I’ve said it time and time again: I love giving (and receiving) food gifts. I’m all about the clutter-busting in my house, so getting something that is consumable is my favorite. I get to love it, enjoy it, and it doesn’t fill up my house with something that’ll probably end up at the Goodwill next year.
There is something really nice about the impermanence of food gifts—waiting all year for some of my favorite foods to be gifted to me (like the awesome peanut butter marshmallow squares that my mother-in-law makes) is what helps make those foods and this season so special!
With my love of food gifts, you knew I was going to have to include a few in my Handmade Holiday series. I promise I’ll get back to some non-food gifts tomorrow (with a gift for the littlest one on your Christmas list), but today’s Handmade Holiday post is another lovely food gift—and another healthy one at that—Whole Wheat Cranberry Orange Muffin Mix.
If you’re just now tuning into this week of handmade gift ideas, let me catch you up! My dear friend Melissa (from Bless This Mess) and I are throwing one heck of an awesome handmade gifting party this week. We’re showing off 10 simple and thoughtful handmade gift ideas that your loved ones will be super happy to get this year.
So far, I’ve shown you how to make a No Sew Blanket Scarf and Spicy Black Bean Soup in a Jar. Melissa has given us Painted Sharpie Mugs and Simple DIY Beeswax Candles. Today, she’s showing you how to make Homemade Beeswax Lip Balm. Make sure to head over there to check it out. And then come back here so we can talk muffins!
I love the idea of a muffin mix (especially a healthy one) going into the new year. It’s perfect for everyone who is planning on turning over a new leaf on the healthy eating front come January 1st. These muffins are whole grain, all-natural, and lower in sugar than your typical store-bought muffins. They are great for a healthy breakfast!
Let me show you how I made the mix and packaged it up for gifting. Worth noting, this mix is also awesome to have in your own kitchen! Make it up in bulk (with or without the cranberries and orange zest), and you can go from zero to muffins in just a few minutes whenever you want. The “master” mix can be doctored up with anything you like—blueberries, nuts, bananas, chocolate chips, oh my!
Step 1: Gather ingredients and supplies
To make four batches of muffin mix, you’ll need:
- 8 cups white whole wheat flour (I love King Arthur)
- 2/3 cup sugar (you can use white, coconut sugar, or turbinado sugar)
- 6 tablespoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 cups dried cranberries (look for unsweetened or low sugar if you can find them)
- 3 tablespoons dried orange zest (Spice Islands sells one)
You might be tempted to zest a fresh orange into your mix, but since that orange peel isn’t preserved, it could possibly make the mix go rancid over time. Most major grocery stores carry dried orange zest in their herb and spices aisle.
To package up the muffin mix like I did, you’ll need:
- 4 brown paper lunch bags (like these)
- Stapler and staples
- Hole punch
- Cardstock and a printer
- Label PDF (download it now)
- Twine or ribbon
Step 2: Mix it up
Pull out your biggest mixing bowl and combine all the ingredients for the muffin mix. Stir really well (the cranberries have a tendency to fall to the bottom of the mix).
Step 3: Fill bags
Snip off the top three inches or so of the brown paper bags (it’s too much bag!), and then scoop two heaping cups of the mix into each bag.
Step 4: Close and label
Fold over the top of the bag twice, and then staple it shut. Print the labels (which you can download for free) out on cardstock, and then cut them out and punch holes where they are marked on the label.
Punch two holes into the top of the bags, and then thread ribbon or twine through the holes in the bag and the holes in the labels. Tie a pretty bow.
In case you’d like to design and print your own labels, here are the directions:
Whole Wheat Cranberry Orange Muffin Mix
Makes 24 mini muffins or 12 regular muffins
Combine the muffin mix with 1 beaten egg, 1 cup of water, orange juice, or milk, and 1/4 cup melted butter or coconut oil. Fill cups of a greased muffin tin 2/3 full with the mixture. Bake in a 400° oven for 8-10 minutes (mini muffins) or 12-15 minutes (regular muffins) until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Step 5: Gift it!
Gift your muffin mixes to someone you love very dearly! Each batch makes 24 mini muffins or 12 normal sized muffins (or if you happen to have one of those amazing colossal muffins tins, 4-6 of those babies).
This mix will keep indefinitely, but if your giftee is going to keep it around their kitchen for more than six weeks or so, I’d recommend transferring it into a jar with a lid or a zip-top bag to help keep it fresh.
Handmade Holiday 2015 continues tomorrow with a beautiful upcycled gift for the little nugget on your list! See you tomorrow.