If you're looking for gift ideas for someone for a birthday or holiday, consider giving edible gifts that you can make yourself with a little thought and planning ahead. These edible gifts are fairly easy to do and can be made in bulk so that you can always have a gift on hand for a new neighbor moving in or as a hostess gift for a party or to help you save money for holiday gift giving.
Edible Gifts â€“ Homemade Jam
Making your own homemade jam is really very simple, doesn't take long and can be made with any type of fruit you like. This can be made any time that fresh fruit is in season and the canning process will allow each jar to be stored for at least a year.
To make homemade jam you'll need:
4 cups of crushed fruit
7 cups of sugar
One box of pectin
8-9 Standard 8 oz. jelly jars, canning lids and canning rings
Canning pot and small sauce pot
Wash, cut and core the fruit into 2-3" pieces.
Crush the fresh fruit in a food processor or use a mashing tool.
Measure out 4 cups of fruit and place in a sauce pot.
Cook the fruit to reduce it by allowing it to come to a rapid boil then reduce heat to medium high, stirring so it will not burn.
In a small separate pan, heat the lids and rings.
In a pot large enough to hold the canning jars, add water to half way full and heat.
When fruit is reduced to a thickness you like, add one package of fruit pectin and stir for one minute until the pectin is dissolved. Remove from heat.
Can the fruit by using a ladle and placing approximately two ladles full of fruit into the jar with a canning funnel.
Clean the top of the jar with a clean cotton towel to remove any spillage and so that a tight seal will be obtained.
Add one of the heated lids carefully without getting burned and then apply one of the heated rings. Tighten as tight as possible.
Continue canning the jam until all jars are full. This should make approximately 9 jars of jam.
Place the canned jars of jam into the large pot of heated water and make sure that the jars are completely covered with water.
Heat for 10 minutes, remove from heat and place on a cotton towel on a counter to cool.
As proper canning is achieved, a popping sound will be heard on each jar and there will be no ability to move the lid up and down â€“ it will be secure.
Once cooled, add a gift tag and ribbon around the top of the jar and present your homemade jam as one of your edible gifts this year!
Edible Gifts â€“ Chocolate Covered Pretzels with White Swirls
Chocolate covered pretzels are easy to make, look attractive as an edible gift, will be appreciated by the chocolate lover and can be made in advance of the event or holiday needed.
To make chocolate covered pretzels, you will need:
One package of pretzel rods or pretzel swirls
Several large chocolate bars of your choice. Suggested use is the best quality of dark or milk chocolate with a high content of cacao. Melting chocolate wafers can also be used and are typically available in large 2 pound bags.
One large white chocolate bar
Sheet tray lined with plastic wrap or parchment paper
In a double boiler, add the chocolate to the top pot and heat on medium low until the chocolate melts. Stir until the chocolate is smooth and creamy.
Once the chocolate is melted, use a tong to place one pretzel in the melted chocolate until fully covered. Allow excess chocolate to drip off into the same pan.
Place the chocolate covered pretzel onto the lined sheet tray and allow to fully cool.
Continue until all pretzels are covered in chocolate.
Melt the white chocolate bar in a double boiler or the microwave until smooth and creamy.
Use a small spoon to drizzle the melted white chocolate onto the chocolate covered pretzels in any design you desire.
Completely cool pretzels and then place several in a cellophane bag with ribbon and gift tag as one of your edible gifts to give.
* Substitute white chocolate for butterscotch or sprinkles
Edible Gifts â€“ Chocolate Covered Nuts
Using the same technique as the one above for chocolate covered pretzels, cover any type of nut you choose.
Suggested nuts to cover in chocolate are cashews, walnuts, hazelnuts or peanuts.
Use small cellophane gift bags or find small gift boxes or gift tins to give the chocolate covered nuts as edible gifts.
These edible gifts can be made any time of year for yourself and your family as well as for gifts and they cost much less than buying. Do buy the best chocolate you can afford and even buy chocolate online it in bulk as well as gift containers or cellophane bags and ties to make many chocolate covered edible gifts.
Edible Gifts â€“ Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Chocolate covered strawberries can also be made using the same techniques as the chocolate covered pretzels or nuts although they need to be made closer to the date needed since the strawberries will go bad sooner.
Edible Gifts â€“ Gifts in a Jar
Quart sized canning jars make excellent containers for giving edible gifts of ingredients needed to make any of your favorite recipes. Simply layer each ingredient needed for a recipe into the jar with a recipe card and baking instructions such as:
Edible Gifts - Brownie Mix Gift in a Jar
Layer in a quart sized jar applying each layer gently to avoid making the sides messy:
2 1/4 Cups Sugar
2/3 Cup of cocoa powder
1/2 Cup of chopped walnuts or pecans
1 Tsp. baking powder
1 Tsp. salt
On the gift tag add the following: Use this brownie mix in a mixing bowl and add 4 slightly beaten eggs and 3/4 Cups of butter or baking shortening. After beating well until smooth, spread into a greased 9 x 12 sized baking pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake for 30-35 minutes or until center comes clean with a toothpick. Cool in the pan and cut into 2-3" squares. Makes 24 Brownies
- Use the edible gifts in a jar idea on any of your favorite recipes. Just be sure not to add the wet ingredients, only the dry ingredients so that the jars will last 3-6 months.
- Start planning ahead on making edible gifts that are fun and easy to make, and give and these ideas will also help you to save money on gift giving for the holidays! Buy the bulk chocolate, containers, bags and tags online early so you'll have them ready.
Find more edible gifts and gift containers here: