Luxury Food Gourmet Gift Baskets
A common tradition in some families for the holidays is to send the old favorite fruit cake. A similar but better idea is to provide a homemade gourmet gift baskest filled with food items you have made. This provides the maximum savings; instead of spending $100 on a gift basket purchase, you spend $20 to create a gift basket with items made in your own kitchen. Now the cost can certainly vary greatly, however if you not only design the basket but also do the work to cook the food items within the basket, this gives maximum savings.
The basket itself is only a container so it can be a traditional wicker basket, a shoe box or a gift bag, $2 at your local discount store. The basket or box or bag needs to be large enough to easily hold the gift items plus the basket liner plus any other bows, ribbons and miscellaneous items you may want to use to decorate the basket.
How much to decorate the basket depends upon who is receiving the gift and the occasion. For a close friend to give as a Thank You gift, little if any decoration is needed. However it is recommended to at least use some colored tissue paper to line the basket. A better idea to cover the bottom of a basket is to use cloth dinner napkins that can be found at most department stores. These come in many different colors and also with different patterns.
Use 2” or 3” wide ribbon for the bow and other ribbon for a lasting impression. Dollar bills can also be rolled up and put in-between some of the gift items to make the basket more unique. Decorating a gift basket is easier than wrapping a present. Each individual item within the basket does not need to be gift wrapped unless so desired.Other items like a bottle of wine or a bag of nuts can also be added.
Now the main items that will be put into the homemade gift basket should depend upon what the person likes that is receiving the basket and what you are good at making in the kitchen. For the items be considered gourmet, use the best ingredients and recipes. It also helps to find something unique.
Here are a few candy, bars and cookie recipes that have been tried and tested many times. Each item can be either wrapped in saran wrap or placed within a separate container before placing inside the basket. Another advantage here is that with just slightly more effort, several gift baskets can be created at once.
- 2 cup sugar
- 1 cup white karo syrup
- 2 cups boiling hard water
- Cook to soft ball stage.
- 2 cups raw peanuts
- 1 tsp. salt
Add peanuts and salt. Cook till peanuts are done, changing from white to amber. Take off stove add 2 tsp. vanilla mix and add 1 tsp. soda mix and pour on tin.
- 1 cup butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 tbs. water
Boil butter and sugar until bubbling, cook for ten minutes on med high heat. Spread with Hershey’s chocolate bars.
WHITE PECAN FUDGE
- 1 Tbs butter + ½ cup 2-1/4 c sugar
- 2-1/2 c mini marshmallows 1 c whipping cream
- 16 oz white baking chocolate 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cu pecans
Line a grease 9 in pan with foil set aside. Butter sides of a large heavy saucepan with 1/ tsp butter. Cut reaming butter into small pieces and place in large heat-proof bowl.Add marshmallow and set aside. In buttered saucepan combine sugar and cream. Cook and stir over medium heat; until mixture comes to a boil. Cover and cook for 2 minutes to dissolve any sugar crystals. Uncover cook over medium heat without stirring; until a candy thermometer read 234 degrees. Remove form heat. Pour over butter and marshmallows stir until melted. Add chocolate. Continue stirring until Chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Stir in vanilla and nuts.
CHERRY CHOCOLATE KISSEES COOKIE
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons maraschino cherry juice
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- Red food coloring, just a few drops
- 2 1/4 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup maraschino cherries, drained and chopped
- 48 chocolate kisses, unwrapped
Preheat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, combine powdered sugar, butter, cherry juice, almond extract and food coloring; blend well. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off. Stir in flour and salt. Add cherries and mix well. Form dough into 1-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake in preheated oven 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly brown around edges. Immediately top each cookie with a chocolate kiss. Remove from cookie sheets and cool. Makes 48 cookies.
CHERRY MASH BARS
- 2 cups sugar dash salt
- 2\3 cup evap. milk 12 reg marshmallows
- ½ cup butter
Combine and stir over med. heat until full boil, boil for five minutes. Remove from heat, stir in 9 oz. cherry chips and 1 tsp. vanilla. Spread in 9 by 13 buttered pan and chill.
Melt one 12 oz package chocolate chips, 3\4 cup peanut butter together. Crush 1 pound package salted peanuts in blender, 1\2 cup at a time and fold into chocolate mixture, then spread over cherry mixture and chill.