Entertaining with Ease
The Perfect Ending to a Party
Easy treats to send home with your guests this holiday season
-Jennifer Glaser, The Clever Hostess
Preparing a meal for your friends and family may seem like gift enough, but there is something to be said for going a bit further and giving your guests a little something to take home … especially during the holiday season. But what to give?
Here are a few suggestions that won’t cost a fortune. And bonus – most of them can be made from the perishable items you had to buy in bulk for the meal anyway and/or they can be used as décor, place settings or aromatics to set the mood for the meal.
1. Themed Cookies
Sugar cookies, pumpkin spice cookies, gingerbread cookies, and shortbread cookies are all excellent options for use with a cookie cutter. The trick to cookie cutting is to keep the dough chilled before rolling it out. This allows for less flour to be used on the rolling pin and keeps your cookies soft and not tough. Package them in cute tins, Chinese takeout boxes or festive bags, attach a name and use them for seating cards.
2. Apple Cider
The aroma of warm apple cider is a perfect way to welcome your guests. It can be made in advance and then heated on the stove while you finish your last-minute preparations. Seal the cider in glass mason jars with a cinnamon stick or two and send your guests home with something tasty they can warm up at home the next morning.
3. Lace Cookies
A favorite cookie of The Clever Hostess is the lace cookie. Lace cookies are easy to make and have a lengthy self-life compared to other cookies. Not only are they delicious, but the beautiful lace pattern of these cookies makes them impressive looking. Make sure to finely chop the nuts or the cookies will not spread into the desired shape. Wrap cookies in cellophane with ribbon and give to each of your guests as they leave.
4. Homemade Tea Blends
To make homemade tea blends, just add some freshly dried spices to classic Earl Grey tealeaves. Teas can be given to your guests loose, in an inexpensive decorative tin, or in tea bags. Empty tea bags can be purchased in most Asian specialty stores or they can be ordered online. To make your own teabags cut a coffee filter into a small pocket and tie with a cotton string long enough to hang over the side of a mug. Spices and herbs that work best for homemade holiday teas are cinnamon, mint, clove, sage, orange, lemon, cardamom, and nutmeg.
The Clever Hostess is the authority on do it yourself party-planning. Stay current with popular party trends and menus by subscribing to The Clever Hostess newsletter at thecleverhostess.com and check out all of our Clever approved recipes at thecleverhostesskitchen.com.