By LYDIA BOLEN
The 2013 Christmas season has arrived! Now is the time to plan fun gifts to share with friends, family, and teachers. I like to give much thought to my edible gifts each year. Make it easy on yourself by preparing many gifts at once. Time in and out of the kitchen is important with busy schedules.
Hot Cocoa Mix in a jar is fun to make and fun to receive. Dress up the container to make a great Holiday gift everyone will enjoy.
Chocolate Banana Bread is simply a delicious snack for all! Wrap each loaf in clear cellophane, and add a wired festive ribbon or raffia for a lovely presentation.
Hidden Valley Ranch Oyster Crackers are a hit with any age group. Wrap the crackers in holiday gift bags. These can be served in holiday-themed bowls while your family gathers for tree trimming or Christmas Day.
Shop early for clear jars, holiday tins, and festive ribbon for decorative presentations of your edible gifts! Merry Christmas!
- 3/4 cup salad oil
- 1 package (1 ounce) Hidden Valley Ranch Original Salad Dressing and Seasoning Mix
- 1/2 teaspoon dill weed
- 1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 12-16 ounces of plain oyster crackers
Whisk together the first five ingredients.
Pour over crackers to coat.
Place crackers on a baking sheet and bake at 275 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes.
Makes 11-12 cups.
CHOCOLATE CHIP BANANA BREAD
- 6 ripe bananas
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup melted butter
- 3 cups all-purpose or bread flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 cup mini or regular chocolate chips (can add a little more if desired)
In a large bowl, mash bananas with a fork until large chunks disappear.
Add other ingredients in order given, mixing until just blended. Do not over mix.
Grease two 9×5 loaf pans or four small 6- inch loaf pans and coat generously with sugar. (For greasing pans, you can use Baker’s Joy, Pam, or butter by hand.)
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
Loaves will freeze well. Halve recipe to prepare one loaf.
HOT COCOA MIX
6 and 1/2 cups powdered milk
1 (5 ounce) package chocolate pudding mix (use regular, not instant)
1 cup powdered chocolate drink mix
1/2 cup powdered non-dairy creamer
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup sifted unsweetened cocoa
2 to 4 cinnamon sticks (optional)
In a large bowl, combine powdered milk, chocolate pudding mix, chocolate drink mix, powdered creamer, confectioners’ sugar, and cocoa. Divide the mixture between two 1-quart clear jars.
Seal, and decorate as desired. Cinnamon sticks can be added to the top for stirrers.
This mixture can be stored in a dry area for up to 3 months.
Attach a tag with the following instructions: Dissolve 1 /3 cup cocoa mix in 1 cup boiling water.