5 Edible Souvenirs From Paris
Bring back a taste of Paris with one of these edible souvenirs
A sweet souvenir: Macarons from Ladurée
For many English speakers, a souvenir is an object brought from one place to another to symbolize a person’s travels. From an Arizona license plate key chain, engraved with one’s name, to a baseball cap or a store-bought seashell from Miami, a souvenir is a gift that says "sorry you couldn’t join me on my travels but here is a random object to show you what you missed and that I was thinking of you."
Click here to see the 5 Edible Souvenirs From Paris Slideshow!
For the French speakers in the world, "un souvenir" is literally translated as a memory. A memory poignant, special, and unique enough that you want to share it with your closest friends and relatives.
Paris, the city of love that's rife with culture, life, and cuisine, is a destination for those in touch with their senses. A Parisian excursion enlivens sight, smell, hearing, and, our personal favorite, taste. The home of macarons, madeleines, éclaires, and pains au chocolats, Paris is a sweet-tooth’s paradise and a place where most of one’s shopping will probably consist of culinary purchases (whether for oneself or as "souvenirs" for others.) Here are a few good ideas of delectable, edible souvenirs to bring home to your loved ones to make them jealous… er… to share your fond culinary "souvenirs" of the City of Light.
Five Tasty, Edible Gifts That Are Easy to Make
A good food gift doesn’t need to be an expensive gourmet gift basket, but it should be thoughtful, delicious, and a little unexpected. These edible and drinkable presents are thoughtful and customizable, and will make your gift stand out in a sea of boring fruitcakes.
Super Flavorful Custom Salts
Sure, you can buy fancy flavored salt for way too much money, or you could make your own little sampler pack on the cheap with flavors as unique as your wonderful brain. Almost any flavor—from coffee to lemon-ginger—can be reimagined as a salt, you just have to know how to prepare them.
Give Your Dishes a Savory Boost with These Homemade Flavored Salts
Regular, plain ol’ sodium chloride is pretty great, but I have a soft spot for flavored salt, which
If you’re flavorings are dry (think herbs, spices, and dried fruits and vegetables) you’ll need a food processor (or a mortar and pestle) and 1-2 teaspoons of your dried tasty add-ins for every ¼ cup of salt. If you’re drying something like lemon zest yourself, just pop it in the oven at 200 ℉ until it’s completely dry. Pulse your add-ins in the food processor (or crush them using your mortar and pestle) until you have little flavorful bits that are about the size of a grain of salt. Then mix them up with your favorite sodium chloride in a small bowl. Transfer to an airtight container and set aside for at least twenty four hours to let the flavors meld. Scoop your new flavored salt into cute, festive jars, label them, and give them to your foodiest friends. Flavored salts retain their flavor for up to a year, but they probably won’t make it that long.
If you need some ideas to get your creative juices flowing, try one or more of these:
- Lemon Ginger: ¼ cup salt + ½ teaspoon dried lemon zest + ½ teaspoon dried ginger root
- Tomato Basil: ¼ cup salt + ½ teaspoon dried basil + ½ teaspoon dried, chopped sundried tomatoes
- Ancho Chili and Lime: ¼ cup salt + ½ teaspoon dried lime zest + ½ teaspoon dried dried ancho chilis
If you wish to flavor your salty crystals with your most favorite wet condiment (hot sauce, hoisin sauce, BBQ sauce, any damn sauce), they will need to spend a bit of time in the oven. Just combine 1 tablespoon of flavor-packed liquid with ½ a cup of salt and stir until completely combined (leave no white patches). Spread the mixture out on a baking sheet lined with parchment and pop it in the oven for two hours at 170°F, stirring frequently. Store your creation in an airtight container for up to a year.
Making salt flavored with your favorite wine or liquor is a similar process, you just have to make a reduction first. Pour out three cups of booze for every cup of salt you’ll be making, and cook down into a thick viscous syrup. Stir the syrup into the salt and dry it out in the oven as described above.
