Holiday gift recipe exchange

Ok, here I go at my first OP. At the request of a friend’s mother, last night I found myself digging through my recipe box. She wanted the recipe for a holiday treat that I’d made for them a couple of years ago. Got me to thinking - this is the same thing my sister, mom, and grandma make, and I think I could use a change.

So tell me, what do you like to make as food gifts? What exchanges well? Maybe we can shake each other up a little this year.

So here’s mine: (adapted when Mom and Dad lived on an almond orchard and nuts were plentiful)

Almond brittle

2 C granulated sugar
1 pound butter
2 C whole roasted almonds
1/2 C chopped roasted almonds
7 Hershey bars

On the stovetop, and using a candy thermometer, heat the sugar and butter to 300 degrees F, constantly stirring. Just before it gets to 300 (say 275 or so), slowly add the whole almonds. Don’t dump them all in at once, or you’ll lower the candy temperature a little too much.

At 300, it should be a nice golden color. Pour it on a well-buttered jelly roll pan, and let it cool slightly. Break the chocolate into pieces (I’ve had very good luck with various flaavors of chocolate chips too), and place them on the candy until they melt. Then spread the chocolate around more or less evenly over the surface.

When that has cooled slightly, sprinkle the chopped almonds over the top and let the whole thing cool completely. Then break it into pieces. This is where the buttering of the tray is important. I’ve had disastrous results with parchment.

I’ve also added a few drops of either vanilla or orange extract to the candy when it was close to temperature. That worked well, especially when combined with a dark chocolate.

This boxes nicely, and is irresistible in my family. It’s really OK that four of us make it, because we’ll eat that much.