Sweet Holiday Bites Perfect For Gifting

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Looking for homemade gifts for family and friends? Try these recipes out!

Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way! Just a few days til Christmas and if you’re worried that you can’t go out to shop for gifts, don’t worry because you can make these delicious treats instead. Yep, It’s not too late to plan on what to give to your fave people.

Chocolate Chestnut Brownies

Brownies are everyone’s favorite treat. After all, what’s not to love? Gooey, fudgy chocolate and sugar — all in one bite. This recipe puts a twist on your regular brownies by adding chestnuts. If you’ve been overdoing it with the castanas shopping, this recipe is your BFF.

Holiday Sweet Bites - Chocolate Chestnut Brownies

Makes 9-12 brownies

Chestnut Mixture

1 ½ cups Chestnuts, boiled and pureed

¼ cup Unsalted butter, softened

¼ cup Cream cheese, softened

½ tsp Salt

1 tsp Vanilla extract

1 Egg

¼ cup Condensed milk

Brownie Batter

2 cups Chopped bittersweet chocolate

1 ¼ cup Unsalted butter

1 cup Sugar

3 Eggs

½ Salt

1 tsp Vanilla extract

2/4 cup All-purpose flour

⅓ cup Chopped chestnuts for topping

Procedure:

  1. Make chestnut mixture by pureeing all the ingredients together in a food processor or in a blender. Set aside.
  2. To start with the brownie batter, melt the chocolate butter, and sugar in a baine marie or marie or microwave until melted.
  3. To the cooled chocolate, add the eggs, salt and vanilla extract then whisk until fully incorporated. Mix in the flour.
  4. Prepare an 8x-11 inch rectangular pan greased with butter or lined with parchment paper.
  5. To assemble the spread brownie batter at the bottom then top with chestnut mixture. Using a toothpick, swirl in the mixture into the batter. Top with more chopped chestnuts. Bake in a preheated 350F oven for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let the brownies cool down before slicing and serving.

Strawberry Shortcakes

Get the little munchkins involved in baking these sweet strawberry shortcakes by letting them add the berries themselves. The best part? They’re super photogenic too. Add more strawberries for a berry-merry Christmas!

Holiday Sweet Bites - Strawberry Shortcakes

Makes 6 small cakes

Ingredients:

3 ¼ cups All-purpose flour

6 Tbsps Sugar

5 tsps Baking powder

2 tsps Salt

¾ Unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 24 small pieces

1 cup Heavy cream, chilled

4 cups Fresh strawberries

1 ½ tsps Sugar

1 ½ cups Heavy cream, chilled

Procedure:

  1. Make the shortcakes. Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a mixer bowl with a paddle attachment. With the mixer on low speed, drop the butter piece by piece and continue mixing until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Drizzle the heavy cream into the mixture and continue mixing only until the dough comes together.
  2. Transfer dough to a worktable. Roll the dough to a thickness of 1”. With a 3” cutter, cut 6 circles from the remaining dough. Let the dough circles rest in the chiller for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 450F.
  3. Transfer dough circles to a cookie sheet. Bake the cakes for about 12 to 15 minutes or until they are firm to the touch. Set aside to cool.
  4. Assemble the shortcake: Slice half the strawberries and sprinkle ½ teaspoon of sugar over it. Reserve the most attractive strawberries and keep them whole. Lay one big shortcake on a serving plate. Cover with a layer of strawberries. Sprinkle with sugar. Gently place the smaller shortcake on top. Garnish with whole strawberries and a dollop of cream.

Banana Bread

Holiday Sweet Bites - Banana Bread
Photo from Getty Images

The beauty of this banana bread recipe is that you don’t need a fancy mixer. Add a scoop of your favorite ice cream to make it more enjoyable!

Makes 1 loaf

Ingredients:

2 cups All-purpose flour

¾ cup Baking soda

½ tsp Salt

¼ cup Butter, melted

2 Eggs, large

¼ cup Milk

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

1 ½ cups Overripe bananas, mashed (about 3 pcs)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salit in a bowl. Stir with a whisk.
  3. In a larger bowl, cream together sugar and butter. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in bananas, vanilla and milk. Add flour mixture and mix until evenly blended.
  4. Pour batter into an 8 ½ x 4 ½ inch loaf pan.
  5. Bake at 350F for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan then serve on a plate.

Chocolate-dipped Honeycomb

Holiday Sweet Bites - Chocolate dipped Honeycomb

Sweet tooths will love this chocolate-dipped honeycomb recipe. With just five ingredients, even the most novice baker can get this right.

