Have you waited to the last minute to get Christmas presents? I thought that might be the case. But don’t worry! These three recipes are perfect for christmas gifts. I threw all of this together in a couple of hours. Easy! Plus, everyone knows food is a way better gift than an ugly sweater or one of those pre-made hot chocolate gift sets. You know the ones I’m talking about, with the mugs and cheap cocoa? I swear I get one of those things every year!
First, Espresso Toffee Shortbread. These are super delicious, the espresso flavor is really strong, so if you don’t like that, cut it down a bit, maybe to 1 1/2 teaspoons.
Espresso Toffee Shortbread
Makes about 4 dozen
from here, make those too!
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup toffee bits
1 tablespoon espresso powder
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
Beat butter with a mixer on medium speed until creamy and smooth, about 2 minutes. Gradually add the powdered sugar, beating until smooth. Add vanilla, toffee, espresso powder and beat until combined. Reduce speed to low.
Mix flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to butter beating at a low speed until blended.
Form dough into 2 logs, each about 1 1/2 inches in diameter; wrap in parchment, and refrigerate 1 hour (or up to 3 days).
Preheat oven to 350.
If frozen, let the logs stand at room temp for 10 minutes. Remove parchment. Slice logs into 1/4-inch-thick rounds, and space about 1 inch apart on baking sheets lined with parchment. Bake until pale golden, about 12 minutes. Let cool.
Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
Second, Peppermint bark! I LOVE peppermint and chocolate together. This is so, so easy. Perfect for the chocolate lover on your list.
From Savory Sweet Life
1 bag of chocolate chips (any kind you like)
1 bag of white chocolate chips
24 mini candy canes, crushed *do not crush using a food processor – place candy canes in a zip lock bag and use a hammer to crush into small pieces
Line the bottom of a 9×13 pan with parchment paper. Pour (brown) chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave chocolate chips in increments of 30 seconds stirring the chips each time until chocolate chips have completed melted and mixture is smooth. Spread melted chocolate as evenly as possibly into lined pan. Place pan into freezer for 20 minutes. Repeat the same melting process with the white chips. While chocolate is still smooth, stir in half of the crushed candy cane mixture. Allow the white chocolate to slightly cool for a minute. Remove pan from freezer and spread white chocolate/crushed candy canes mixture on top of the chocolate layer. Spread white chocolate as quickly as possible. Top off with remaining crushed candy cane and gently pat down with the back of a spatula. Return pan to freezer for 20 minutes. Remove from freezer and gently lift the whole mixture from the pan with a butter knife. You should now have a solid sheet of peppermint bark. Remove parchment paper and break into pieces. Store any left over bark in a ziplock bag and place in the freezer. Enjoy!
Lastly, my favorite, Spiced Maple Glazed Pecans. These are SO GOOD. Sweet, but not too sweet, salty, and a little spicy. Give these to everyone!
Spiced Maple Glazed Pecans
from Martha Stewart
1 pound unsalted pecans
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
4 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon light-brown sugar
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and toss to combine. Spread nut mixture in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet lined with a nonstick baking mat. Bake, stirring frequently, until browned, 12 to 15 minutes; let cool. Pecans can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container up one week.