The weather has changed, leaves are falling, there’s a morning chill, and I’ve already got a fruitcake tucked away in some whisky-soaked cheesecloth. And I know it’s just Halloween, but real cooks will be thinking about cookable Christmas gifts.
This book itself will be a gift cooks love, but they’ll also love dried porcini mushrooms, salmon gravlax, apricot-bourbon mustard, or homemade garganelli.
If you’ve been making culinary Christmas gifts you’re already familiar with logs of lemon-herb butter, or vanilla extract infused into rum. And who doesn’t have a secret bbq spice rub worth sharing?
And maybe you’ve made chocolate bark–but how about Smoked Salt, Dried Apricot, and Almond Chocolate Bark? The sweets in the book will catch the attention of an adventurous cook and will please the pickiest recipient–Blackberry Merlot Jellies and Toasted Coconut Marshmallows. But it’s not all sugar and spice–surely there’s someone on your list who will appreciate some homemade smoked bacon or silky salmon gravlax.
When you’re making gifts, you want them to look good and taste good. Coconut Granola Crunch does just that. One secret is the right amount of salt that moderates the sweet fruit and honey and keeps you pinching just one more spoonful. The other secret is cooking it in stages so that nothing burns, but the oats, nuts, and coconut all turn out toasty brown.
As tempting as these recipes are, they are meant to be gifts, so the chapters on decorative packaging–tins and boxes, labels and cards–will make you look good. ANd for a bit of festive creativity, the chapter on Make-a-Gift Kits will inspire you with pasta, cheese, s’mores, and breakfast kits.
Perhaps the nicest thing about this book is that it gives you an excuse to enjoy the holidays all year long in your kitchen.