I wish that I would've taken more pictures of the gifts I made this year! Somehow in the Christmas rush, I forgot all about pictures for later... I did find a few, which I'll share with you, and try my best to describe and link to any other sources that I used.
- Vanilla Coffee Syrup: A big hit this year! (and unbelievably easy!) Check out the original recipe at A Beautiful Mess. I used a combination of my own, reused bottles and cute oil and vinegar bottles from Dollar Tree that I covered with my own labels and brown paper.
- Vanilla Almond Sugar Skin Scrub: A great scrub for winter skin after washing dishes, being outside, and for really any other reason! I found the original recipe at RadMegan, and adapted it a little by adding both almond and vanilla extracts. I also made a Pumpkin Pie version (with canola oil and pumpkin pie spice) for my sister. It smelled so good that I had to gift a little to myself too!
- My friend Kensey's homemade Peppermint Vanilla Skin Scrub: I'm guessing this could easily be made by adapting the above recipe with peppermint extract instead.
- Apple Butter: This was the easiest apple butter recipe I have ever come across! It is from Fix-It and Forget-It Cookbook, a resource for tons of crockpot recipes in one book. The recipe calls for 7 cups applesauce (unsweetened) + 2-3 cups sugar (and then I just added as I tasted it, since I like it sweet!) + 2 tsp. cinnamon + 1 tsp. nutmeg + 1/4 tsp. allspice (or ginger if you don't have allspice). Again, you can add the spices to taste. Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker on high for 8-10 hours. For the last hour, take the lid off and stir occasionally. It will smell so good, so start in the morning and you'll have the whole day to let it cook and have your home smell amazing! Ladle into jars and refrigerate. (Makes 2+ pints)
|Peppermint Sugar Skin Scrub - Made by my friend Kensey|
|My own vanilla almond sugar skin scrub|
- Homemade Granola: This is my favorite thing to gift! We had brown bags of granola that I baked for favors at our wedding, so it always has a spot close to my heart. There are so many good recipes out there, but here are a few of my favorites:
- From Cooking Light: Classic, Easy Granola
- From Joy of Baking: Granola with Dried Fruit and Maple Syrup
- From the "Recipe Doctor" (my favorite recipe!!): Coffee Granola (also called Cinnamon Dolce Granola)
- Other Things that I wish I had time to make but didn't this year:
Christmas may be past, but it's never too early to start planning for next year! Most of these would be great birthday, housewarming, and just because gifts. Not only will they not break your budget, but your friends and family will feel the love each time they use/enjoy your handmade gifts!