Handmade Christmas Part 3

Yes, dear readers, while the rest of the world has moved on to reflecting on 2009 and moving forward to blogging about Valentine's Day crafts, I'm still stuck on Christmas. The nice thing though, is these gifts aren't limited to Christmas - they also make great house warming gifts.

So, without further hesitation, I bring you Handmade Christmas Part 3 - gifts for friends and family. I gave a trio of gifts with a common theme revolving around hunkering down on a cold winter night in front of a fire.

First, a set of tumbled tile coasters. These were made with tumbled
marble tiles found at Home Depot I stamped them with Staz-on ink
which is completely waterproof and needs no sealing. Stick some cork pads
on the bottom to protect furniture, wrap with a pretty ribbon and your done.
Easy peasy!

Then, to fill the cups resting on the coasters, I made the following
hot chocolate recipe from Little Birdie Secrets packaged in pretty tins

Hot Cocoa Mix Recipe

10 cups dry milk powder
4 3/4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1 3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1 3/4 cups powdered non-dairy creamer (I used Hazel Nut)

Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Store in a jar or airtight container. Yields 15 cups (enough for 15 of the small jars pictured here). To make the cocoa, stir 3 heaping Tablespoons into 3/4 c. hot water or milk. I always advise topping it off with whipped cream as well, but that's just me (and my sweet tooth).

And of course, I had to add something to munch on so I made the following
candied nuts recipe from
Blissfully Domestic , also packaged in pretty tins.

Sugar and Spice Candied Nuts
Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen
  • 2 pounds nuts (I used pecans)
  • 2 egg whites, room temperature
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2/3 cup dark-brown sugar
  • 1 1/3 cup white granulated sugar
  • 3 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (you could use paprika if you're a scaredy-pants, but the cayenne works well)
  • 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees. Add nuts to large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg whites and water until frothy. Pour over nuts and stir to coat all the nuts. In a separate bowl, mix together the sugars, salt, cayenne pepper, and cinnamon. Pour over nuts and stir to coat. Spread nuts in a single layer on a parchment (or wax paper) lined baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove from oven and separate nuts if they are stuck together. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store in an airtight container.
If you decide to try out any of these gift ideas, I would love to hear how it they turned out. If you're family is anything like mine, they'll be begging you for the roasted nuts recipe. :)

P.S. If you like what you see here, I'd love it if you'd share!


Amie McCracken said...

Oh that sounds so yummy! Adding both the hot chocolate and nuts to my list of recipes to try.

Trudy Callan said...

The kids and I made the tile coasters awhile back using the Staz On ink. It was a fun project. I love how they turned out. Yours look great, too.

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