If anyone is in need of a few last minute ideas here are some of the things I've been busy working on.
On to the details....for my neighbors and teachers in my church I made Cinnamon Roasted Almonds. Yum. These will make your house smell amazing. Nuts are always on the expensive side but I bought mine from the bulk food section at Win-Co and only spent about $16.00 for 4 pounds. They ended up making about 12 one cup (plus a little extra) servings. They are super easy to make, but they do take a little time for the baking. Don't worry, you can make some cute cones to serve them in while they're in the oven.
Whisk 1 egg white with 1 tsp. cold water until frothy.
Stir in 4 cups of almonds until they are well coated.
In a different bowl mix together 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 tsp. salt and your desired amount of cinnamon. I like cinnamon so I add about 2 tbsp. of it but I've seen some recipes with as little as 1 tsp. When the dry ingredients are mixed, add to the almonds stir until they are well coated with the sugar mixture.
Lightly spray a cookie sheet with oil and spread the almonds out to a single layer as much as you can.
Bake at 250 degrees for 1 hour to 1 hour and 20 minutes (depending on how crunchy you want them) stirring every 15 minutes or so. I baked mine for 1 hour and 20 minutes. After they are finished baking let them cool and then store in an air tight container.
Because I was giving mine away, while they were baking I made the cones for them to go in. I've never made cones before and it was kind of a pain in the you-know-what to figure it out. But, once I figured it out it wasn't as bad. First I had to come up with a template for the size of cone I wanted to make. I'm not sure what to call this. A rounded diamond perhaps? The curved part will actually end up being straight when in the cone shape.
After I had the template I cut 12 of them. Use your favorite adhesive on one side of the cone.
Roll into a cone shape making sure your adhesive is sticking. This was the trickiest part.
You'll notice I'm using plain, cream paper for my cones. That is because I used really pretty cellophane I found at Hobby Lobby. If you're using my measurements for the cones you'll need to cut a 12 x 16 piece. If you're making a different sized cone you're on your own. lol. Oh, and I'm sorry about the lighting glare....it was a cloudy, rainy/snowy day and I had to have my lights on in the house. I didn't realize they would show up as much as they did.
Add a little bit of adhesive to the bottom two corners.
Place your cone on an angle to begin rolling the cellophane. Tuck the bottom corner around the back of the cone and roll as tightly as you can so the cones stay together well.
Fill the cone with one cup, plus a little more to top it off, of the cooled, roasted almonds.
I made the Rudolph Pops for my youngest daughter to take to her daycare. I was able to make about 30 of them for around $12.00 and the kids loved them. I got the idea for the Rudolph Pops from The Idea Room. If you want to make them click HERE and follow her instructions (why type up the same steps eh?). I do have a few thoughts though.
1) DO NOT skip the adding peanut butter step. I was hoping I could and I ended up breaking a lot of cookies.
2) I cut up the ends of Hot Tamales just because I wanted the nose to seem a little more "bulb" like.
3) You're going to end up with lots of pretzel crumbs. Hang on to them so you can use them in a recipe you have calling for chopped pretzels...a crust perhaps?
4) I didn't think attaching the pretzels was that hard. I just dipped the end of the pretzel in the chocolate and then balanced them on the end of the cookie (while the chocolate was still soft) and they hardened together just fine.
5) We had leftover pipe cleaners at my house and used them to wrap the bags and make little bow ties for Mr. Rudolph.
Aren't they cute?