Maggie Battista knows what you want under the tree.
The founder of Eat Boutique (eatboutique.com), a website dedicated to food gifts, either homemade or purchased, has released an entire book of food-based projects you can gift. “Food Gift Love” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $25) includes recipes for jams, marmalades and sauces, as well as homemade vinegars, extracts, syrups and infused spirits. Not all of the gifts are tied to winter holidays, which makes the book a little more useful the other 10 months out of the year.
If you’re interested in taking a class in gift-making, the Container Store, 9629 Research Blvd., is hosting a DIY gift demo on Saturday with Austin blogger Jeanine Donofrio of loveandlemons.com, who is releasing her first book next year. The event from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday is free and you can RSVP at containerstore.com/rsvp/holidayAUS.
Graham Cracker Toffee
This treat is less toffee and more a delicious hack of graham crackers, butter and sugar — but no matter what you call it, it might be the first thing to disappear from your cookie tin.
12 large graham crackers, broken into halves
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
3/4 cup light brown sugar, loosely packed
3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 Tbsp. coconut oil
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with aluminum foil, setting one aside for later use. Arrange the graham crackers on the other sheet, with each cracker touching the next.
Melt the butter in a small pot over low heat. Stir in the sugar and simmer (do not boil) about 10 minutes, just until the sugar melts. Stir occasionally to help the sugar dissolve. Pour the hot mixture over the graham crackers and spread it evenly to cover all the crackers. Sprinkle the nuts over the graham crackers. Bake about 10 minutes, keeping a close eye on them so they don’t burn.
Remove the graham crackers from the oven and let cool on a cooling rack 8 to 10 minutes. Remove each cracker to the second lined baking sheet, taking care to make sure the crackers do not touch each other this time.
In a double boiler set over medium heat, place a bit of water in the bottom pot, making sure the water doesn’t touch the underside of the top pot. (If you do not have a double boiler, just place a metal or glass bowl on top of a medium pot.)
Place the chocolate and coconut oil in the top part of the double boiler. Stir and melt until the chocolate forms drippy ribbons when you lift your rubber spatula from the pot.
Pour the melted chocolate into a plastic bag. Cut a tiny corner off the bag and immediately begin drizzling the chocolate all over the graham crackers until all the chocolate is used.
Let it harden overnight at room temperature, and store in an airtight container up to 1 week. Makes 48 pieces.
— From “Food Gift Love” by Maggie Battista (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $25)