Saturday, October 23, 2010

Holiday Gift Giving: Recipes for Homemade Christmas Trail Mixes

Homemade Christmas trail mix is the perfect stocking stuffer, teacher gift, mailman gift, or family gift. Trail mix recipes vary in specific ingredients, but generally they contain cereal, nuts, chocolate chips, dried fruit, and at times, small candies like M&M's or Heath Bits.

It's easy to make up large batches of trail mix at one time, which means you can make plenty for everyone on your list in one day. It's much easier than baking and is a nice switch from the traditional cookies and fruitcake.

Package your homemade trail mix in tins, cellophane bags, or small paint cans for an interesting and fun presentation. Add a small card with all of the ingredients listed, just in case you're not sure about potential allergies.

Homemade Christmas Trail Mix Recipes

Christmas Tree Trail Mix

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a jellyroll pan or cookie sheet with sides. Also, grease the sides of a large bowl. Set aside.

8 cups popcorn

1 cup walnuts, toasted

1/3 cup real maple syrup

teaspoon cinnamon

teaspoon kosher salt

Pinch of baking soda

1 cup dried cranberries

Pop the popcorn according to the directions. Mix the toasted walnuts and popcorn together in the prepared bowl.

In a saucepan, combine the syrup, cinnamon, and salt. Set to medium heat and allow the mixture to come to a boil and let it cook for about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the baking soda and blend well (the mixture should have a creamy consistency).

Let the mixture cool slightly and then pour it all over the popcorn and nuts. Make sure the popcorn and nuts are thoroughly covered.

Turn everything out onto the prepared cookie sheet and distribute evenly. Bake for 15 minutes at 300 degrees Fahrenheit or until the mix is 'dry'. Cool for 20 minutes. Add the cranberries last.

Christmas Party Trail Mix

Yogurt covered raisins or pretzels

Peanuts, walnuts, or your favorite nut


Chopped dates

Yellow raisins

Dried oranges, cranberries, or apricots

Corn Chex cereal

Toss all of the ingredients into a large bowl and mix. Take the entire bowl to the office Christmas party or divide it up into smaller containers to give as gifts to family and friends. Easy and delicious!

Holiday Snack Mix

Dry cereal - your choice

M&M's, Heath Bits, or your choice of small candy


Dried fruit - apples, bananas, apricots, cranberries, etc.

Granola or oat bran

Chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, or white chips

Mini marshmallows


Toss the ingredients together and then divide into mason jars, tins, coffee can, or any other interesting container idea that comes to you.

Packaging Your Presents

Keep an eye out all year at garage sales, dollar stores and sales at World Market to find interesting containers and canning jars to store and gift your recipes. Add a bow or ribbon and the recipe and I'm sure the recipients will appreciate such an attractive and tasty gift.

Trail mix is so easy to make at home! The colors and textures are fantastic from a presentation standpoint too. Try different methods and ingredients in your trail mix and maybe you'll come up with your very own version of homemade Christmas trail mix. Serve it at family functions, give as gifts, or munch on it while you make your homemade Christmas cards. No matter how you serve it, trail mix is the perfect gift.

Shellie Gardner is the owner of Christmas Light source, a great place to find Christmas Lights. Christmas Light Source is a one stop shopping website for all your Christmas lighting needs. From traditional to LED lights to hardware and every thing in between, they have everything for holiday lighting decor as well as tips, tricks, videos and do it yourself projects.


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