Tag Archives: Trader Joe’s

A Baker’s Dozen Holiday Food Gifts

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2020. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Salted Macadamia Rum Toffee for Holiday Food GiftsHoliday Food Gifts are always welcome and say you thought of someone in a very special way.  My family is dispersed and I don’t always know what to give them…..but I know what food they like so, this year, they are getting their favorite foods.

Each of these Holiday Food Gifts has something noteworthy about it.  Some are really quick and easy, others have unusual flavor combinations but all are worthy of being given as a gift.

I wish you all Happy Holidays spent with those you care about.

Holiday Food Gifts

Chocolate Chocolate Truffles – During the span of my bakery, we made thousands and thousands of these, especially for the holidays.  The centers are very creamy thanks to an easy trick. Chocolate Chocolate TrufflesSalted Macadamia Rum Toffee – Macadamia nuts are my favs and you will see them twice in this listing.  This Toffee is a perfect Holiday Food Gift that says luxury!Salted Macadamia Rum Toffee for Holiday Food Gifts

Hot Peppered Pecans – These are not for the faint of heart but they sure are special.  Less than 30 minutes and you have a great Holiday Food Gift.Hot Peppered PecansTJ’s Cowboy Bark – This is a super quick and fun gift that is within anyone’s reach to make.  Melt some chocolate, embed a bunch of fun ingredients and you’re ready to go.TJ's Cowboy Bark for Holiday Food Gifts

Garlic Oregano Cracker Bread – This is one of my favorite food gifts.  It is unusual and isn’t the normal candy or cookie. Garlic Oregano Cracker BreadSweet and Hot Macadamia Brittle – Macadamias again but any nut can be subbed.  This is absolutely addictive. Macadamia Brittle for Holiday Food GiftsCranberry Strawberry Jam – Perfect for the season and really easy to make.  Sure to be welcome wherever you send it.Cranberry Strawberry Jam

Hot Curried Party Mix – Another really quick and easy party mix based on the Chex theme.  This will disappear fast!Hot Curried Party Mix

Granola – Measure a few ingredients, whisk together the magic sauce, bake, stir, bake and you’re done!GranolaCheddar Pecan Shortbreads –  These last forever in a tin but they go in a hurry when served.Cheddar Pecan Shortbreads for Holiday Food Gifts

Strawberry Balsamic Jam – Strawberries benefit from a touch of balsamic vinegar to sharpen their flavor.  See if you don’t agree.Strawberry Balsamic Jam

Puff Pastry Crackers – Be sure to watch the video at the end of this super easy recipe.  As you’ll see I couldn’t stop laughing – actually, no one in the studio could!Puff Pastry CrackersCandied Orange Peel – An unusual gift for a favorite person.Candied Orange Peel

Easy Holiday Food Gifts

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2020. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Chocolate Truffles for Holiday Food GiftsFood gifts are always welcome, but even more so during the holiday season.  Every year the holidays arrive faster and faster.  No matter how I try, there is no way to slow them down.  When I was a little girl, time could not go by fast enough.  Now that I am no longer a little girl, it goes all too fast.

Many of us, including me, have people on our gift list that we want to remember. There is no better way to let someone know you appreciate them or what they do than with food gifts you make.  So I drew together a list of quick to make and wonderful to receive gifts that are not cookies.  Don’t get me wrong, I love making and giving cookies, but they can be time-consuming if you work or are just busy. Continue reading

Chocolate Marshmallow Cream Horns

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2020. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Cream Horns for Chocolate Marshmallow Cream HornsWhether you call them cream horns or lady locks, the long ago name for a pastry that resembled the curls of a woman’s hair, they are fun to eat.

They are simply puff pastry that has been rolled very, very thin and wrapped around a metal form. After baking, the form is removed and the cream horn is stuffed with a variety of fillings. Continue reading

Perfectly Acceptable Purchased Puff Pastry

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2020. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Both boxes of puff pastry for Purchased Puff PastryWith the holidays approaching, I thought I would test all butter purchased puff pastry.  Normally, I would make my own using my blitz puff pastry method but I thought there might be a place for purchased puff pastry when time was of the essence.

I only wanted all butter puff pastry so that limited my options in St. Louis.  We have Dufour found at Whole Foods for about $14.00 for 14 ounces and Trader Joe’s for $3.99 for 18 ounces.  I kept looking for a catch with Trader Joe’s version and the only one I found is that it is only available from now until the end of the holiday season.  It is not a year round product as is Dufour. Continue reading

Stuffed (or Not) Kouign Amann

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2020. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Kouign Amann

One of the best descriptions I’ve read of Kouign Amann comes from Chef Steps:  “These salty, buttery pastries hail from the coastal region of Brittany, in the northwest corner of France, where Celtic Breton tradition has prevailed since the great migration across the English Channel during the fifth and sixth centuries. It looks just like you might imagine a Celtic colony on the seacoast of France would: towering bluffs dropping straight into the sea; tiny stone houses dotting the emerald countryside; slate-colored steeples rising into the morning mist. The region is best known for its vast salt flats, where the coveted finishing salt, fleur de sel, is harvested. Here, tucked into wandering village streets, bakeries hawk this much-lauded pastry treasure, whose name literally means “butter cake” in Breton.”

Kouign Amann (pronounced Queen-ah-mann) belongs to the laminated dough family in baking. A croissant like yeast dough is layered with butter and coated with sugar to produce a crunchy, sweet, caramelized pastry that some say is a breakfast pastry and some say is dessert. I could eat them all day long and not care a wit about what time it is! Continue reading