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Skip the mall and cook up edible treats everyone will appreciate.
Is it me or does Christmas seem to come earlier every year? One minute I'm helping Jade pick out a Halloween costume and the next thing I know Thanksgiving is a distant memory and Todd is putting up the Christmas tree. At this time of the year I'd much rather spend my time creating warm memories with Jade—baking cookies, making ornaments for the tree, and writing holiday cards to friends I miss—than battling the crowds at the mall or hunched over my computer trying to find a unique gift.
Of course even if you are as organized as I try to be (and believe me, I'm far from perfect), last-minute gift-giving situations always seem to present themselves. A hostess present for the impromptu neighborhood open house we're invited to, a little something for Jade's favorite ballet teacher or the assistant who handed me a much-needed Americano on the last leg of a long book tour—all of these people deserve acknowledgment with something that not only says I remember them but that I made an effort in return.
For those occasions I love to give something homemade, and nine times out of ten (or maybe ten out of ten!) that means something from the kitchen. Everyone loves cookies, but that's not the only option. I like to stock up on things I can make in quantity and that will last throughout the season, ready to tie up with a pretty ribbon and a gift tag at the drop of a hat. Here are two recipes that fit the bill perfectly, and each one will please somebody in the household, both two- and four-legged!