Thursday, December 23, 2010

Homemade Baked Goodies Christmas Gift Idea for Neighbors and Family + Recipe

    Christmas is almost here with only a few days left! Are you thinking of saving money by baking with baking products you already have? Baking really gets everyone into the Christmas spirit. Just turn up the radio to Christmas music and it makes the baking even more fun. Making homemade baked goods is always a nice neighbor gift to give! My wife and I love receiving baked goods with fun messages on the baked goods. This year already we have received popcorn balls, peach jam, homemade chocolates, and zucchini bread from giving neighbors! You can even take a nice gift to a neighbor that you don't know that well so you can get to know them and it will also brighten their day!

      A great idea is to buy a box or container from a dollar store or any store to put baked goods inside. I found a great container at my nearest Kroger store for only $1.50. My wife and I have baked different kinds of cookies. My wife wrapped them in colorful plastic wrap with adding a ribbon around the plastic wrap at the top. We also made some Chocolate Banana Bread Loaves in a disposable small bread pan. We also made some great tasting Chex Mix and put that in colorful plastic wrap as well. Put whatever you'd like inside of the containers and top the container off with a beautiful bow and name tag. I also like the idea of adding a gift card inside of the container to family members. These containers give an added bonus to a gift card!

     Here is the recipe for the Super Moist Chocolate Banana Brownies.

Super Moist Chocolate Banana Mini Bread Loaves

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
5 ripe bananas, mashed
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder


1 cup or less chocolate chips! (We love this added extra ingredient in our recipe)
1/2 cup chopped pecans

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease 1 lb loaf disposable pans; set aside.
2. Combine sugar and butter in large bowl; beat until creamy. Add bananas, egg, and vanilla; beat until well blended. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. Add to banana mixture; beat until well blended. Stir in pecans.
3. Divide batter in half. Stir cocoa into one half. Spread some cocoa batter in bread pan. Sprinkle chocolate chips over layer.  Spread plain batter over cocoa batter and chocolate chips. Swirl with knife. Add more chocolate chips on top of batter.
4. Bake for about 40 minutes or until edges are lightly browned and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Check on them after 35 minutes. It takes 50 minutes to cook 8 loaves all on a cookie sheet in the oven.  Cool completely on wire rack.

 Makes 4 Mini Loaves

    I wish all of you a Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays!