5 Can’t-Go-Wrong Hostess Gifts

If you’re staying with friends or family for the holidays, or simply headed to a holiday party, we’ve got a list of home-run hostess gift ideas to express your gratitude and keep those invitations coming for years to come. A hostess gift doesn’t have to be lavish or complicated, but it should be thoughtful. Here are five gifts that every host will appreciate.

1. Take out containers for doggy bags. Stock up on a range of to-go containers from a restaurant supply store and gift them to your host. When the party is over, she can send guests home with easy, attractive doggy bags without raiding her own supply of dishes.

 

2. A fresh, new apron. Immediately useful and appreciated, an apron is an ideal hostess gift. And if you offer to put it on and help in the kitchen, even better!

3. Fresh flowers. You can never go wrong with a beautiful, neutral bouquet. (Be sure to provide a vase so that your host doesn’t have to figure out or arrange the display.)

 

4. Coasters. Easy and thoughtful, coasters are a great hostess gift because they can be put to use right away to protect the host’s furniture. Cork coasters are safe and absorbent and affordable. Add a personalized touch with some simple paint.

5. Relaxation. Nobody needs moments of relaxation like a host after the party. Whether it’s a spa certificate (if you’re staying a week in somebody’s house), a jar of bath salts, or a lavender-scented candle, your host will appreciate a few moments zen when the party is over.

Recipe: Almond Pizzelle Cookies

Mrs. Fields Secrets Almond Pizzelle Cokies
Today’s classic cookie recipe hearkens back generations and overseas. The Pizzelle cookie is an Italian favorite, a thin, wafer-like cookie pressed into a beautiful hot iron to create a delicate look and taste. They are absolutely perfect with a bowl of ice cream (or gelato), topping a mug of cocoa or coffee, or all on their own with a dusting of powdered sugar. The traditional Italian recipe calls for anise extract, which is a black licorice flavor, but you can substitute vanilla or (our favorite) almond extract.

Almond Pizzelle Cookies

3 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 tablespoon almond extract (or anise or vanilla)
1 3/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder

Directions
In a large bowl of a stand mixer, beat the eggs and sugar together until thick and creamy. Slowly pour in the melted butter and almond extract. In a separate bowl, sift the flour and baking powder together and stir into the batter, blending until smooth. Preheat a Pizzelle iron, and spray with nonstick spray before placing a heaping tablespoon of batter onto each form and pressing closed. Wait approximately two minutes, or until steam from the iron ceases. When cookies are golden brown, remove from the iron and place on a cooling rack. Repeat with remaining batter.

HINT: You’ll need a Pizzelle iron to make them, which can be found in most kitchen stores or online.

Giveaway: What’s Your Favorite Christmas Cookie?

Cookie Carolers

It’s Monday morning and t-minus 10 days to Christmas, which means that according to our calculations, you could use a giveaway right about now! So, let’s get to it! Answer a simple question and be entered to win our delicious (and adorable) Cookie Carolers gift, filled with a variety of our gourmet goodies. Simply leave a comment answering this question: What’ your favorite Christmas cookie?

Are you devoted to gingerbread? A sucker for a sugar cookie? Pining for a pizzelle? Tell us your Christmas cookie craving and you’re entered to win big!

And don’t forget, you can still get our favorite Christmas cookies delivered in time for holiday giving. Shop our entire line of holiday gifts now!

Fine print: One entry per person, please. You must be 18 years old or older and a resident of the continental United States. Entries accepted until Midnight, Tuesday, December 16. Winner will be chosen randomly and notified via email.

Ultimate Gift Guide for Brownie Lovers

Mrs. Fields Secrets Brownie Lover 1 Mrs. Fields Brownie Lovers 2

The Brownie Lover. Who can blame their devotion to rich, fudge-y chocolate? Nobody. So, for the holidays, indulge it. Embrace it. Give those brownie lovers what they really, really want: all things brownies. And just in case you need a head start, we’ve put together the ultimate guide:

1. Two Dozen Classic Brownies
2. Edge Brownie Pan
3. Extreme Brownie Recipe Book
4. Brownie Batter Candle
5. Brookie Pan

Recipe: Cocoa Snickerdoodles

Mrs. Fields Secrets Cocoa Snickerdoodles

Here’s a fun recipe to add to your Christmas cookie recipe box, a fun and festive twist on a classic snickerdoodle. The cocoa works perfectly with the cinnamon to create a rich, slightly spicy flavor that you’re going to love dipping into a mug of cocoa or a glass of egg nog. Plus, we added Christmasy nonpareils right as they came out of the oven, which fall into all the soft cracks on the surface to create a colorful, festive look.

Cocoa Snickerdoodles
adapted from Food Network

1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
10 tablespoons butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup sugar (for sanding)
1 3/4 teaspoons cinnamon
nonpareils (optional)

Directions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt and nutmeg together. In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugars until creamy. Increase the speed and whip until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla, then slowly stir in the dry ingredients until just combined. Combine the sanding sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Form heaping tablespoons of dough into balls and coat with cinnamon and sugar, then place on a prepared cookie sheet about 2-3 inches apart. Bake for 9-11 minutes, or until surfaces are evenly crackled. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with nonpareils before cooling.

Holiday Light Tour: Submit Your Favorites!

