Archive | College Care Package Series

Creative ideas and recipes for college care packages

Pfeffernusse for College Care Packages

Pfeffernusse cookies for College Care Packages

Pfeffernusse cookies for College Care Packages

Time for the Valentines Day College Care Packages!  I’m always trying out different treats that I think will ship well because my son goes to a school on the East Coast that has a frustrating administrative problem of getting packages to the kids on time.  For some reason they won’t deliver the packages until days after they arrive.  So…I try to find treat recipes that will stay soft and pliable for long periods of time.  These Pfeffernusse were successful, staying fresh and soft in a sealed container for 2 weeks.  Plus, the flavor was awesome!

Yes, Pfeffernusse are Christmas cookies…not Valentines

Pfeffernusse are a traditional German Christmas cookie, featuring molasses and spices.  I meant to make these at Christmas, but alas, time got away from me.  My kids still wanted to taste them and sometimes the chocolate Valentines treats don’t ship that well, so I’m flying in the face of tradition here, both with Christmas cookies and Valentines chocolate.  Sometimes you just have to punt.

Pfeffernusse Cookie Recipe

  • Pfeffernusse for Care Packages

    Pfeffernusse for College Care Packages

    1/2 cup molasses

  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 2 tsp anise extract
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cardamom (grind it fresh if possible)
  • 1 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp freshly ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper (can use 2 tsp white pepper if desired)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup powdered sugar for dusting

Directions:

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine molasses,honey, and butter and cook, stirring frequently.  Cook until creamy and thoroughly mixed together.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.  When mixture is cool, stir in the eggs and the anise extract.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients, including the flour, sugars, and spices (but not the powdered sugar).  Add the molasses mixture and stir together thoroughly.  Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.
  3. Preheat oven to 325° F.  Let the dough thaw slightly so it is pliable enough to roll into balls.  Roll into small balls, about 1 1/4″ in size.  Place on baking sheet, about 1″ apart (they don’t spread much but they do get a little bigger when baked).
  4. Bake for 10-12 minutes, they should be slightly brown on the bottom.  Cool a minute on the sheet and then transfer cookies to wire rack to cool completely.  Use a sifter to dust cookies with powdered sugar.

This recipe is an adaptation of many of the recipes I read on the internet, adding and subtracting based on comments from other cooks.  It turned out fantastic!

 

Lime Marmalade Cake for the Easter College Care Package

Lime Marmalade Bread

Lime Marmalade Bread

I’m so weary of cold and snow these days and the taste and smell of warm citrus baked goods helps keep the hope alive that Spring and sunshine will indeed come to our farm.  Last week I made Lemon Bars with Limoncello Icing for the girl’s Easter care package and this week I decided to try something with one of our lime marmalades for the boy’s package.  The lime marmalade is very intense in flavor and held up well in the baking process.

Easter College Care Package for the Boy

My son is a junior in college and has recently developed a relationship with a girl that looks like it may have some staying power.  They both enjoy experimenting with food and drink and I have been using them  as “tasters” for the cocktails I’m developing which use our shrub syrups and simple syrups.  The “Mint Julep” that I made for him last summer was his favorite, and is now a standing request when he comes home at breaks.

Easter College Care Package for the Boy

Easter College Care Package for the Boy

I found these wonderful mint julep cups online, had them monogrammed with our last name initial, and sent it to him along with a recipe for the Mint Julep and two different syrups he can use in the recipe.  Now he can impress her with his “mixology” skills.  I certainly would have been impressed if my college boyfriend knew how to serve anything other than a cheap beer!

