Friday, December 9, 2011

DIY Packaged Baked Goods


A few weeks ago I was invited to be part of the "12 Waverly Bloggers of Christmas". This month-long event features unique ideas from 12 of Waverly's favorite bloggers.  Our mission?  To share easy and useful holiday projects using Waverly materials.


Waverly is also giving you the chance to win two $100 gift cards, one for JoAnn's Fabrics and another for Michael's Arts & Crafts store.  Just hop over to their Facebook page to enter.

As far as holiday gifts go, I can't think of anything better to get than a loaf of freshly baked Maple-Walnut Bread. Or maybe Homemade Caramel Corn. Okay, Sea Salted Caramels are pretty high on my wishlist too. Sounds good, you say?  You love all those treats too?!  Then you'll be happy to know that I have recipes for all of the above and easy ways to package them up for gift giving!



Christmas cones are so easy to make and they are reminiscent of Victorian paper cone ornaments, only larger.  You can fill them with cookies and candies - and they are reusable, too!  For complete instructions check out the how-to video below.  (Email subscribers, please visit the site to view).






Bread is such a beautiful thing to give, and this Maple-Walnut Bread is so hearty!  It's like a big ol' biscuit that gets baked in a loaf pan.  There's only one way to eat this bread (in my opinion); top a slice with goat cheese and place under the broiler until toasty. It makes a great appetizer, unless you top the whole thing off with fig jam.  Then it's more like heavenly dessert.



There's something so humble and utilitarian about ticking fabric.  That's why it's perfect for wrapping these simple bread loaves. Cut a length of fabric with pinking shears and wrap the bread.  Wind a few lengths of baker's twine or yarn around the fabric and tie off.  A charming little package!

And why not give bread in a loaf pan? You can find the the pans for a modest price at discount stores or even vintage shops, and the recipient gets a double gift!  Maybe after sampling some delicious homemade bread they will be inspired to make good use of the pan.

Loaf pan in folded ticking fabric.  Tie it up with fancy trim.
Since we are all terribly busy during the holidays season, I found a two-in-one recipe that I think you will LOVE. Seven minute microwave caramel is poured over popcorn for a Crunch-n-Munch type snack, or you can pour the caramel into a parchment lined dish and when cool, cut into individual caramels.  You just can't get any better than that, folks.


Before I close, a few tidbits of SprinkleBakes news:
  • My book!  You can read an update here, and it's available for pre-order now!  I'm so excited!
  • You may have noticed that SB has a new look!  This is thanks to Mr. Boddington's Studio, illustrator of the SB book cover. I'm so in love with their illustrations of my sweets.  In love, I say! 
  • The winner of the ModCloth gift certificate is Madeline Olin. Congrats to you, Madeline!
  • SprinkleBakes has a mailing address.  If you like snail mail, send me a letter.  I'll send you one back!  You can find the address under "Contact Me" on the "About" page.

7 Minute Microwave Caramels or Caramel Corn
Spotted first on Pinterest, then adapted from here and here.
Yield: About 50 individually wrapped caramels, or 15 cups of caramel corn                       [click for printable version]

Make the Caramel:
Note: If making individual caramels, have an 8x8 dish lined with parchment paper at the ready.  If making caramel corn, prepare 12-15 cups of popped kettle corn and place in a large bowl.  1 1/2 standard size bags of microwave popcorn popped equals about 12 cups.  This is the amount I used.

4 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 cup light brown sugar, tightly packed
1/2 cup corn syrup
2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk (not low fat)
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1. In a large microwaveable bowl or 8 cup glass measure, combine the butter, brown sugar and corn syrup. Microwave at 100% power for 2 minutes.
2. Stir mixture well.  It will be a little grainy. Microwave for another 2 minutes, stir well.
3. Add 2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk.  Microwave for 3 minutes.  Watch carefully, it is prone to bubble up at this stage.
4. Remove from microwave and stir in vanilla extract. Be very careful at this stage, the caramel is extremely hot and sticky!

For Individual Caramels:
Sea salt for sprinkling

1. Pour hot caramel into the parchment lined pan.
2. Lightly sprinkle with sea salt.
3. Let stand until set, but still slightly warm.  Lift caramel block from pan and cut into individual squares.
4.Wrap in wax paper squares.

*Note: My caramels held their shape quite well without being wrapped.

For Caramel Corn:
1 cup peanuts or cashews
Sea salt for sprinkling

1. Pour nuts over popped kettle corn.
2. Pour hot caramel over popcorn, turning popcorn over with a large wooden spoon to coat.
3. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper, set aside.
4. Microwave caramel coated corn for 4 minutes, stopping after each minute to stir.
5. Pour onto prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with sea salt. Let stand at room temperature until hardened.
6. Break into pieces and store in an air-tight container.

Note: this recipe should be made in a standard household microwave. High powered commercial microwaves are not suitable for this recipe.


Maple Walnut Bread
Adapted from the Northern Exposure cookbook (I am a fan!)
Yield one 8x4-inch loaf.                                                                                        [click for printable version]
(I often double this recipe to accommodate larger loaf pans.)

2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 large egg
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup chopped walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease loaf pan with vegetable shortening and set aside.
2. Mix flour, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl.  Add egg, milk, maple syrup and butter and mix until thoroughly blended. Fold in walnuts. Dough will be wet and sticky.  Pour into prepared loaf pan.
3. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Remove loaf from pan and let cool.