1 cup Sugar

1 cup High-grade pure honey

1 Tbsp White vinegar

1 Tbsp Baking Soda, sifted

200g Bittersweet chocolate, grated

Procedure:

  1. Grease a 9-x-13x-3 inch jelly roll pan and then line it with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a medium-sized saucepan with a candy thermometer on the side, combine the sugar, honey and wine vinegar. Cook this without stirring until the mixture reaches 300F.
  3. When the mixture reaches 300F immediately mix in the baking soda. Stir briskly. The mixture may bubble up.
  4. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and set aside until it hardens and cools. When the mixture has cooled and hardened, break into pieces. Set aside.
  5. Melt chocolate on a double boiler. Put chocolate on a stainless or glass bowl. Do not let water touch the bowl. Once chocolate has melted, dip in the honeycomb pieces and set to harden on parchment paper.

Dark Chocolate Macadamia Bark

Sweet Holiday Bites Perfect For Gifting - Dark Chocolate Macadamia Bark

The kiddos will surely enjoy making these chocolate barks! What’s nice about this is that it’s easy to make and you can add other ingredients in the mix like dried fruits, nuts and pretzels!

Makes 3-4 Servings

Ingredients:

453g Dark chocolate, 60% cacao, about 2 ½ cups

2 cups Salted Macademia nuts, roughly chopped

Procedure:

  1. Start by tempering the chocolate. Separate ⅔ of the chocolate and place in a dry, clean, heat-resistant bowl. Set bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water. Make sure that the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl.
  2. Stir chocolate occasionally, until it is melted. Remove  the bowl and dry the bottom. Add remaining chocolate and continuously stir until it is completely melted.
  3. Add 1 ½ cups chopped nuts and mix until everything is well-incorporated. Immediately pour into prepared parchment paper and spread nice and thin. Sprinkle remaining nuts on top.
  4. Leave to set at room temperature or refrigerate for 15 minutes. Peel off parchment paper and break bark into pieces.

Mocha Sylvanas

Sweet Holiday Bites Perfect For Gifting — Mocha Sylvannas

With a boost of java, this beloved classic dessert gets a flavor makeover! The good news? It can be done in just 20 minutes. Best to serve with a bottle of cold brew.

Makes 10-12 servings

Ingredients:

Wafer

1 cup Egg whites

1 cup Sugar

1 cup Finely chopped cashew nuts

½ tspVanilla extract

Coating

¼ cups All-purpose Flour, toasted in a dry pan

1 ½ cups Wafer crumbs

Coffee Buttercream Filling

1 cup Sugar

⅓ cup Water

6 Egg Yolks

1 cup Butter, lightly chilled

½ cup Whipping cream

Coffee mixture (1 Tbsp instant coffee + ¼ cup Irish cream liqueur)

Procedure:

  1. Beat the egg whites in an electric mixer on medium speed until the soft peak stage. Gradually add sugar and continue beating on high speed until stiff peaks form. Fold in chopped cashew nuts and vanilla extract.
  2. Transfer meringue into a piping bag and pipe the mixture into circles on lined baking sheets, about 1 ½ – 3 inches in diameter, of about ½ inch thick. You may use a cookie cutter as a guide, if desired.
  3. Bake in a preheated 248F oven for 15-20 minutes. When cone, let cool then remove the crisp wafers gently being careful not to break them. Set aside some wafers to make crumbs.
  4. To prepare the buttercream filling, combine sugar with water in a pot. Bring to a boil over low heat. Do not stir. Wait until big bubbles turn smaller and the liquid becomes syrupy or of thread-like consistency. Turn off heat.
  5. Pour egg yolk into a bowl. Place the bowl on a double boiler and beat egg yolks until lemon-colored. Remove from heat.
  6. Pour hot syrup into the beaten egg yolks and continue beating until thick. Let the mixture cool down completely and then beat the whipping cream.
  7. In a separate bowl, cream butter using a mixer with a whisk attachment at medium speed until light and creamy.
  8. Gradually mix in cooled egg yolk mixture at low speed and beat until of spreadable consistency. Add the coffee mixture and mix well.
  9. To assemble, make sandwiches using 2-3 wafers and buttercream as filling. Cover the sandwich with more buttercream and roll in the flour-wafer crumb mixture. Chill in the freezer until ready to serve.

Recipes from Appetite by One Mega Group

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