Tri-County news • Last Minute Gift Guide • Thursday, December 15, 2016
Share sweetness of new cookie exchange ‘Tis officially the holiday season, and what better way to get in the spirit than sharing sweet treats with family and friends. This year we invite you to wow your loved ones by putting a twist on the traditional cookie exchange. Featuring delicious, no-bake treats and a gifting station for your guests, there certainly will be cause for celebration. Here are some ideas for a new kind of cookie exchange:
Prepare a holiday playlist There is no better way to get everyone in the holiday spirit than to prepare a playlist with all of the season’s hits and some new surprises. To make the most unique mix, research if your favorite musician has ever put out a holiday album. Or, search your music library or favorite streaming service for keywords like “holiday,” “winter,” and “December”— you might discover the next new classic. And if you’re short on time, hundreds of pre-curated lists are at your fingertips on most streaming platforms. Deck the halls While the seasonal tunes will set the mood, take the opportunity to pull out all the stops and decorate your home for the season. A wreath on the door, bright lights lining the halls and seasonal flowers at each cookie station will get your guests in the holiday spirit. Consider the cookies your canvas Impress your guests without spending hours in the kitchen, or even turning on the oven, by making simple and delicious, no-bake KARO Corn Syrup Scotcheroos. These ooey-gooey rice cereal treats are packed with peanut butter and chocolate flavors and can be dressed up for the holidays to be the prettiest in the bunch. To entertain the whole family and occupy younger guests, transform your cookie exchange into a full-fledged art project. Start with the simple recipe below, then build a toppings bar using festive bowls and dishes filled with holiday-colored candies—from coated chocolates and gum drops to peppermint wheels and candy canes. There is no greater joy than giving Embrace the giving season by spreading the joy with sweet treats that warm the heart and satisfy the tummy. In advance of your exchange, stock your pantry with a little extra to ensure your guests can share their creations.
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Cookie stations with a variety of cookies at each station is a different twist on how to do the classic cookie exchange.
To make gifting easy and fun for your guests, stage a gifting station with clear plastic bags, festive ribbons and scissors for curling. You’ve not only entertained your friends, you’ve also helped them check off their gift giving lists—and their neighbors, colleagues and babysitters are sure to appreciate it, too. To kick off your perfect, but certainly not average cookie exchange, start with a classic Chocolate Scotcheroos recipe made with KARO: Ingredients: 1 cup KARO Light Corn Syrup 1 cup sugar
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at least 45 minutes, or until firm. Cut into bars. Recipe Note: Almond butter may be substituted for the peanut butter. Prep time: 20 minutes Cook time: 10 minutes Cool time: 45 minutes Yield: 24 bars If you are looking to take your cookies to the next level, make Festive Scotcheroos with peppermint or color them green and shape them into Christmas Trees. Visit karosyrup.com for these variations—and more—on this classic recipe.
Getting house ready for holiday guests When the holidays arrive, you can prepare a scrumptious feast, present ideal gifts that are perfectly wrapped and decorate the house like something off a magazine cover. On the other hand, your mother-inlaw is still going to focus on the stained upholstery in the family room, the tacky
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1 cup creamy peanut butter 6 cups crispy rice cereal 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips 1 cup butterscotch chips Directions: Cook corn syrup and sugar together in a large saucepan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Bring mixture to a boil. Remove from heat. Stir in peanut butter; mix well. Add cereal; stir until evenly coated. Pour into greased 13 x 9-inch pan and pat into place. Melt chocolate and butterscotch chips together in saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly. Spread over cereal. Cool
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and dated wallpaper in the dining room, and the guest bedroom carpet that looks older than she is. This year, you can spare yourself the in-law-inflicted shame with some budget-friendly do-it-yourself projects that will take just a weekend (or less) to achieve. Your home will be holiday
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ready, and as a bonus, you will get to enjoy the improvements throughout the New Year. Before you begin, remember—you can save time, money and storage space by renting the tools you need for holiday
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Enjoy reading the Last Minute Gift Guide 2016.