Recipe for the Lime Marmalade Cake

Lime Marmalade Cake for the Easter College Care Package

Ingredients

  • 12 Tbsp (1 and 1/2 sticks) butter, at room temp. (plus 1/2 Tbsp for glaze)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp grated lime zest
  • 1 tsp grated orange or lemon zest
  • 3 eggs, at room temp
  • 2/3 cups lime marmalade, divided into two 1/3 cups
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (can use orange or lime also)
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 4 Tbsp powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan with cooking spray
  2. In a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat together the butter sugar, and both zests for 3-5 minutes, or until it looks light and airy.. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Beat in 1/3 cups of the lime marmalade, along with the citrus juice until everything is incorporated.
  3. In a clean bowl whisk together the dry ingredients, to include the flour, baking powder and salt.
  4. Fold the dry ingredients into the marmalade mixture until just combined (do not overmix)
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake 50 minutes, or until golden brown around the edges and light golden in the center. When cake has cooled for at least 10 minutes, loosen the edges of the cake from the pan by inserting a knife between the cake and the pan and running it along the edges. Turn cake out onto a plate.
  6. For the Glaze: Heat the other 1/3 cup of lime marmalade gently until it is melted and whisk in 1/2 Tbsp of butter and the powdered sugar. Whisk until no lumps of sugar remain. Spoon the glaze over the cake. Using a microplane, zest some lime and orange peel onto the top of the glaze. Cool completely before slicing.
http://www.farmtojar.com/recipes/lime-marmalade-cake-easter-college-care-package/

Happy Easter!!!

 

Lemonade and Limoncello Blondies

Lemonade and Limoncello Blondies

Lemonade and Limoncello Blondies

Sometimes serendipity hands you a prize, and these blondies are just that…a prize.  While on a phone conversation with my daughter, she interrupted me by saying “Just what are lemonade brownies?”  What?  Who said anything about lemonade brownies.  Not me.  HOWEVER, we both decided that sounded like something we’d like to taste.  After experimenting with four different blondie recipes, I created this Blondie…a lemony, tender blondie with a Limoncello-spiked frosting.  A winner!

Perfect Blondies for Easter

Lemonade and Limoncello Blondies

Lemonade and Limoncello Blondies

Initially I thought I would ship these blondies to my college kids in an Easter care package.  As I was experimenting with the different recipes trying to create nirvana blondies (hey I like that name, maybe that’s what I’ll call them), I received a surprise package of Easter cookies from Cookie Temptations.  Well, the blondies are scrumptious in taste, but as far as festive decor goes the cookies won hands down for the care package.  So….I decided to save some blondies out for Easter treats for the hubby and I, and then freeze the rest for a future care package for the kids.

Click here if you would like to see the Easter College Care Package post.

Recipe for Lemonade and Limoncello Blondies:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon zest
  • 1/4 tsp Fiori di Sicilia oil (optional, but really smells great)
  • 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt

*For Icing:*

 

  • 1 cup powderedsugar
  • 2 Tbsp butter, room temp
  • 2 Tbsp Limoncello
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • lemon zest from lemons for garnish (can also use orange zest for more color)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray 8 x 8 baking pan with cooking spray, or alternatively, line the pan with parchment paper making sure it comes above the edge of the pan.
  2. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes)
  3. Turn the mixer to low speed and add eggs, one at a time, mixing until thoroughly blended in.
  4. Add lemon juice, lemon zest and Fiori oil (if using) to the mix and blend until just combined.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.  Fold this dry mix into the lemon batter with a slotted spoon until blended.  Do not overmix.
  6. Spread the batter evenly in the pan and bake for 15-20 minutes until just set, or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.  Edges will be light brown.  Remove from oven and cool on a rack.
  7. When blondies are completely cooled remove from pan.  Whisk together all of the icing ingredients except the zest and spread over the top of the blondies with a knife (can blend the icing ingredients together in mixer if preferred).
  8. With a microplane grater held over the top of the iced blondies, grate lemons and oranges, letting the zest fall lightly on the icing.

 

Happy Easter!

 

Easter College Care Package: 2014

Easter treats from Cookie Temptations

Easter treats from Cookie Temptations

As I was considering what to put in my college kids’ Easter Care Packages this year, I got an unexpected treat.  A unique cookie company called Cookie Temptations customizes gourmet sugar cookies with fine chocolates and they sent me a personalized package to review.  What fun it was to have the tables turned for once and be the recipient of a beautifully packaged surprise box sent to me in the mail.  It reinforced how loved my big college kids must feel when they get my care packages.

