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Homemade gift series: homemade cookies and a gift bundle

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Trent Hamm / The Simple Dollar

(Read caption) This inexpensive basket, lined with butcher paper and filled with homemade food and crafts, is a beautiful and memorable holiday – or anytime – gift.

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In the coming week, we’re going to be giving a few early small seasonal gifts to people, so with that in mind, we put the final finishing touches on our first gift basket, utilizing some of the items we already made.

One component of many of our baskets this year is going to be cookies. Sarah is a spectacular cookie maker and she delightfully packages them up for people as well. This year, she decided to use a peanut butter-based cookie recipe for her cookie bundles.

In the picture above, Sarah is making cookies using tofu as an egg substitute – these actually turn out really well and were well liked by someone who thinks tofu is disgusting, so it works. Here’s what you need.

6 eggs (or 1 1/2 cups whipped tofu)
2 sticks margarine or butter
3 cups brown sugar
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups peanut butter
2 teaspoons baking soda
12 oz. chocolate chips (milk or semi-sweet, as per your preference)
3/4 cup chopped nuts (a little more or a little less, as per your preference)
1 1/2 cups M&Ms (a little more or a little less, as per your preference)
9 cups rolled oats

Making cookies is easy.

Mix together the butter/margarine and the sugar. Then, add the eggs/tofu, vanilla, and peanut butter and mix until smooth. Add all remaining ingredients, then mix well. Shape into small balls (about the size of a golf ball) and place them on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 F (175 C) for 8 to 10 minutes. They’re done when they hold together but are still really chewy.

Naturally, we wanted to package these fairly nicely. Sarah’s simple solution was to take a large square of clear Saran Wrap, place three cookies in a stack in the middle, draw the Saran Wrap up around the cookies, twist the top, and tie it with a ribbon.

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