Better Than Instant Hot Chocolate
‘Tis the season for warm, chocolatey beverages, and you definitely don’t want to give sad packets of Swiss Miss. There are two ways to make your own, upgraded instant hot chocolate, and both are pretty easy to execute. The first, which is featured in the video above, only calls for three ingredients: 12 ounces of your favorite semisweet chocolate ( aim for something between 60% and 80% ), one cup of heavy cream, and a ¼ teaspoon of salt. Microwave for about two minutes, stir, and repeat until everything is completely combined. Cover the mixture and refrigerate until firm. Once it’s scoopable, shape into little morsels and wrap each one in plastic wrap. (Alternate red and green plastic wrap for extra Christmas-y cheer, or use blue if your intended is celebrating Hanukkah.) Place the single servings in a large mason jar, and gift away, ensuring the giftee understands that this gift must be kept in the fridge.
Make Your Own Cocoa Powder for Fast Chocolatey Drinks Anywhere You Go
If you love chocolate milk, or just a little chocolatey flavor stirred into your coffee from time…
If you’d rather give a more shelf-stable, powdery iteration of hot chocolate , do not despair: we’ve got one of those too. Like the hot chocolate above, this recipe also has a mere three ingredients. Just combine ⅔ cup of sugar with ⅓ cup of unsweetened cocoa powder (you can get really fancy here) with a pinch of salt and store in an airtight container. If you want to get super festive, you can take it up a notch by adding cinnamon, cloves, ginger, allspice, or even cayenne for a sweet and spicy kick. (Earn even more extra credit by including a bottle of red wine for mixing in .)
Edible DIY Gifts: Double Cocoa Hot Chocolate Mix
This Double Cocoa Hot Chocolate Mix is a simple gift that is perfect for friends, coworkers, or family this holiday season. Customize it or leave it plain, and include the simple instructions for heating with milk.
I love gifting things to friends over the holiday season. It truly is a great time to be thankful for the people who are wonderful to you, and show them that love with a treat!
Over the next week, I will be featuring three easy DIYs that are not time consuming once you assemble the simple ingredients. While you can spice them up by adding extra components, the basic recipe is a delicious double cocoa hot chocolate mix that you can gift in small jars for the holidays.
If you’re looking to jazz up the basic recipe, here are some ideas…
Dried Pears Recipe
I slow-roast tomatoes all through late summer, when I can lay my hands on cheap and tasty specimens, and I like to make dried pears in the fall, too: the drying heightens the pear flavor to a hauntingly sweet concentrate of itself.
This does mean it is a good way to cut your losses on below-average pears, but for superb results you should of course use superb pears. The technique works best with fruits that are ripe but firm and not too juicy, so they will retain their shape and not drip all over the floor of your oven.
Not only are dried pears easy to make and delicious, but the resulting strips are also surprisingly versatile: they can be eaten as a simple snack (their texture, crisp at first but gradually turning chewy in your mouth, makes them quite satisfying), they can be served with cheese (especially washed rind and blue cheeses) or game birds, they can be added to scones, oatmeal cookies, and granolas, and they enter the preparation of berawecka, a dried fruit loaf that is traditionally made for Christmas in Alsace. And in my opinion, they make very pretty edible gifts, too.
My latest batch was made with Louise-Bonne pears, a variety I’d never seen or heard of before: these pears were tiny, their skin green and lightly freckled with yellow, their off-white flesh fragrant and acidulated, and they played along remarkably well in the drying game. (Check back on Friday to see what I did with them.)
Homemade for the holidays: It’s time to get a jumpstart on DIY edible gifts
The holidays inevitably sneak up on us, but you don’t have to stress about buying for friends during the pandemic. Gifts from the kitchen always feel special, so why not head there to start checking off your holiday to-do list?
