Some of the best recipes of the Christmas season are those that double as gifts, like this homemade cranberry infused vodka.
1 cup FRESH cranberries
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup pineapple juice
1 large strip of orange peel
2 cups QUALITY vodka (Absolut is best)
- Place the cranberries, sugar and pineapple juice in a medium saucepan over medium high heat until the sugar is dissolved, the cranberries pop and the pineapple juice is absorbed.
- Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
- Transfer the mixture into a large mason jar.
- Place the orange peel in the mason jar, and pour the vodka over top.
- Screw the lid on tightly and set the jar on a counter at room temperature for at least 3 days, and up to a month.
- Shake once a day.
- Strain into a decorative bottle, tie with festive ribbon and gift with a cocktail recipe in which to use it.
I have a station set up just outside the front door in the alcove for delivery drivers with a nice variety of drinks and snacks for them to choose from. They all seem to enjoy it and our regular drivers have come to know it will always be there. I normally do this, but tried for a bit nicer variety this year so they realize just how much they have become essential in this day and age.
I usually do a large plate of goodies for my neighbors and regular delivery people. But, this year with smaller gatherings and everyone having been home so much and already snacking too much probably, I’m changing it up to make it easier on me, more cost effective for me and more fun too since I’m sans my munchkin baking crew this year because of social distancing.
So, I’m doing gift jars for brownie mixes that can be used whenever they want instead of a plate of goodies that may go bad before they eat them all.
PEANUT BUTTER* BROWNIE MIX
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup baking cocoa
1 cup peanut butter chips*
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup FINELY chopped walnuts
- In a quart size mason jar, layer the ingredients in the order listed, packing down well between each layer. This is an important step s these ingredients literally fill the jar!
- Cover tightly. Store in a cool, DRY place up to 6 months.
Include a cute little square of Christmas fabric, some ribbon and tag with the following instructions:
2 LARGE eggs at room temperature
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract
Powdered sugar for dusting (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- In a bowl combine eggs, butter and vanilla with the brownie mix, folding together in as few strokes as possible.
- Spread into a greased 8×8 baking pan.
- Bake 25-30 minutes until set.
- Cool on wire rack.
- Dust with powdered sugar if desired.
- Cut into squares.
NOTE: It is easy to change up this flavor by just changing the flavor of chips you use. I’m posting my peanut butter recipe, but you’ll notice the picture is of the jars I made with mint chocolate chips. This batch of 12 had a variety of peanut butter chips, butterscotch chips, caramel chips and mint chocolate chips, LOL 😀 NOT all together of course!