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Thread: Interesting Christmas gift ideas (for any age) 2013

  1. #11
    Best Buddies Gutmutter's Avatar
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    Re: Interesting Christmas gift ideas (for any age) 2013

    Quote Originally Posted by ClosetRTWatcher View Post
    I have never had a rum ball. What are they exactly? Are they like a cookie?
    I'm pretty sure I've posted the recipe in the food thread, but it may be a few years back. The original recipe is processed Vanilla Wafers, walnuts, and powdered sugar. Then you melt chocolate chips and stir in corn syrup and rum and add that to the cookie mixture. Refrigerate and roll into balls and roll in sugar. I make mine pretty strong. If you want the recipe I can post it again or PM you.
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  2. #12
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    Re: Interesting Christmas gift ideas (for any age) 2013

    ClosetRTWatcher - geodes are a great idea. One of my sons was really into them when he was young.

    PhotoBabe - I don't have grandkids yet (first one is expected in Feb!), but we always gave our kids experiential present like going to the theatre, a ball game, ice capades, etc. They already had more toys than they knew what to do with, and something like going to the theatre makes a memory that can last a lifetime.

    In my family, for years we've bought Xmas gifts for kids until they graduate high school. Then they go into the adult "pool." Until last year, we'd draw names and only shop for one person, but it started feeling like we were just filling people's shopping lists. So last year we did the pirate exchange thing, where everyone brings a wrapped gift. The first person opens a gift. The next person can either take a wrapped gift from the pile, or take the gift the previous person opened. It was so much fun, we're doing it again. I had done that kind of gift exchange before where everyone brought "white elephant" gifts to exchange, and I lobbied for doing that, but we ended up doing it where gifts had to be in the $70-$100 range.

    The biggest hits were a polycarbonate carry-on suitcase and a device for streaming movies from your computer to the tv. People of all ages wanted those.

    I ended up with a very nice gift basket of food goodies from the picnic shop at the winery where one of my nephews works.

  3. #13
    Pineapple! ClosetRTWatcher's Avatar
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    Re: Interesting Christmas gift ideas (for any age) 2013

    Quote Originally Posted by Gutmutter View Post
    I'm pretty sure I've posted the recipe in the food thread, but it may be a few years back. The original recipe is processed Vanilla Wafers, walnuts, and powdered sugar. Then you melt chocolate chips and stir in corn syrup and rum and add that to the cookie mixture. Refrigerate and roll into balls and roll in sugar. I make mine pretty strong. If you want the recipe I can post it again or PM you.
    I found the recipe you posted, Thanks!!

    If anyone else is also interested, here is a link to the post:
    Tips for a cookie exchange? -- Gutmutter's Rum Balls
    Last edited by ClosetRTWatcher; 11-06-2013 at 07:05 PM.

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    FORT Aficionado echo226's Avatar
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    Re: Interesting Christmas gift ideas (for any age) 2013

    Can you use or has anyone used ... other alcoholic beverages I keep thinking Southern Comfort ... or possibly trying non-alcoholic with a rum extract.?

    I think I partially answered my own question. I may try it with the Southern Comfort!

    No-Bake Chocolate Pecan Bourbon Balls
    Makes 35 balls

    One (9-ounce) package chocolate wafer cookies (such as Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers)
    1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped toasted pecans
    1 cup confectioners sugar
    1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
    1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
    1/2 cup good bourbon (like Makerís Mark 46*)
    2 tablespoons light corn syrup

    *Itís worth it to splurge on top quality bourbon for these boozy balls. The flavor really comes through.

    Put the chocolate wafer cookies in a food processor and pulse until they are finely ground. Add the pecans and pulse until they are finely ground and well incorporated. Add the confectioners sugar, two tablespoons of the cocoa powder, and cinnamon and pulse to combine. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and add the bourbon and the corn syrup. Using a big spoon, stir everything together until well combined. (Donít worry if the mixture looks a little crumbly.) Transfer the bowl to the refrigerator and let it chill for 30 minutes.

