Culinary and Pastry Arts: Handmade Holiday Gift Idea

The Gift of Food!

Bûche de Noël from Bread Euphoria in Haydenville, MA. [Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield]

Tis becoming to season to pay special attention to spreading kindness to those around us! Families can spread kindness by sharing homemade foods with neighbors, and can expand this activity to include studies of world cultures by baking foods enjoyed internationally!

We explored food preservation earlier this month – now it’s time to put those skills to use!  Pumpkin or apple butter make great holiday gifts and are something the recipient can enjoy for the entire season! Jams and jellies are also a nice gift idea! Want to help the gift recipient get ready for sugaring season in the late winter?  How about preparing a ready to go pancake mix in a jar? Finally, freshly baked cookies and pies are always a great gift idea.

Not sure if you have enough time to bake this season?  Support local bakeries and give the gift of local food & craft! In December, Bread Euphoria Bakery in Haydenville prepares bûche de Noël, a traditional holiday dessert  that resembles a yule log.  They even have a gluten-free version!

During the holiday season, La Fiorentina Pastry Shop in Northampton and Springfield prepares traditional Southern Italian desserts such as Struffoli.  Struffoli are small pieces of dough fried and then arranged like a wreath on a plate.  They are then drizzled with honey and topped with colorful sprinkles.  This dish is a typical Christmas time treat in Naples and the region of Campania. Be sure to order one in advance!

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