Candied citrus peel, glacé cranberries and spirit-soaked fruits are easy to make and are thoughtful gifts for the home baker. They require some planning as well as, for the peel, overnight drying time. For mixed peels, select two or more varieties of the wonderful citrus in the farmers markets this season: California navel oranges, Meyer lemons, pink grapefruits and pomelos. Look for the most vibrant colors.
Candied peels and fruit are just a couple of ways to get crafty this holiday season with homemade gifts from the kitchen. We've compiled 25 great ideas, ranging from quick and simple gifts (perfect if you're working with kids) to more intricate projects that call for a little extra time and patience.
Some gifts will last for weeks, perhaps more. Others are best eaten within a day or two.
Not only are homemade gifts a great way to save money during the holiday season, they're a thoughtful and creative way to show how much you care.
For additional homemade holiday ideas, check out our updated "Los Angeles Times Holiday Cookies" e-book. The cookbook now includes 65 recipes from a wide range of sources including world-famous pastry chefs, favorite bakeries and home cooks. And check out the favorite holiday recipes we've collected in our "Los Angeles Times Holiday Handbook." The book shares more than 110 seasonal recipes to help you celebrate Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year's.
Each book is $4.99. They are available at the Los Angeles Times bookstore for Kindle, Nook and iBooks.
Candied orange peel
Total time: 2 hours, 40 minutes, plus overnight drying
Servings: Makes 1 1/2 cups candied fruit
Note: From Donna Deane
2 California navel oranges
4 cups sugar
1. Bring three 3-quart pots of water to a boil. Use a small knife to score the oranges into quarters (cut through the peel and pith but not through the fruit). Remove the peel; set aside the fruit for another use.
2. Add the peel to the first pot of water and simmer 2 minutes and then drain. Repeat two more times in a new pot of boiling water.