    Spread the remaining 1/2 cup of cocoa powder on a plate. Using a tablespoon, scoop out spoonfuls of the mixture and shape it into one-inch balls. Roll the balls in the cocoa powder. Put the balls on a wax paper-lined baking sheet and refrigerate until they are firm, about one hour. Store the balls in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks. Separate layers of balls with wax paper to prevent sticking.
    Last edited by echo226; 11-07-2013 at 12:39 AM.
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    FORT Aficionado echo226's Avatar
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    Re: Interesting Christmas gift ideas (for any age) 2013

    PGM35 likes this.
    "The way to become boring is to say everything." Voltaire

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  6. #16
    Best Buddies Gutmutter's Avatar
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    Re: Interesting Christmas gift ideas (for any age) 2013

    When I started making specialty flavors, I changed ingredients to match - for ginger balls, I used ginger snaps instead of vanilla wafers, and ginger brandy. I may have used butterscotch chips instead of chocolate. For the peppermint bark ones, I used white chocolate chips and peppermint schnapps and rolled them in crushed candy canes. This year I'm considering a few different ideas... butterscotch, mocha, peach. I'd welcome any brainstorming ideas. Available chips in my area are dark chocolate, milk chocolate, mint, white chocolate, peanut butter, and butterscotch.
    One of my favorite gifts I've given was to my son who is hard to buy for. I got him a "magic wand" tv remote. You program it to have different distinct movements correspond to remote commands.
    Last edited by Gutmutter; 11-07-2013 at 05:58 AM.
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  7. #17
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    Re: Interesting Christmas gift ideas (for any age) 2013

    I am knitting a sweater for my neice. She lives in Orlando where the need for one is just over airconditioned buildings.

    Then if i get done i will make small handmade things for others.
    inthegarden likes this.
    You can do it!

  8. #18
    FORT Aficionado echo226's Avatar
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    Re: Interesting Christmas gift ideas (for any age) 2013

    Quote Originally Posted by Gutmutter View Post
    When I started making specialty flavors, I changed ingredients to match - for ginger balls, I used ginger snaps instead of vanilla wafers, and ginger brandy. I may have used butterscotch chips instead of chocolate. For the peppermint bark ones, I used white chocolate chips and peppermint schnapps and rolled them in crushed candy canes. This year I'm considering a few different ideas... butterscotch, mocha, peach. I'd welcome any brainstorming ideas. Available chips in my area are dark chocolate, milk chocolate, mint, white chocolate, peanut butter, and butterscotch.
    One of my favorite gifts I've given was to my son who is hard to buy for. I got him a "magic wand" tv remote. You program it to have different distinct movements correspond to remote commands.
    I was thinking about that Cookie Butter from TJ"S ... and maybe Nutella? You could wrap the latter around a hazel nut and use hazelnut liqueur.
    "The way to become boring is to say everything." Voltaire

    " The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated. "
    Mohandas Gandhi

  9. #19
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    Re: Interesting Christmas gift ideas (for any age) 2013

    Quote Originally Posted by Ellen View Post
    Since our families live in different states, we needed to find gifts that are easy and not-so-spendy to ship ó but still unique and personal. So for the past several years, we've used iPhoto to design our own calendars using photos we've taken during the year. Then we simply upload the file to Apple, and they do a beautiful job of printing them on high-quality stock.

    They've become a real hit (we order one for ourselves, too!), and I even make a version without the family-specific stuff for client gifts.
    I love this idea.
    I make my sister and mom a calendar every year. The first year I made them each a hanger out of polymer clay and now I just print new pages every year. For my sister, who is a science teacher, I put dates for her school happenings and use pictures that I've taken. She hangs it up in her classroom so I include guess what this is pictures. Her hanger has seasonal dangles that can be changed. The kids love it. My mom's I use family, flowers, favorite things pictures.

    I make Christmas ornaments each year. Last year I made each family a tiny gingerbread house from polymer clay. The house lifts off the base and I placed a small candle light that changes colors inside. The windows glow a different color as the light changes.

    For puzzle people I like to give Triangoes they have a Triangoes Jr. set.
    Ellen likes this.

  10. #20
    Best Buddies Gutmutter's Avatar
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    Re: Interesting Christmas gift ideas (for any age) 2013

    For knitters, few years ago I came up with the idea of using 3 different yarns at the same time to make a scarf. I changed out one yarn at a time so colors gradually changed. I did some in one color family and some like rainbows. Sometimes I get bored knitting one kind of yarn for a whole project, but this kept me really invested in choosing what changeover was going to happen next. My extended family loved them. The 3-ply design made them really warm. I want to say they were 8 or 9 inches across. They were fun, attractive, and a good way to use up yarn that you don't have enough of for a whole project. There were a lot of hanging ends to weave back in, but that was really the only drawback.
    Lizard likes this.
    Count your blessings!

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