Handmade Christmas Gifts and the Incredible, Edible Cookie Bowl


What Christmas gifts are the most cherished or the most memorable for you?  Were they the most expensive gifts?  Were they the gift cards or the gifts of cash you received?  Or were they the gifts that showed that the giver put a lot of thought into the gift?  Some of the gifts that I remember most are the set of Christmas carolers that my daughter crocheted for me and the DVD player that my wife surprised me with.  A DVD player?  Yes, a DVD player.  I didn’t expect one.  I figured it was too expensive for our budget.  So when I opened the gift and saw it I was surprised and happy.  She knew I wouldn’t be expecting it.  So, when she found one within her price range, she bought it.

For many the most thoughtful gifts are homemade.   They don’t have to be elaborate for every handmade gift is full of your time and tender loving care.  They could be baked goods like cookies, cakes, candies, or fudge.  They can be sewing, knitting, crocheting, cross stitching, or other projects.  They can be photo albums, woodworking projects, or other things that say, “You are special.”  These gifts not only bless the one to whom the gift is given but also may bless the giver with more quality family time.  Many times I baked cookies with my girls and boys for cookie/fudge trays that we gave away as gifts.  I hope my children treasure those times as much as I do.

Here’s a gift idea that is easy to create and can show as much thoughtfulness as you care to put in it.  It can be used all year.  Just change the coloring or the decorations and this edible cookie bowl can be given for birthdays, special occasions, and other holidays not just Christmas.  Be creative.  Fill the bowl with cookies, candy, anything you think the receiver would like.

Have you thought of anyone who would appreciate a gift like this?  Then let your creative juices flow and put as much tender loving care as you can into a gift that all will enjoy.

Incredible, Edible Cookie Bowl

 
Items you will need:  a loaf pan or a round cake pan, a 1 ½ inch round cookie cutter (a scalloped edge cookie cutter makes a pretty effect)

Cookie Dough RecipeIncredible, Edible Cookie Bowl

1 ¼ cups flour
½  cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¼  cup blanched or 

almonds (finely ground)
4 Tbsp butter (softened)
⅔ cup sugar
1 egg
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp salt (optional)

Preheat your oven to 350⁰ F.

Cover the outside of a loaf pan (or pan of your choice) with aluminum foil.  Spray the outside with vegetable cooking spray.

In a medium (or larger bowl) combine the flour, cocoa powder, almonds and salt.  In a larger bowl, using an electric beater (set on medium speed) beat the butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla until light and fluffy.  Add the flour from the other bowl into this mixture and beat until dough forms.  Estimate: 2 minutes

Roll out the dough to ⅛ inch thickness.  Use your circular cookie cutters to cut out shapes.

Next, take your loaf pan and turn it upside down.  Place it on a cookie sheet before you begin for easier handling.  Cover the loaf pan with your circular cookies, making sure they overlap, and press them firmly, yet gently together until the entire pan is covered.

Bake this upside-down, covered loaf pan on your cookie sheet until the edges are firm, approximately 15 minutes.  When done, transfer the cookie sheet with pan on top to a wire rack for complete cooling.

Once this cookie bowl is cool, lift it gently off the foil-lined pan.  Because the pan was sprayed with vegetable oil, it should lift off fairly easily.

Decorate the bowl with frosting and candies or ribbons.  Put cookies or a combination of fun edible items inside.

Tips

  • Rather than make one big cookie bowl, make several smaller ones to give away.
  • Make a round cookie bowl by using an ovenproof round bowl as your mold.
  • Freeze the cookie bowl until you get the cookies you want to put inside made.  Wrap the cookie bowl in plastic wrap as airtight as you can.  You can store the bowl in the freezer up to 1 month.  Always thaw the bowl to room temperature.  NEVER put it in the oven to thaw; the bowl will collapse and lose its shape.
  • For a white cookie dough, substitute powdered sugar for the cocoa powder and increase the amount of flour used.  You can also use your favorite sugar cookie recipe.  You may have to add flour to stiffen the sugar cookie dough.
  • For a colorful cookie bowl, make a white cookie dough.  Divide the dough into as many lumps as colors you wish to use.  For a Patriotic bowl, use red, white, and blue.  For a Christmas bowl, use red and green.  Be creative.
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