DIY Canning For the Holidays


Hand-making a holiday gift is a wonderful way to show those you love that you care enough to take the time and effort to provide them with something truly special and unique. Canned goods with custom canning labels offer thoughtful yet inexpensive gifts that everyone will enjoy. Teachers, co-workers, neighbors, friends, and family cherish personally canned goods, and you will not only feel the pleasure of giving gifts, but will have fun making them too.

Popular recipes for canning include jams, jellies, vegetables, and even beautifully layered ingredients for baked goods. A canning recipe that is welcome by all is one for hot fudge sauce.

Gifted Hot Fudge Sauce

Ingredients:
1 lb semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup unsalted butter
3 cups sugar
1 1/3 cups light corn syrup
1 1/3 cups water
6 tsp vanilla

Steps:
1. Place chocolate and butter in the top of a double boiler and melt, stirring frequently to prevent burning. If a double boiler is not available, place chocolate and butter in a pan set atop a pot of boiling water. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
2. In a separate pan, stir corn syrup, water, and sugar over low heat until sugar is dissolved. Once sugar is dissolved, increase heat until the mixture begins to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until syrup becomes translucent, about three minutes. Stir constantly throughout this process. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
3. Combine chocolate and syrup. Reheat on low for about 10 minutes. Again, it is important to remember to stir the mixture constantly as chocolate and sugar burn very easily. Remove from heat, add vanilla, and stir while mixture cools.
4. Pour mixture into six sterilized half pint jars or three pint jars. Remove any air bubbles before sealing. Process in a water bath for 15 minutes.

Once the jars have cooled, it is time to decorate the fudge sauce for gift giving. This can be as simple as tying a colorful ribbon around the lids or creating your own custom canning labels. The labels should include your name, the name of the recipe, and any special note you would like to include. You may even create individual custom canning labels with the recipient’s name. However, if you choose to put the recipient’s name on the jar, make sure you don’t mix up the canned gifts!

Another fun idea for dressing up the jar is to decorate it with a removable addition. With twine, string, or yarn, tie a ladle or ice cream scoop to the fudge sauce. For very special friends, you may even make the canned good part of a larger gift. Fill a gift basket with ice cream bowls, spoons, maraschino cherries, sprinkles, and your jar of fudge sauce. Wrap the basket with cellophane. Use a rubber band to secure the cellophane and decorate with ribbon, strips of cloth, or a large, silk flower. For recipients with a sense of humor, you can include a workout DVD to show them how to burn off all the calories from the fudge!
Canned goods as holiday gifts are truly one-of-a-kind. Once you start canning your holiday gifts, you may never give another kind of present again.

 

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