A Change in DIY College Care Packages to “Semi-Homemade”

Easter basket from Cookie Temptations

Easter basket from Cookie Temptations

To date all of the care packages I have sent have been home-made and customized to my kids’ individual tastes and preferences.  I believe they appreciate the “unique-to-them” personalization that you just can’t get from the commercial college care package online sites.  I am however, as busy as the next mom with a career and obligations, and these customized cookies allowed me to give my kids some edible treats, to which I could then add the personal touches of individual Easter presents.  Nice.  No baking, freezing and wrapping this time around.

I don’t do many product reviews and was a little nervous about it.  What if I didn’t like the product, but didn’t want to hurt their business?  I decided to just give a review if it was great, and ignore it if it wasn’t, rather than giving a bad review.

Happily, everything about this product was great.  It came beautifully packaged, with each gourmet cookie wrapped and whole (not broken).  There were explicit directions on how to freeze and how to keep the cookies fresh. The customization part was the best.  I could see using these as client gifts with my business name customized on the cookies.  They were shippable.  And, last but not least, the taste was wonderful.  All in all, a great addition to the Easter Care Packages, and one I will probably use again!

Click here for more information on Cookie Temptations.

A Recipe for Homemade Easter College Care Package Treats:  Lemonade Blondies

Lemonade and Limoncello Blondies

Lemonade and Limoncello Blondies

 

For the diehard DIY person, I did make some wonderful Easter Blondies.  They are Lemonade Blondies with a Limoncello Frosting.

You can find the recipe here.

 

 

 

 The Rest of the Easter College Care Package (Beyond Food)

Easter Care Package for the College Girl

Easter Care Package for the College Girl

Since my son is coming home for Spring Break I decided to just send the Spring/Easter Care Package to my daughter, who is a graduate student in Denver, CO.  She is living (and cooking) in her first apartment this year so I try and help her out with things she might need in the kitchen.  She is also a poor grad student, so money is what she’s always looking for.  Since she shops at the farmers’ markets a lot I also added a sturdy farmers market bag (not pictured).  I think she’ll be happy with her package.

The boy is never one to be left out of care packages, so I divided the cookies and treats in half and he’ll get his surprises when he comes home.

Happy Easter all!  Did you cook up anything special for Easter dinner or for Easter treats?  Any care package online sites you’re really happy with?

Please leave a comment and let me know….and thanks for reading this.  If you like this type of content you can sign up for our monthly email over on the sidebar.

Valentine’s College Care Packages: 2014

You can always find a special day to send a care package to your kids at college, whether it be an official holiday, final exam week, preparation for study abroad or just an “I miss you” package.  The trick is making it a surprise.  Valentine’s Day is one of those holidays however, where the expectation is high that the college kid will get something, even if it is a card with a few bucks in it. Here are some recipes and ideas to go beyond the card.  Enjoy….they will.

Valentine’s College Care Packages: for the Girl:

Valentine's College Care Package for the Girl

Valentine’s College Care Package for the Girl

My daughter is living in an apartment for the first time and is starting to take on cooking for herself and friends.  I thought some sturdy paper plates and decorations for cupcakes and bars she might take to a potluck would be appreciated.  I added some gel decor for her windows and some homemade Valentine’s Day treats, and voila…she’s ready for Valentine’s Day.

Valentine’s College Care Packages: for the Boy

 

Valentine's College Care Package for the Boy

Valentine’s College Care Package for the Boy

The boy is always in need of money (especially now that he has a new girlfriend), so the Valentine box full of chocolates was turned into a Valentine box full of money.  I think he will be pleasantly surprised when he opens it.  I added some useful items for him, like laundry pods, hot sauce and a coffee filter basket and his package was good to go.

Valentine’s College Care Packages:  The Treats:

Red fruit, chocolate and hearts were, of course, the thematic leaning of the shippable brownies and cookies.  All of the recipes can be found at this post, but here are a few photos of the end products:

Strawberry Brownies with Rosewater Frosting

Strawberry Brownies with Rosewater Frosting

 

Valentines Peanut Butter Blossoms

Valentines Peanut Butter Blossoms

 

 

 

Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies

Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Powered by WordPress. Designed by Woo Themes

UA-22658354-1