Monday, January 1, 2018

Gifts for others

Don't worry, I didn't forget my dad! As I said in Mom's post, I try not to do something different for my dad after that cake I made him a couple years ago with frosting that wasn't our family's chocolate recipe. So this year I decided to combine his two favorite cookies: M&M (whenever Nonni makes a batch for a family gathering he always claims she made them for him only) and peanut butter chocolate chip. The result looked interesting but Dad seemed to like it (he was a bit secretive so everyone else wouldn't know if they were good or not). I might just make these for myself one day!

I've also given candy to the cousins (Chiara, Carly, Matteo, Declan, and Gianna) for the last few years. They're very easy to make: just get Wilton's Candy Melts (I honestly have no idea if other baking brands have similar products), melt them down, pour them into candy molds, stick in the fridge or freezer until firm, and pop out. I even got a candy melting and decorating tool to make things easier. I feel like I didn't make as many candies this year but I don't think the kids cared.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge

The only other flavor I had to go on for Helen was peanut butter. Which is probably just as broad as chocolate, even when the two are paired together. I decided to find something simple and quick since most of the other recipes I chose were a bit more complex and lengthy to do and I wanted to give myself a break at one point (as well as have a couple free days for holiday events that came up, seeing as how I didn't plan very well for when I'd make which recipe). I finally decided on Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge from The Bitter Side of Sweet.

Homemade Twix Bars

Ever since I joined Pinterest I've come across a lot of homemade candy bar recipes. Apparently there are several different ways to make your favorite candy bars. So this year I decided to make homemade Twix bars for Anthony. After looking at all the choices I'd saved I finally decided on a recipe from Tastes Better from Scratch as it was the format I wanted.

Peanut Butter Dog Treats

Our family grew a little bit in 2017 when back in March Anthony and Kati got a dog. They named him Dan, after Anthony's favorite baseball player Dan Wilson. At first I wasn't going to make him anything but after a while I decided "Why not?" Apparently there are a lot of recipes for homemade dog treats with two main ingredients: peanut butter and meat (usually bacon). I decided to keep it simple and just stick with peanut butter dog treats. I ended up finding an easy recipe on Puppy Leaks.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Lemon Cutouts

For Kati I also decided to stay away from chocolate. I focused specifically on lemon since I remembered that she likes limoncello, an Italian lemon liqueur (like my mom, she has happily embraced being an Italian-by-marriage). When I came across Lemon Cutouts in a Taste of Home Best-Loved Cookies & Candies magazine, it seemed perfect: a couple years ago for my birthday, she, Anthony, Kevin, and Helen got me a set of cookie cutters but I hadn't yet had the opportunity to use them. Until now.


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