So this year I didn’t make enough Jam to give hordes away like I did last year.  However, I did can a few things that would make great gifts:

Didn’t can anything this year?  That’s OK–let someone else do it.  Run down to the store, pick out a jar of jam that has a pretty container (Trader Joe’s has a few), and bake up a loaf of bread, or some biscuits (pictured above), or some scones and you’re set!  Now you get to keep those cookies for yourself, gain 5 pounds, and feel like the holidays are just what they should be.  Did the sudden talk of Christmas cookies make you salivate?  Stay tuned for posts from this year’s Christmas Cookie Day.

Grab your favorite Ball jar, velum bag, or cute mug, because this gift is sure to warm everyone up.  Make a large batch of my Hot Coco Mix with Martha Stewart’s Peppermint Marshmallows and you have a wonderful seasonal gift to bring to your Christmas party host or that neighbor that always picks up your mail when you’re out of town.  Don’t let the Martha-name-drop scare you either.  These fluffy treats are really pretty easy.

Nonstick cooking spray
3 (1/4-ounce) packages unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup cold water
2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
Confectioners’ sugar, sifted, for coating

  1. Lightly spray a 9-by-9-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Line pan with plastic wrap, leaving a 2-inch overhang on all sides; set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup cold water; let stand for 10 minutes. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, corn syrup, and 1/4 cup water. Place saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil; boil rapidly for 1 minute. Remove from heat, and, with the mixer on high, slowly pour the boiling syrup down the side of the mixer bowl into gelatin mixture. Add salt and continue mixing for 12 minutes.
  3. Add peppermint extract and mix until well combined. Spray a rubber spatula or your hands with cooking spray. Spread gelatin mixture evenly into pan using prepared spatula or your hands. Spray a sheet of plastic wrap with cooking spray and place, spray side down, on top of marshmallows. Let stand for 2 hours.
  4. Carefully remove marshmallows from pan. Remove all plastic wrap and discard. Cut marshmallows into 2-inch squares using a sprayed a sharp knife. Place confectioners’ sugar in a large bowl. Working in batches, add marshmallows to bowl and toss to coat. Marshmallows can be stored in an airtight container up to 3 days.