Note:  This is not a sweet bread. It's more like a southern biscuit baked in a loaf pan.  It is GREAT toasted and topped with goat cheese and jam.


PS. Here's the calendar of Waverly bloggers and projects.


Waverly fabrics used in this post:
Prance 675910  
Classic Ticking 652221  
Ellis 673543  

Disclaimer: Fabric and notions courtesy of Waverly.

34 comments:

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

So prettily wrapped. Those goodies look so delicious! Great gift ideas.

Cheers,

Rosa

Jessica @ How Sweet said...

gorgeous! and i love your new look.

marla said...

Heather, this is such a fun idea Waverly came up with. Congrats on the redesign of your blog. It looks wonderful, LOVE the header. Simple & so pretty. Can't wait for your book! Pretty please add me to your list of review bloggers so I can have it in my hands as soon as possible :) XXOO

SprinkleBakes said...

Absolutely Marla! I love you to pieces, girl!

Heather (Heather's Dish) said...

i love the new header and i LOVE these ideas! so classy and beautiful!

warmvanillasugar said...

This is an awesome tutorial. Love it!

Sarah (Snippets of Thyme) said...

Heather! I couldn't wait to see what Xmas goodies you would come out with. They are super delightful. I love the deer fabric in browns and blues. Congratulations on the book. Wow! I'll have to click on the update next. Intrigued by the "12 Days of Bloggers" program as I was asked by 2 companies to do something similar but have never done anything like that.

Leah @ Leahmariev said...

Good stuff thanks for sharing! Beautiful blog!

Leah from Sweet and Sour Showers said...

That Christmas cone is so beautiful. I make holiday popcorn every year - can't wait to try it!

The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh said...

What a wonderful post! I can't wait to check everything out more closely. Congrats on the book, I'll have to add it to my wishlist!

Jennifurla said...

It looks great in here! I love this idea, and the fabric choices are right up my alley.

Anonymous said...

Looks so great! Definitely is inspiring me to do something like this for my holiday goodies. Thanks for the beautiful ideas!

Dharma said...

Look idea, I love this.

Aly Debbas said...

Love the new look!!! It's gorgeous - such pleasing colors.

jenna said...

LOVE This idea!!! where did you find the disposable bags for your popcorn at?

SprinkleBakes said...

Hi Jenna! You can find them at JoAnn's or Michael's... or even a specialty cake supply shop. They are disposable piping bags. You can find them in the cake decorating section of craft stores.

Yummy Mummy said...

This is all just ridiculously cute. Love it!

Happy Holidays!

Marina

linda said...

LOVED the video…you are s.o.o.o. talented!
just clicked & pre ordered your cb…cannot wait!
will you be doing book tour…want to get mine signed!
happy, merry & thank you for a wonderful year of recipes & creativity!

FlyingRoo said...

Ooh, forget the Waverly fabrics used (although delightful, mind you!), where did you get those cute loaf pans?!?

My Christmas popcorn of choice is covered in butter, sweet paprika and a bit of chili...mmm, delicious and so festively red!

The Maple-Walnut Bread, makes me want to lick the screen...hmm, no, I didn't do it ;-) , but I'll make the bread for the holidays, thank you very much for the recipe <3

Lora said...

lovely packaging. Can't wait for your book. xoxo

Lora said...

oh and I love the new blog look!

nicole {sweet peony} said...

i love your packaging ideas! so adorable!

Lili said...

Oh Heather this post was just jam packed full of so much inspiration! I just adore everything on here and am going to enjoy browsing all of those links you provided too. And Yay! I was so excited to pre-order your book too! Love your new look, your video and just all of these gorgeous ideas, I can't wait to try them!! Congrats Heather, I am just so happy for you! xoxo ~Lili

vanillasugarblog said...

oh heather you're so fabulous.
cannot wait for that book.
let's go out to lunch and drink lots of champagne when it finally comes out? my treat. ;-)

Paula said...

Congrats on the book, so nice it is available for pre-order now. All of these ideas are wonderful and the photographs of everything is great.

Katie said...

I was planning to make caramel corn with chocolate on top, and serving it in a paper cone is a great suggestion. Thanks!

Lauren said...

Such fun recipes! I love giving goodies for Christmas, because it seems like everyone in my family already has everything they need. They're lucky, aren't they? :-)

Congrats on your book and I love your new layout.

Becca said...

The packages look stunning! The maple walnut bread looks especially nice and I love the container you made for the caramel corn.

Sue said...

I love the idea of wrapping the loaf in fabric, especially since I'm not really a seamstress, but I adore cute fabric:) P.S. You make the best little videos, Heather! Now, time to order your book! I'm SO excited...A birthday/Christmas present to me! :)

Sue said...

P.S. You book cover is adorable, and so "YOU"!

whereskavi said...

What creative gift ideas! Love the new header as well... so cute!

Theresa said...

Yummy! & your photography is like eye candy! Can't wait to try some more recipes & am excited about your book! All my best & Happy Holidays!

Rachel Wilkerson said...

I made this bread over the weekend (for myself, not gifts...whoops) and took your advice and bought fig jam and goat cheese. WOW. It was a home run...I could NOT stop eating it!!

Joy said...

All of the ideas is great. I wish I was able to read this before Christmas.

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