Wednesday, December 21, 2011

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Although I love the holidays, it can be undoubtedly busy.  For me, the Christmas Season begins the day after Thanksgiving.  That's when I officially start worrying planning for the holiday.  It's usually about two weeks after my official kick-off date that I start kicking myself for (once again) neglecting to make anything homemade for Christmas.  Not this year, my friend!  This year I actually planned a little bit ahead and tried my hand at canning!

My friend/partner in Crime, Tabitha, and I got together and made two batches of Sweet Apple Cider Butter.  I'll do a tutorial on what did in the future.  Today I just wanted to share the "gift" portion of making these.

Here is the finished product:
Sweet Apple Cider Butter

I hope everyone likes them.  We're planning on giving them out to our neighbors and other people we may not usually buy for, but would like to give a little gift to.

We put together a little gift basket for the Grandparents and as Hostess gifts.

For the bags.

The gift bags contain an Apple Butter, Trader Joe's Spiced Apple Bread Mix, Trader Joe's Chocolates, and a Cinnamon Mocha Hot Chocolate mix.

Usually I would have baked something to go with the Apple Butter, however, since we'll be traveling, I wanted to give something that would hold up - which is why we went with a boxed mix.  Had I had though of it in time, I probably would have made a mix in a jar for some kind of baked good.  I didn't think of it in time, so we just bought something.  ha ha

The chocolates look really amazing and fancy: some have cranberry and pistachio on them while others have sea salt and almonds!  The Hubs was trying to convince me his Grandpa doesn't like sweet stuff and that we should just open one of the boxes now. I'm kicking myself for not buying more for the Hub's Stocking.  

As for the Cinnamon Mocha Hot Chocolate: I got the recipe from Tabitha who gave them out as gifts for her Ugly Sweater Party.  I don't know where she got the recipe, but it was delicious, so I copied her! :D  I don't think she'd mind if I gave out the recipe:

Cinnamon Mocha Hot Chocolate
3/4 C  Hot Chocolate Mix (I used Trader Joe's Brand)
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 Packet Instant Coffee (I bought a jar and used one HEAPING teaspoon.  Not sure if that's the correct measurement, but I did measure one of Starbucks Tia packets and that's what was in there.)

Mix all the dry ingredients together.  Makes one 8 ounce jar worth of mix.  Use 2 Tablespoons of Chocolate Mix to 8 oz of hot water or milk.

Happy Holidays!

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