Who said you need to stress out about Christmas presents or spend a fortune to delight your friends and relatives? I find that gifts from your own kitchen are great examples of a genuine desire to share good things with others. Oh, and don’t forget that they could be very cost-effective!
So, today the kids and I were working hard on trying to brighten our street up with Holiday cheer.
First, we tried a new recipe from my beloved Tartine –friands. It contained my favorite formula – chocolate topped with more chocolate! How can you go wrong with that!?
We ended up baking forty-eight extra rich and moist mini-cakes and glazing them with the sweet delight.
Next… WARNING: bad parenting alert! Do not try at home! Our own cookie-connoisseur tested a few friands and pronounced them a great success… by getting sugar-high, running around the house, singing, dancing, and asking for more!
Finally, we draw simple holiday-themed tags, boxed our presents, and gave them away to the hungry neighbors as they were returning home from their busy days.
Oh, and we went one step further – we got simple unbleached recyclable boxes, mini baking-cups, and tags, and they didn’t look all that bad!
Packaging cost (per present):
- Mini cupcake liners $0.24
- Minicupcake box insert $0.19
- Cupcake box $0.30
- Tag: $0.09
- Twine: hmm?? $0.05
- TOTAL: $0.87
Sorry, I’m a busy mom, no way I’d be calculating the per gram cost of flour.. Though, I don’t think I spent more than $10.00 on all the ingredients that produced enough cupcakes to fill 8 gift boxes!
- 6 oz (170 g) bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 1.5 cup + 1 tbs sugar
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tbs cornstarch
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 4 lg eggs
The Tartine book suggests cooking bittersweet chocolate with heavy cream, but I simply went with Fudge is my Life’s Dark Chocolate Sauce.
Preheat oven to 350F. Line 24 mini-muffin-cup paper liners on a baking sheet.
Place the chocolate in a large mixing bowl. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over med. heat until very hot. Pour the butter over the chocolate and whisk until smooth.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cornstarch, and salt and mix well. Add the flour mixture to the chocolate mixture in 3 batches, whisking well after each addition. Add the eggs 2 at a time and whisk until combined.
Pour the batter into the mini-cups about 3/4 full.
Bake until the cakes just start to crack on top for about 12 minutes.
Let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before unmolding.
To make the ganache, warm up the chocolate sauce till liquid. Dip the friands into the sauce and let rest on the rack for about 1 hour.