Questo articolo è disponibilie anche in: Italian

Hello Dupers!
Christmas is coming … and anxiety for gifts to do too!

As you all know, “big” gifts don’t creates as tension as the little presents that friends and colleagues expect from us. Well let’s face it, everyone of us, once in a lifetime, has received the classic gift from a person who does not see for months or by an acquaintance which we have just not thought about in the chaos of the holidays: so, what to do? Or when we want to add to a big gift a little personal touch that says “Hey, I thought of you.” Or when we give gifts to a group of friends without wanting to hurt anyone. Find something nice, that fits all and that maybe we have done by ourselves, with a little creativity, it is not easy, but today we will come in handy with two recipes in a jar suitable for grown up (the first), but also for children (the second), super easy and super good!

Alcoholic sugar cubes 

We begin with a recipe for adult. Have you ever tasted the alcoholic sugar cubes?
Are sugar cubes dipped in alcohol to which are added spices to flavor them. They may have digestive properties, as the flavors used, and are perfect to end a dinner with friends or family, especially during the holidays! They can be consumed immediately or can be put on a heatproof dish and “lit” a match: just wait for the corners of the cube begin to melt, blow to extinguish the flame, wait a little bit for them to cool. In this way they will be less… alcoholic! :)

To prepare the sugar :

  • jars with screw cap (like those of the preserves): a jar of 150 ml will contain approximately 12-13 cubes, while a 300 ml will contain approximately twice *
  • cubes of white or brown sugar
  • ethyl alcohol at 95 ° for food use
  • herbs and spices to taste
  • labels, ribbons and fabrics to personalize your jars

Arrange the spices on the bottom of the pot, add the sugar cubes and cover with alcohol.
Close the lid and shake at least once a day for the following 10 days, so that the flavors infuse the cubes and the color of the spice is well distributed. Your alcoholic sugars are ready! What spices can be used and how many? You can pick your favorite flavors to try or experiment with new combinations. For example, I love fresh rosemary and lavender together, digestive and relaxing, or rosebuds and dried star anise, a combination that certainly girls would appreciate! For a mouth kiss-proof, try licorice root and ginger into pieces. Or cinnamon, clove, sage, dried citrus peel … you can also try the chili peppers! Buy spices in herbalist’s shop, explaining your resolutions and following the invaluable advice of the herbalist, if you are uncertain about the properties and combinations of spices.
For each small jar used around the equivalent of two teaspoons of powdered spice or in pieces, or 4-5 rosebuds dried or two whole fruit of star anise… that always makes Christmas so much!
If desired, you can also add a few drops of liquor, but beware: the alcohol content of the liquid must be at least 80 degrees or cubes… will melt!

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Cake in a jar

This recipe is perfect for children and is a nice gift to give someone a sweet moment. The important thing is that the receiver has… the microwave!

For each cake in jar:

  • a glass jar with a screw cap, heat-resistant, at least 250 ml **
  • a spoonful of flour (or cornstarch for the version without gluten)
  • a tablespoon unsweetened cocoa
  • a spoonful of brown sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • a tip of baking soda
  • labels, ribbons and fabrics to personalize your jar
  • a note to write instructions

Mix well all the dust and close them in the jar. If you want you can add a square of chocolate, a praline or a chocolate filled, or a pinch of cinnamon.
During baking, the cake will rise, so do not underestimate the size of the container.
Finally, attach to the jar these instructions: “Take off the cap. Add 1 egg and 3 tablespoons of milk. Mix well. Cook in the microwave at medium power for 3 minutes. ”
For vegans or intolerant friends, you can add 5 tablespoons of water and 10 ml of vegetable oil and do the same, insetad.

Of course, you can also take advantage and make a cake just for you, using a cup instead of a jar.  Don’t you want to take a test, or not?! ;)

So what are you waiting for? All hunting for jar, for a really delicious Christmas!

* Jars for sugar are from Casa Shop
** Jars for cakes, heat resistant, are from Bormioli Rocco

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