Asha Gomez is a frequent guest on culinary TV shows, and has fed countless diners at Spice to Table and Cardamom Hill. “In this time, when you can’t have your family over sitting around a table,” she said, “there’s something special about being able to take that experience in a bottle to somebody else’s home.”
She suggested making her pandan toffee sauce as a gift. In her new cookbook, “I Cook in Color,” it is paired with a date toffee pudding cake, but she said you can serve it over ice cream or fruit.
Tiffanie Barriere, who formerly worked at One Flew South, said that, when considering a liquid holiday gift, “Nothing says Christmas like cranberries.”
She suggested making a simple shrub, using fresh cranberries and basil, and bottling it in food-grade glass bottles (available on Amazon) as a present for family and friends. Shrubs, a mixture of fruit, sugar and vinegar, can serve as a foundation for a mocktail or cocktail. “Add an ounce or two to sparking water or even Champagne,” she said.
Credit: Lynsey Weatherspoon
Credit: Lynsey Weatherspoon
Alisa Barry’s Bella Cucina in Buckhead is stocked with ready-made Italian and European artisanal goods. While it sells everything from pesto to pasta bowls, Barry has some ideas for homemade pantry perks. “You can dry summer herbs open air or in the oven, and make a lovely salt or spice mixture for roasted chickens, fish and vegetables,” she said.
Preserved lemons are another of Barry’s ideas. “They take 40 days to cure before they’re ready to eat, so it’s a fun project that the whole family can do together,” said Barry, who sells a kit for making preserved lemons at Bella Cucina. “You can add different flavors, like cinnamon sticks or peppercorns.”
You can put the entire family to work on these projects. Packaging can have a personal touch, such as a Mason jar tied with ribbon, homemade tags or custom stamps commissioned on Etsy. Getting everyone into a creative gifting mindset is heartwarming (especially this year), and can be as enjoyable to prepare as to unwrap.
ASHA GOMEZ’S PANDAN TOFFEE SAUCE
Gomez pours this sauce over sticky pudding cake, but she touts its versatility. “I love drizzling this over vanilla ice cream or over simple poached pears or baked apples," she said.
Pandan leaves commonly are used for flavoring sweets in Southeast Asian cooking. The long spiky leaves, which add an aromatic, herbaceous note to the sauce, can be found at Buford Highway Farmers Market or any Indian grocery store, such as Patel Brothers in Decatur.
Each batch makes enough for 8 servings, or to drizzle over an 8-inch cake. One batch can be divided among two pint-sized glass jars, making two smaller-portioned gifts. The recipe easily can be scaled up.
- 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter
- 4 cups packed dark brown sugar
- 2 cups full-fat coconut milk
- 2 pandan leaves, each tied in a knot
- Combine the butter, brown sugar, coconut milk and pandan leaves in a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often. As soon as the sauce boils (about 1-2 minutes) remove from the heat and remove the pandan leaves. Let the sauce cool, then transfer to 2 pint-size glass jars. The sauce will keep, refrigerated, for about two weeks. Makes: 2½ to 3 cups (8 servings)
Per serving: Per serving: 759 calories (percent of calories from fat, 43), 2 grams protein, 111 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, 37 grams total fat (27 grams saturated), 61 milligrams cholesterol, 43 milligrams sodium.
Excerpted from “I Cook in Color: Bright Flavors from My Kitchen and Around the World,” by Asha Gomez and Martha Hall Foose (Running Press)
TIFFANIE BARRIERE’S CRANBERRY BASIL SHRUB
Barriere’s homemade shrub can be mixed with bubbly Champagne, or a spirit of choice. It also can be kept nonalcoholic when combined with sparkling water. For a double dose of cranberries, muddle a few fresh berries when building a drink and garnish with fresh basil. The recipe makes enough for one gift, but can be scaled up.