It’s that time of year when festivity trumps electrical efficiency and people go all out with their holiday lighting. From gaudy to gorgeous, from front yards to public spaces, we’ve gathered some of the best and brightest offerings from around the world wide web. Curl up with a cookie and a cup of hot cocoa and enjoy the parade…

Now it’s your turn! Submit your favorite holiday light displays in our comments section or on our Facebook page with hashtag #HolidayLightTour.

Ultimate Gift Guide for Cookie Lovers

Mrs. Fields Gifts for Cookie Lovers

If there is a cookie lover on your holiday list, you’re in luck. We’ve gathered a home-run gift guide to make their heart melt like a chocolate chip. Follow the links to find these great gift ideas. And remember: those who give these gifts, generally get cookies in return.

1. Baker’s Store-N-Go
2. Baker’s Twine
3. Brookie Pan
4. Stand mixer
5. Three-tiered cooling rack
6. Mrs. Fields Cookie Dough

Recipe: Linzer Cookies

Mrs. Fields Secrets Linzer Cookies

All month long, we’re going to share festive holiday cookie recipes with you, some old favorites and some new twists. Because is there anything more holiday than baking cookies? Today’s recipe is a favorite from the old world. This shortbread cookie is doused in powdered sugar, filled with your favorite raspberry (or any flavor) preserves for a festive, melt-in-your-mouth experience.

Linzer Cookies
adapted from Eli Zabar

3/4 pound butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
raspberry preserves
powdered sugar

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, combine the butter and sugar. Add the vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and salt, and then add to the butter mixture. Mix on low speed just until a dough forms. Scrape dough onto a floured surface and shape into a flat disk. Cover all sides with plastic wrap, and chill for 30 minutes.

Sprinkle more flour over the cutting board or pastry cloth, and roll out the shortbread dough to a 1/4-inch thickness. Cut with a fluted round, then cut out the centers of half of them with the wide end of a pastry decorating tip. Place cookies on parchment-lined baking sheets, and chill for at least 15 minutes before baking.

After chilling, bake dough until the edges are a faint golden brown. Start checking for doneness after 10 minutes in the oven. Thicker cookies will take upwards of 15-18 minutes to bake through. Remove baking sheets from oven and place on racks to cool for several minutes. Once cool, spread a thin layer of raspberry preserves on the solid rounds, bottom sides up. Sift powdered sugar over the hollowed tops (bottom sides down again), then sandwich the layers together.

 

Cyber Monday Favorites from Mrs. Fields

Mrs. Fields Cyber Monday

It’s time to get your Cyber Monday game on, and we’ve got some favorite gifts to share with everyone on your list. (By the way, did you know that you can order Mrs. Fields today and choose any delivery date you want? One of our favorite features on our site!)

So, without further ado…

Large Holiday Lessons Tin

Your sister’s family in Tacoma will think of your fondly when the Large Holiday Lessons Tin arrives.

Roly Poly Penguin

Our Roly Poly Penguin is part cookie jar, part decoration, and all fun for your niece and nephew in Richmond.

Tower of Joy

The aptly named Tower of Joy is our favorite recommendation for an office gift or any crowd. Your cubicle-mate Sue has been eyeing this gift for weeks.

Snowflake Mini Gift Boxes

Remember last year when it seemed like every time you turned around you were running out to get a “little something” for a dozen different people? Let our Snowflake Mini Gift Boxes save the day. A case of twelve (with bulk buy savings) will have you sitting pretty all season long.

Winter Snowflake Gift Pail

It can be hard to find a great non-denominational gift for your aunt and uncle in Buffalo, so we designed our Winter Snowflake Gift Pail to be just that. It’s literally perfect for anyone on your list!

Yule Log Trio

Your brother in Bakersfield may not remember what a cozy winter fire looks like, so remind him with our crowd-pleasing Yule Log Trio.

Of course, you can shop all your favorites at Mrs. Fields today and save 25% OFF site wide with code CYBER at checkout.

 

Recipe: Pumpkin Roll

Mrs. Fields Secrets Pumpkin Roll

Looking for a last-minute Thanksgiving dessert recipe? A pumpkin roll is a perfect offering after your feast for those who don’t love pies, but do love pumpkin. You probably have all the ingredients in your  Plus, it makes a great presentation. It’s awfully simple to pull off, but don’t worry, we won’t tell anybody. Go ahead and take the accolades.

Pumpkin Roll
adapted from Trisha Yearwood

3 eggs
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon lemon juice
3/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup powdered sugar (plus more for garnish)
6 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a full-size jellyroll pan with grease and flour. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, pumpkin and lemon juice until smooth. In a separate bowl, sift the flour, ginger, salt, baking powder and cinnamon together and add to the wet mixture and blend until just combined. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool for about 15 minutes.

Transfer the cake onto a cooling rack. Sprinkle a thin layer of powdered sugar on a large tea towel and transfer the warm cake to the towel, wrapping the sides of the towel over the cake. Roll the cake in the towel and transfer to the fridge to cool completely and take form for about 45 minutes.

Prepare the frosting in a mixing bowl by whipping the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar and vanilla until light and creamy. Carefully unroll the cake and spread the frosting evenly on top of the cake before re-rolling the cake. Cover and chill before serving. Dust the top with powdered sugar before slicing and serving.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...