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Simply Delicious Gifts

December 20th, 2010

I have a friend who always tells me, “you can just make me a bunch of these for Christmas” whenever she eats one of my gingerbread cookies (she doesn’t cook or I’d just give her the recipe). I’ve always made her something instead, last year it was a nice tree skirt to match her simple mission decor. This year however, I decided I’d finally do it. She gets one of my calendars of course, but I thought a big box of gingerbread cookies would be a wonderful addition to that gift.

I considered doing a cookie of the month club and making her a batch of different cookies each month throughout the coming year, but then I decided I’d rather just go all out and make her 365 gingerbread cookies – one every day for 2011. I set to work yesterday afternoon, mixing, rolling, cutting, and baking 365 little gingerbread people. I packaged them up in the afternoon. One of my favorite parts of making homemade/handmade gifts is coming up with creative tags.

It’s a simple and practical gift, it only took me a few hours to make, and yet it’s something she’ll enjoy. Not to mention she loves the fact that the gift isn’t anything she feels she needs to keep since she’s not big on having unnecessary things in her home. It’s a win-win, I spend time doing something I enjoy, she gets to enjoy eating all the little gingerbread people she loves so much. There are so many options for practical gifts like soup, home canned jams for the mom that’s too busy to can her own, or some take and bake cinnamon rolls for friends & family to enjoy on Christmas morning.

What would be your idea of the perfect edible gift?

**Recipe for Gingerbread Cookies**

34 Comments to “Simply Delicious Gifts”
  1. Deborah Auen on December 20, 2010 at 9:55 am

    I am in love with your tag…and the simplicity of this gift.I may have to steal your idea if I have time this week!You must not frost your little men???Did they all fit in that box?You are so creative, and such an inspiration to us all! Season’s Greeting’s to you all!!!!

    Reply to Deborah Auen's comment

    • Susy on December 20, 2010 at 12:32 pm

      I didn’t frost them, I’m not a frosting person and my friend isn’t much one either. These cookies are just lightly sweet and so perfectly spicy they’re just right as is – no icing needed.

      It did take me a few tries to find the right sized box, I started out with a smaller one and quickly realized it wasn’t going to work, then I upgraded to a large on. I used parchment paper instead of tissue paper in the box.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  2. Laura Z. on December 20, 2010 at 10:05 am

    Wow! Those look delicious! I love the gingerbread ladies with their skirts. Care to share your recipe?

    I lreally like to receive things I don’t make or grow myself. Garlic and maple syrup leap to mind. Coffee and tea are always a winner, too. This year I’m giving an assortment of home canned items. I made chipotle-guajilo salsa, apple cranberry jam, blueberry pomegranate jelly, green tomato chow chow, bread and butter pickles, peach sauce, and spiced pear jam.

    Reply to Laura Z.'s comment

    • Susy on December 20, 2010 at 10:17 am

      Here’s the recipe:

      Those canned items sound tasty!

      Reply to Susy's comment

      • Laura Z. on December 20, 2010 at 12:07 pm

        Thank you! And Merry Christmas to both you and Mr. Chiots! Your blog is such a gift to all of us who read it. It must take an awful lot of work, but this reader, at least, wants you to know that we as so grateful for all of your wonderful posts, photos, and ideas.

        to Laura Z.'s comment

  3. Nancy on December 20, 2010 at 10:21 am

    Love this idea and how it is so special and personal to your friend. How did you make the tag? I especially like that touch :)

    Reply to Nancy's comment

    • Susy on December 20, 2010 at 10:33 am

      I actually just used my publishing software and printed it off (took a screen shot for the blog), I’m on a Mac so I used Pages, you can also use Microsoft Publisher or of course you can use Photoshop. Open Office may have a similar program but I’m not familiar with any of their stuff so I can’t say for sure, it’s free though so you can download it and play around with it to see.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  4. Joshua Bardwell on December 20, 2010 at 10:45 am


    Reply to Joshua Bardwell's comment

  5. Missy on December 20, 2010 at 11:25 am

    For the record, they are delicious and she’s right—-they are the perfect gift for someone who doesn’t want to collect unnecessary clutter in their house. Edible gifts are perfect! Thanks, Susy!

    Reply to Missy's comment

  6. Jane on December 20, 2010 at 11:48 am

    This year I’m giving the gift of candy…I’ve made 3 types of caramels, 2 types of marshmallows, honeycomb candy and now to make fudge (the old fashion kind). Since I’m a canner they all will be getting a jam also.

    Last year everyone got 8 different types of cookies and jelly.

    Yes, I work and right now it’s 50 hours a week. No not a sit down job.

    I’m already thinking of next year……I know. But I like getting ideas and get the recipes down. I see sodas and……..

    Ps. I’m not good with the cards….like what you have done.

    Reply to Jane's comment

    • Laura Z. on December 20, 2010 at 12:08 pm

      I want to be on your Christmas list! Sounds yummy!

      Reply to Laura Z.'s comment

  7. Denise on December 20, 2010 at 11:59 am

    those are so great!

    Reply to Denise's comment

  8. Susan on December 20, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    What a great idea! I love the small size – and I’m with Joshua – recipe please???