- 12 ounces fresh cranberries
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup sugar
- ¾ cup red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 handful (12-14) fresh basil leaves
- In a large saucepan, combine the cranberries, water, sugar, vinegar, lemon juice and lemon zest in the pot, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Once the cranberries start to pop, lower the heat and add the basil. When the basil turns brown, remove from the heat.
- Using a large strainer, strain and discard the solids. Let the liquid cool. Store refrigerated in a 32-ounce lidded glass jar. The shrub will keep refrigerated for six months. Makes: 3½ cups (28 ounces)
Per serving: Per ounce: 34 calories (percent of calories from fat, 0), trace protein, 8 grams carbohydrates, trace fiber, trace fat (no saturated fat), no cholesterol, 1 milligram sodium.
ALISA BARRY’S MEYER LEMON AND FENNEL SALT
Finishing salts add aroma and flavor with every dash, and this lemon-fennel combination is easy to make at home.
- 1 Meyer lemon (substitute with 1 Eureka lemon)
- 1 tablespoon dried fennel seeds
- ¼ cup sea salt flakes, such as Maldon’s
- ½ cup kosher salt
- Using a zester, remove the lemon peel in strips, being careful not to include any white pith. Finely dice the strips and place on a parchment-lined sheet pan in an even layer. Set aside in a warm place to dry overnight.
- The next day, mix the dried lemon peel with the fennel seed and salts until well-combined. The salt can be kept on the counter if used frequently, or stored at room temperature in an airtight container. Makes: generous ¾ cup
Per serving: Per teaspoon: 1 calorie (percent of calories from fat, 2), trace protein, trace carbohydrates, trace fiber, trace fat (no saturated fat), no cholesterol, 1,920 milligrams sodium.
Ingredients for 5 Hot Chocolate-In-A-Jar
Peppermint Hot Chocolate
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup candy cane, crushed
Birthday Cake White Hot Chocolate
1/2 cup vanilla pudding mix
1 cup white chocolate, shaved
1 tbsp funfetti sprinkles
Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup peanut butter chips
Lavender White Hot Chocolate
1/2 cup vanilla pudding mix
1 cup white chocolate, shaved
Toffee Hot Chocolate
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
As I mentioned, this no-bake Raffaello Coconut Balls requires only 3 ingredients: Shredded coconut, condensed milk and blanched almonds. I always use unsweetened shredded coconut, because the condensed milk is enough sweet. Condensed milk is easy to find in every grocery store and blanched almonds are very easy to make at home, if you can’t find in your local grocery store.
Take the condensed milk and combine it with unsweetened shredded coconut. Use a spoon to blend the ingredients well together. Use your hands to shape a ball and then insert inside the blanched almond. At the end roll it in extra shredded coconut and voilà it’s done! It is always better to chill the Raffaello coconut balls in the refrigerator for 15 minutes, so it hardens a bit.
5 ideas for homemade edible gifts
Chocolate-hazelnut spread, gingerbread granola, breakfast bread, chocolate snowballs and spicy rosemary pecans. (Photo: Tania Savayan/The Journal News) Buy Photo
The list of people is getting longer and longer each year.
Teachers, bus drivers, coworkers, babysitters, neighbors and the blessed men and women working for UPS who might as well be driving a reindeer-drawn sleigh every day in December. These are the people crucial to making the day-to-day smooth in our lives, and they often don't make the gift list each season. But they should.
There are logistical problems with a suggestion to give a gift to everyone you spend your days with (namely, money and time), so consider the homemade edible gift. This solution might seem daunting to non-crafters or non-bakers, but it can be done and done well without breaking the bank.
I steer away from mixes like pancake, cookie, bean soup or hot chocolate. While the intention is sweet, I don't want anyone giving me something I have to do. An edible gift is all about the instant gratification.
Breakfast breads, like pumpkin or banana, or a jar of homemade granola make a lovely gift for the host of a holiday party. Give something they can enjoy for breakfast over cleanup the next morning.
