|be the perfect host/ess||.||
by Christina Da Costa
continued from page 5
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler, or the microwave if you're lazy (it's okay, that's what I did this time). Once melted, dip the biscotti into chocolate and cover almost halfway. Roll in nuts, if desired, and let it cool on a piece of wax paper or on a plate. When you give away the biscotti, make sure to include a note that dipping the biscotti into coffee is the best way to get the chocolate to melt in your mouth.
Whether you've made the plain biscotti or gone for the chocolate-dipped version, put the wrapped biscotti in a bag along with some good Fair Trade coffee and a mug for a complete gift. I like giving plain biscotti with a nice bottle of dessert wine or even cognac (that special treat is for the parents).
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All of these items can be found in fancy-pants food shops and gift catalogues this holiday season, but you can make them better, more personal and, of course, for much less money. It may seem like a lot of work, but if you make those truffles and pack four in a box, you've got 12 boxes of truffles with two for you to munch on! So pack up the Best Nuts Ever and Beer & Herb Mustard with some pretzels, a six-pack and a deck of cards for your poker-loving friend. Include the Vanilla Sugar with the Biscotti and packs of tea for a teatime gift for your mom. The possibilities are endless. In fact, there's only one tiny drawback to homemade food gifts: once you start giving out these delicious goodies, you can be sure people will be clamoring for them all the time -- and not just during the holidays. Consider yourself forewarned.
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