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Holiday Treats to Share

Giving gifts to friends and neighbors is such a fun part of the Holiday season. Growing up, we always delivered plates of cookies, and I still plan on doing that this year when we spend Christmas with my parents. Since becoming a mom and having children of my own, I’ve tried to branch out from the standard cookie plate and give unique, homemade treats. It isn’t because I don’t like cookies; I do, and we still make all of the old favorites. I just like any excuse to make something new and delicious! Plus, if you don’t give away all of your cookies, you get to eat them all yourself. I find it is a winning strategy!

Here are some of our favorite treats to share:
Not at all like Cracker Jacks (and the better for it), this sticky, salty, chewy, delicious caramel corn disappears in the blink of an eye.
If you’re tired of all the sweets, try giving loaves of warm, homemade bread!
OK, so they still haven’t won any contests (ask me about last week’s church potluck sometime), but they remain some of the most tasty bars we’ve ever had!

Who doesn’t love hot-off-the-griddle pancakes or waffles smothered in a heavenly berry concoction?

We actually received this as a present from a neighbor one Christmas when I was growing up. It has been a family favorite ever since!
Do they even need explaining?!
Cranberry Pecan Granola
This is what we’re giving our friends and neighbors for Christmas this year. And we’re not the only ones! This recipe can fairly easily be doubled (it all depends on how many big bowls and cookie sheets you have laying around), and can also be halved if you want smaller batches. Although the recipe technically makes 4 quarts of delicious, addicting granola, I found that by leaving a little head-space in each jar, I could fill 5-6 wide mouth quart jars with each batch.

Cranberry Pecan Granola
a true Frankenstein’s monster of a recipe, with bits and pieces borrowed fromhere,here, andhere

8 cups rolled oats
1 cup raw, shelled sunflower seeds
1 cup raw, shelled pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup powdered milk
3/4杯枫糖浆
3/4杯蜂蜜
半杯油
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
3 cups dried, sweetened cranberries
在烤箱中安排烤架,使它们位于顶部1/3和烤箱的底部1/3。将烤箱预热至350度。两条带铝箔的边缘烘烤床单,搁置。在一个非常非常大的碗,结合燕麦,向日葵种子,肽,山核桃和粉末牛奶。在一个小碗或2杯玻璃测量杯中,结合除蔓越莓之外的所有剩余成分。搅拌结合,然后倒入燕麦混合物中。使用大型木勺,轻轻搅拌燕麦混合物,直至其全部彻底,均匀地涂有枫糖浆 - 蜂蜜混合物。将燕麦混合物均匀地分开在两个制备的烘焙板之间,并均匀地将混合物均匀分布在每片上。将两个平底锅放入烤箱中并烘烤10分钟。在每张床单上轻轻搅拌混合物,小心不要燃烧自己或将任何格兰诺拉麦扔进到烤箱中,旋转纸张,再烘烤15分钟。 Remove both pans from the oven and allow to cool completely. Break up the granola, place in a big bowl, add the cranberries, and mix well. Pack into jars, bags, or any air-tight container.

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