If teachers, babysitters or school bus drivers are on the list, opt for something sweet like a homemade chocolate-hazelnut spread, which is easy to make even with little ones helping. (Plus, the kids will love handing their teacher a special treat they helped to make.)
Package gifts in the most festive way you can manage. Affordable Mason jars and holiday tins of various sizes can be found at Christmas Tree Shops, The Container Store, Target and craft shops. Wrap a big colorful bow around a jar and tape a signed tag and the printed recipe. It might help to remember that the point of an edible gift is to let people know how grateful you are that they're around, not how crafty you are.
Here are five quick and easy recipes for homemade edible holiday gifts to say thank you to the people in your life.
Chocolate-hazelnut spread. (Photo: Tania Savayan/The Journal News)
Adapted from Epicurious.com. Yields 4 cups.
1 pound semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces, room temperature
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread out nuts on a rimmed baking sheet or in an ovenproof skillet. Roast, shaking sheet once for even toasting, until deep brown, about 15 minutes. Let cool completely.
Grind hazelnuts and sugar in a food processor until a fairly smooth, buttery paste forms, about 1 minute.
Place chocolate in a medium metal bowl. Set bowl over a large saucepan of simmering water stir often until chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove bowl from over saucepan add butter and whisk until completely incorporated. Whisk in cream and salt, then hazelnut paste.
Store for up to 4 weeks chilled. Allow to sit at room temperature to soften.
Note: If hazelnuts have skins, rub them in a kitchen towel after toasting to easily remove.
Best Ever Banana Bread
Recipe adapted from "The New Best Recipe from the Editors of Cooks' Illustrated."
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the pan
4 very ripe bananas, mashed well
2 large eggs, beaten lightly
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan dust with flour, tapping out the excess.
Spread walnuts on a baking sheet and toast until fragrant, 5 to 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and walnuts together in a large bowl and set aside.
Mix the mashed bananas, yogurt, eggs, butter and vanilla with a wooden spoon in a medium bowl. Lightly fold the banana mixture into the dry ingredients until just combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan.
Bake until the loaf is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 55 minutes.
The bread can be wrapped in plastic and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Spicy rosemary pecans. (Photo: Tania Savayan/The Journal News)
Spicy Rosemary Pecans
Recipe adapted from Real Simple.
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Stir in the sugar, cayenne and ½ teaspoon salt. Add the pecans and toss to coat.
Transfer the pecans to a rimmed baking sheet and arrange in a single layer. Bake, stirring occasionally, until toasted, 10 to 12 minutes.
Add the rosemary and toss to combine.
Gingerbread granola. (Photo: Tania Savayan/The Journal News)
Adapted from "How to Cook Everything" by Mark Bittman. Yields 8 cups.
6 cups rolled oats (not quick-cooking or instant)
2 cups mixed chopped walnuts, pecans and almonds
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup raisins, chopped dried fruit or chocolate chips (optional)
Heat the oven to 350 F. In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients.
Spread evenly on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes or a little longer, stirring occasionally. The mixture should brown evenly the browner it gets without burning, the crunchier the granola will be.
Remove the pan from the oven and add the fruit or chocolate, if desired. Cool on a rack, stirring once in a while until the granola reaches room temperature. Transfer to a sealed container and store in the refrigerator it will keep indefinitely.
A tin of chocolate snowballs. (Photo: Tania Savayan/The Journal News)
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
2 cups miniature marshmallows
½ cup unsalted butter, melted
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 (6-ounce) can evaporated milk
1 cup confectioners sugar
Butter a 9-by-9-by-2-inch baking pan and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the chocolate, marshmallows, butter and vanilla. Set aside.
Put the evaporated milk and sugar in a large pot. Bring to a rolling boil and stir constantly for 10 minutes (a long-handled wooden spoon works best).
Turn off the heat. Add the chocolate-marshmallow mixture to the pot, stirring constantly until smooth and melted.
