DIY gifts – a savory real food alternative to holiday sweets




The holidays are overwhelming in the sheer quantity of baked goods that need to be consumed or discarded right away.  So, I try to gift items that can be saved for a time when the pantry isn’t so stuffed and a quick, wholesome snack I don’t have to make myself really IS a helping hand.

And, while I am a cookie fan myself, many people prefer a savory option.  These pretzels frozen and unbaked make a great gift.  I mean, who doesn’t love a crusty, warm, soft pretzel especially with a dip in cheese sauce or mustard?

Plus, I can be sure the ingredients are of the quality and provenance I choose.

Soft pretzels are a perfect real food snack for a non-industrial pantry. For lots of reasons.  They’re baked, not fried.  They’re wholesome & filling. And pretty yummy if I do say so myself.

I love this recipe based on one in The Martha Stewart Living Christmas Cookbook. Love her or hate her, when it comes to real, good, timeless food, Martha delivers. Really, I don’t know why this book is handicapped with the holiday label – it’s a great reference for any special cooking occasion, all year-long.

This recipe has a secret: poaching the pretzels in water & baking soda for that critical chewy exterior just like the commercially baked ones. Click here for the printable recipe.

I’ll let Martha show you how to twist those pretzels: 





Stock the freezer with a double batch and you’re ready for anything…

I like to make this recipe all the way to just before baking, freeze the unbaked pretzels overnight in a single layer, then package the frozen pretzels two to a small freezer bag. Write the cooking instructions on the bag with a Sharpie and stash them in a safe spot in your freezer.

How easy is this? You bake them straight from the freezer in just 15 minutes for a warm, salty, crusty treat perfect with mustard or cheese sauce.

The simplest way to package these up is to stack a few bags of frozen pretzels and wrap in freezer paper, just like at the butcher shop.  A simple white package, decorated with a festive ribbon takes just a few minutes.  You can just pop the already-wrapped package into your freezer until it’s gifting time.

Make some extra for your own freezer and you’re ready too for those inevitable unexpected gifting situations and unexpected visitors.

You’d have to be the Grinch-iest Scrooge of all to not appreciate this gift of holiday cheer…   

What’s your favorite way to eat soft pretzels?

3 thoughts on “DIY gifts – a savory real food alternative to holiday sweets

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