T-Man was home for Thanksgiving. He flew back to San Francisco last night, and we have an empty nest again. Time to readjust. One holiday ends and it's time to dive into the next one. That means getting ready for gift giving.
A whole lotta cookin' went on in my kitchen in the past week. In addition to all of the Thanksgiving fare, there were these addictive, delicious Sea Salt Caramels that I blogged about last week. I have to name these the winner for easiest recipe that tastes like I went to a lot of trouble. One bowl and 6-7 minutes in the microwave and they're done. I still have a hard time believing that's even possible. I've made 9 perfect batches now. It's possible.
Click here for Microwave Sea Salt Caramel recipe
T-Man and his friends couldn't stop eating these caramels. Seriously, who doesn't love caramel? I've also received lots of happy feedback from readers about this recipe, and it sounds like a number of you want to give these caramels as holiday gifts. Well, me too! Caramels are universally loved, and these are so easy to make. It's hard to think of a better homemade gift.
My original post with the sea salt caramel recipe shows several ways to jazz up the caramels with chocolate, sprinkles and nuts. Those are pretty and fun to serve on a party platter. But for gift giving, I prefer to wrap the plain salted caramels in pieces of parchment paper so they can easily be put in a jar, bag, or other container. You don't have to worry about the wrapped caramels sticking to each other or getting too warm and losing their shape.
Gift Packaging Ideas
Here are some easy, festive, inexpensive ways to bundle up the caramels for gifts.
Tins, buckets & baskets. I got this red & white striped metal bucket in the dollar bins at Target and added some red & green paper shreds. The tag is tied on with curly ribbon.
Cellophane bags are easy and inexpensive. All you need is a ribbon, and your gift is complete. (Click here for Amazon link to cellophane bags.)
Drinking glasses and mugs are reusable containers for caramel gifts. I added some colored paper shreds to this small pedestal drinking glass. The tag looks like it's stuck on the glass, but it's not. I inserted it inside the glass; the curve of the glass magically holds the tag in place.
Mason jars are always a versatile, inexpensive choice for a candy gift container. I cut a circle out of red fabric and tied it on with a green ribbon--easy and festive.
(Click here for Amazon link to wide-mouth pint mason jars.)
Here's a smaller mason jar with a tag stuck to the outside of the jar with double-stick tape. I added a few metallic red shreds with the caramels inside the jar and tied the rim with curly ribbon. (Click here for Amazon link to 1/2 pint mason jars.)
Download printable gift tags
I made 4 different tag designs for the caramels. There are a couple of designs with Christmas and winter themes, plus two neutral designs for use any time of the year.
To use the tags:
If you don't have a printer or specialty papers, you can have a store with printing services download and print them for you.
To download and print a full sheet of tags,
simply click on the desired image below.
(There are 4 designs to choose from.)
Want more tag options?
Here are 18 more tag design choices suitable for gifts from your kitchen.
(click on image for link to tags)
Homemade caramels will be a WOW of a gift. (You don't have to tell anyone how easy and inexpensive they are!) It's way easier to whip up a batch of these caramels than to fight the crowds at a mall. Let me know if you'll be giving these caramels or other homemade gifts for the holidays. I always love hearing from you.
Make it a yummy day!