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  1. #11
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    i don't believe distilling is legal anywhere in the US. i thought most liqueurs were just grain alcohol mixed with flavoring? the only reason to distill would be to make higher-proof alcohol out of something weaker.

    for gifts, i think cookies are always great. i don't care for most "holiday" foods like fruitcake or rum flavored stuff, but a tray of different cookies is awesome.

    a really easy gift is dried fruit dipped in chocolate. just buy some bags of dried apricots, pineapple, candied orange peel and ginger, etc. and dip them halfway in tempered chocolate. recipe sites have easy ways to temper chocolate. you can use fancy chocolate, but i like melted chocolate chips just as well.

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  3. #12
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    Nov 2007
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    Chocolate covered pretzels are always a hit! They are super easy and fairly inexpensive to make...but they are so expensive to buy that most people won't buy them for themselves. So they always turn out to be a great gift.

    I always get brown & white almond bark, and a variety of pretzels...sticks, rods, small knots and nuggets and go wild. You can coat them in one color then drizzle the other color over them, for contrast. Or on the white, you can do red & green sprinkles or something.

    They are always fun and easy. I have made these for years and I didn't have time one year and there was an upheaval from my friends! They all laughed about it, but told me that they had come to see my Christmas pretzels as a tradition...so let's just say, I won't be skipping the pretzels again!

  4. #13
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    Nov 2007
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    I forgot to add...if you are going to be covering pretzels with chocolate...you could get some oreo's and other things to cover while you're at it!

  5. #14
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    Mar 2006
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    brooklyn, ny
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    peanut butter balls, using chunky peanut butter and rice krispie treats, then dipped in chocolate/white chocolate.

    or infused olive oils?

  6. #15
    Member
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    Oct 2007
    Location
    Covington Ky
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    Oh wow. The apple butter is amazing. I am so excited and so pleased!!! I already gave a couple jars away and they were a hit! So in a week or two I'll make a big batch for the holidays!! Yay!
    Thanks for all the ideas.
    M

  7. #16
    Senior Member
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    Jan 2006
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    387
    What recipe did you end up using for the apple butter? Sounds yummy.

  8. #17
    Senior Member
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    May 2006
    Location
    Chicago
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    Quote Originally Posted by stella
    i don't believe distilling is legal anywhere in the US.
    It's actually legal to distill/posses up to 5 gallons of distilled liquor for personal use in the US. Check out this cool device to help you do it-- http://www.wineenthusiast.com/E/deta...3-91B73A1A565B.

    I want one!

  9. #18
    Senior Member
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    May 2006
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    Chicago
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    Also, don't forget jar gifs and food kits! Especially great for those who like to cook.

  10. #19
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    Apr 2004
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    Northern California
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    that's not accurate. you can own a still with a capacity less than one gallon in the US but it can only be used to make non-beverage products (like distilling essential oils from herbs).

    This is from the US Alcohol & Tobacco Trade and Tax Bureau website FAQ:

    S3: I've seen ads for home distilling equipment in catalogs ("turn wine into brandy," "make your own essential oils"). Is it legal to buy and use a still like that?

    Under Federal rules administered by TTB, it depends on how you use the still. You may not produce alcohol with these stills unless you qualify as a distilled spirits plant (see earlier question). However, owning a small still and using it for other purposes is allowed. You should also check with your State and local authorities - their rules may differ.

    A still is defined as apparatus capable of being used to separate ethyl alcohol from a mixture that contains alcohol. Small stills (with a cubic distilling capacity of a gallon or less) that are used for laboratory purposes or for distilling water or other non-alcoholic materials are exempt from our rules. If you buy a small still and use it to distill water or extract essential oils by steam or water extraction methods, you are not subject to TTB requirements. If you produce essential oils by a solvent method and you get alcohol as a by-product of your process, we consider that distilling. Even though you are using and recovering purchased alcohol, you are separating the alcohol from a mixture -distilling.

  11. #20
    Member
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    Oct 2007
    Location
    Covington Ky
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    69
    Quote Originally Posted by craftfetish
    What recipe did you end up using for the apple butter? Sounds yummy.

    * 1 (12 fluid ounce) can frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed
    * 1/2 cup apple cider
    * 4 pounds Macintosh apples - peeled, cored and chopped
    * 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
    * 1 cup apple brandy
    * 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    * 1 teaspoon ground ginger
    * 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves


    I changed it a little actually. I didn't use the brandy, as I am super poor, I just added a little more cider. And I'm certain I used more than just 4 lbs of apples, i kinda eyed everything. No cloves, (only because I didn't have any) I've made two batches and so far it is a hit! I'm very excited about it. I think I'd like to try it with the brandy at some point. I bet that is amazing. I want to make a batch minus the cinnamon, I have a friend who is deathly allergic to it. Don't want to kill him!!

    The canning went well, that was what I was really worried about though.
    Thanks for all the ideas and help!


 
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