Pour the fudge mixture into the buttered baking pan and allow to sit at room temperature for one hour, then scoop out chocolate, rolling into bite sized rounds.
Refrigerate chocolate snowballs for one hour, then sprinkle or roll each ball in confectioners sugar. Store chilled for weeks.
2. Chocolate Reindeer CookiesHandyman Magazine
These chocolate reindeer cookies are guaranteed to be a hit with kids and adults alike.
This recipe yields about 48 cookies, making it a great recipe to make for Christmas food gifts.
You can divide the batch up for separate people, or arrange all 48 cookies on a platter and use it as a single gift.
16 Last Minute Edible Holiday Gift Recipes
Still searching for the perfect holiday gift? Don’t you fret! I’ve rounded up 16 Last Minute Edible Holiday Gift Recipes sure to please everyone on your list.
Just like the ones you’d buy from a fancy chocolate shop! This insanely easy recipe requires just 2 ingredients and takes less than 10 minutes to assemble. You can leave them plain, or top them with sprinkles or sea salt.
This stunning fudge features two tasty layers plus a candy cane crunch topping! YUM.
Homemade Chocolate Truffles spiked with Kahlua… need I say more?
A homemade, healthier version of the classic!
So good with a cup of coffee!
I’ve gifted these cookies to my yoga instructor, dentist, and UPS man. They’re a HIT!
This creamy and colorful fudge just screams Christmas!
Who could resist falling in love with these little guys?!
You only need 3 ingredients to make this candy shop quality treat! It’s such a winner.
This better-than-the-bakery cheesecake is sure to make any chocolate lovers holiday a little sweeter!
The perfect gift for the chocolate + peanut butter lover in your life ♥
One of the most popular recipes on my blog and for good reason! This chocolate fudge is sweet, creamy, and SO easy.
You can’t beat a fresh baked batch of cookies! These are thick, chewy, and fabulously festive.
Cupcakes may sound like an unconventional gift, but trust me – friends and family will FLIP for a batch of these red velvet beauties. The best part? They’re made in just one bowl!
Chocolate and Oreo Cookies in truffle form! Everyone loves these!
So… what are you making first?!
Today’s recipe is my final contribution to our Holiday Baking Bonanza! Tessa and I had an amazing time sharing holiday recipes, tips, and giveaways with you – and we can’t wait to do it all over again next year! Want to stay up to date with Holiday Baking Bonanza news and connect with fellow bakers? Joined our free Holiday Baking Bonanza Facebook Group today!
If you try any of these recipes, let me know what you think! Leave a comment below, and don’t forget to snap a pic and tag it #bakerbynature on instagram! Seeing your creations makes my day.
Yield Makes 10 to 15 depending on their size
- Calories 225
- Fat 1.3 g (2.0%)
- Saturated 0.1 g (0.4%)
- Carbs 56.4 g (18.8%)
- Fiber 0.2 g (0.6%)
- Sugars 55.8 g
- Protein 0.0 g (0.0%)
- Sodium 19.4 mg (0.8%)
Vegetable oil cooking spray
apple cider (reduced to 2 teaspoons)
Prepare a water bath (ice cubes and water in a large bowl) and set aside.
Bring apple cider to boil in a saucepan and simmer until it is reduced to 2 teaspoons. Set aside.
Lightly coat parchment paper with nonstick spray and lay out 10 lollipop/Popsicle sticks. Bring sugar, cream of tartar, corn syrup, and water to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Heat until a candy thermometer registers 250 degrees F, wiping down the sides with a wet pastry brush occasionally.
Remove from heat and set in prepared ice bath to stop the sugar from cooking. Carefully stir in apple cider and spices. Transfer the mixture to a heatproof liquid measuring cup.
Pour a little of the syrup around each lollipop/Popsicle stick. Place dried cranberry or pecan in the middle and pour more syrup over the top.
Allow to cool until the caramel is set, about 10 to 15 minutes. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.