. I made them last year with ginger cookies instead and, although I love both versions, think the ginger one is a little better.
- Rosemary Brown Sugar Pecans– I wanted to add a few savory items to my boxes this year. These are amazing. I used about twice the called-for amount of fresh rosemary, and let my butter brown a bit before adding other ingredients. I will 100% make them again. Recipe here.
- Parmesan Thyme Crackers– My other savory option, these taste great alone and even better with some added cheese or spread! I doubled the thyme in the recipe, added a squeeze of lemon juice, 2T cream and 1T water to help the dough come together. Recipe here.
- Salted Peanut Butter Cookies– I’ve raved about these cookies before and just had to add them to the holiday list this year. See my post here.
With these recipes I was able to make nine large boxes of treats, plus I had extra oreo truffles, cake bites, crunch brownies, and cookie sandwiches. I started baking about a week before shipping, and stored completed treats in the freezer. They all thaw well and ship well. The boxes are best stored in the refrigerator if you have to wait to gift them, but nothing will be hurt at room temperature.