    Reply to Susan's comment

    • Susan on December 20, 2010 at 6:21 pm

      Oops! Didn’t see that you already had linked the recipe – thank you!

      Reply to Susan's comment

  9. Jaspenelle on December 20, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    Chocolate truffles, really dark ones or lemon white chocolate ones. Totally my guilty pleasure. I can make them but I usually prefer to get them from our local candy store. It always feels nice to support an owner you can talk to face to face. Fresh citrus fruit would be my other favorite, impossible to get here in WA (I use to live in Spain so I was a bit spoiled by fresh citrus.) A friend brought me back from lemons on CA a few years ago. Delicious and the prefect gift for me.

    I want to add my desire for your gingerbread recipe to the list with everyone elses’!

    Reply to Jaspenelle's comment

  10. Susy on December 20, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    I added the recipe to the bottom of the blog post, enjoy. These are nice and spicy, not your typical bland cookies. I make sure I use freshly ground allspice as I think it makes for a better cookie.

    Reply to Susy's comment

  11. Angela on December 20, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    I made spicy pumpkin whoopie pies with cream cheese filling for bus driver and teacher. I think that a special handmade treat really expresses my appreciation for someone!

    Reply to Angela's comment

  12. melissa on December 20, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    I don’t ever get edible gifts (except for now the occasional jam exchange with a couple of canning buddies) so I would love pretty much anything anyone decided to give me. Cookies are always good because they freeze well.

    Reply to melissa's comment

  13. Daedre Craig on December 20, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    I’m a big fan of biscotti. It keeps well and is great with cocoa.

    Reply to Daedre Craig's comment

    • Susy on December 20, 2010 at 1:28 pm

      Yes, I often make biscotti for gifts, it keeps for a long time. My dad is particularly fond of receiving biscotti as a gift (he LOVES coffee and enjoys having something to enjoy with it).

      Reply to Susy's comment

  14. Nebraska Dave on December 20, 2010 at 5:08 pm

    I received one of your extra Christmas Cards yesterday. It is beautiful and exactly reflects how I imagine you to be. Thank you so much for sending the card.

    My grandson loves gingerbread men. Right now as I type my daughter is making chocolate chip cookies with the dough ready for the gingerbread cookies soon after.

    Have a great cookie day.

    Reply to Nebraska Dave's comment

    • Susy on December 20, 2010 at 5:27 pm

      Thanks so much – glad you like it!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  15. sallymander on December 20, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    I make shortbread, peanut butter candies and pumpkin bread every year for friends and family. I also have done batches of spiced nuts with cranberries. I’m thinking about canning batches of jezebel sauce to give as gifts as well…it’s great for office workers that need a treat to take to work. Just dump it over cream cheese and add crackers :D

    Reply to sallymander's comment

  16. Stephanie in VA on December 20, 2010 at 7:14 pm

    What a wonderful gift! Not only is it simple, it’s so thoughtful. I wish more people thought like you. :-)

    Last Christmas I made almond biscotti for my friends. However, this year, I’m making cross-stitch ornaments instead of any edible gifts. Although, if I have time, I may make crunchy butter toffee. :-)

    Reply to Stephanie in VA's comment

  17. deedee on December 20, 2010 at 10:00 pm

    this is making me smile bc i still have (hanging on the wall right over my computer!) my framed picture that you made me in college…. “what are the three things that make life worth living? God, friends, and chocolate chip cookies!”

    you’re such a good gift giver:)

    Reply to deedee's comment

    • Susy on December 21, 2010 at 1:43 am

      Awe, you still have it. We really need to get together soon and not at a posh hotel :)

      Reply to Susy's comment

      • deedee on December 21, 2010 at 9:38 pm

        yeah, that hotel was waaaaaaay out of our league!!!!! i would love for that to happen… minus the distracting kids!

        to deedee's comment

  18. Janet Anderson on December 20, 2010 at 10:11 pm

    I love to give jams and jars of homemade spiced cranberry sauce. Thanks for the recipe and the lovely story. :-)

    Happy Christmas.


    Reply to Janet Anderson's comment

  19. Sincerely, Emily on December 20, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    Your gingerbread people look yummy! I think I would like someone to cook dinner once a week, or even just do all the dishes once a week (or even just once in a while!) The simple things are so special for me. Emily

    Reply to Sincerely, Emily's comment

    • Susy on December 21, 2010 at 1:42 am

      Oh yes, for birthdays I like to cook special meals for friends.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  20. Kim on December 20, 2010 at 10:55 pm

    That is just too cool, Great idea. I’m giving away bread, herb butter and granola this season….maybe some beef jerky if I get a move on it.

    Reply to Kim's comment

  21. Janice on January 3, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    I love this idea! I’d have a handful with coffee in the morning. Thanks so much for sending the Christmas card, it is lovely.

    Reply to Janice's comment

  22. Mari on March 11, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    What is your recipe for take and bake cinnamon rolls?

    Reply to Mari's comment

    • Susy on March 11, 2012 at 7:01 pm

      I use my dinner roll recipe and roll the dough out into a rectangle, then I smear it with butter and a good sprinkling of sweet cinnamon & sugar. Roll up and cut into rolls.

      Reply to Susy's comment

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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