This post has been sponsored by Barilla America, Inc. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Gift giving is my love language, and I've figured out the perfect gift idea for my girlfriend this year. I love to gift things that can help her handle stress during the holidays. Your friends will love this gift tower idea full of useful things, like Mulino Bianco® Cuoricini Cookies, that they can either re-gift or enjoy themselves.
To me, useful gifts are the best kind—and gift towers are especially awesome. They are super fun to open since you can't see what's inside like you can with a gift basket. You can fill them with a variety of small things you know she'll want to keep for herself to spoil her a little bit. And you can also give her things that she can keep on hand that might come in handy for her during the holiday season.
One thing I always have on hand at the holidays is a few yummy snacks. Some I buy ready-made and some I make. Mulino Bianco snacks and cookies are perfect for unexpected holiday drop-ins (you know they happen!), home entertaining and make a great hostess gift if you are invited over to a holiday party.
I picked up a few bags of the Cuoricini cookies from Albertson's. I love that you can pick up these premium cookies (you'll want to check your grocery's specialty cookie or international aisle!) while tackling the rest of your grocery list. You can save $0.75 on any ONE (1) Mulino Bianco product with this Ibotta offer, valid 12/1 – 12/31!
I also make something super simple, like these quick Candied Almonds. As with most fast and delicious holiday snacks, people are going to ask you for the recipe. I always have recipe cards ready to go. Candied almonds are a great edible gift to include in this gift tower idea.
Easy Candied Almonds Recipe
This Cinnamon Candied Almonds recipe is super easy to make. They can be made quickly, but I suggest keeping a few batches on hand so you are ready for anything that pops up during the holidays.
• 1 cup brown sugar
• 1/4 cup water
• 1 TBSP cinnamon (plus any other spices you want to add, like nutmeg or clove)
• 1/8 tsp salt
• 2 cups raw almonds
• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
• Add the brown sugar, water, cinnamon and salt into a saucepan.
• Bring to a boil over low to medium heat.
• Add the almonds and cook, stirring constantly until the liquid evaporates (approximately 5 minutes).
• It is ready when the mixture coats the almonds and isn't drippy.
• Watch closely so the candy coating doesn't burn.
• Spread out the almonds in a single layer on a sheet pan covered with parchment paper (they will be clumpy and stick together but try to spread them out as much as possible).
• Put in the oven for 10 minutes (check on them at around 7 minutes to make sure they aren't burning).
• Remove and let cool completely.
• Break apart any big clumps of candied almonds.
• Store in an air-tight container.
Don't try to multitask while making these. They come together fast and can burn if you aren't careful. You will know that they are ready when the mixture becomes really thick and syrupy and coats the back of the spatula.
Roasting the almonds helps to bring out their flavor and helps the candy coating to get really nice and crispy.
What I love about this Candied Almonds recipe is that they are delicious and make the perfect holiday snack. They aren't overly sweet, so they are great when served with a cheese board or on their own. Having the recipe cards ready means less work later.
You can hand it out instantly when someone asks you for it instead of having to remember to send it to them later. And when you gift the almonds, the recipe card can make a super cute gift tag.
Gift Tower Gift Idea for Girlfriends
This gift tower idea is really one of the best presents you can give your girlfriends. You can get really creative with things that you put in the boxes, but I like to do a mix of things she can use if she wants to or can give as a gift if she needs one.
I always include a box of the candied almonds. She can snack on them herself, she can serve them to guests, or she can make her own batch to gift to teachers or neighbors. I also include a few of the recipe cards so she has the recipe to use or give if people ask her for it. These Mulino Bianco Cuoricini cookies are a great gift idea. These adorable heart-shaped cookies are a great compliment to any holiday party. They aren't overly sweet but are super tasty. (I mean, who doesn't love a crispy chocolate chip cookie?!) I like to give at least 2 bags.
These make a great little hostess gift that she can have on hand just in case. But they also go really well with coffee so she could enjoy a bag herself while taking time out of her busy day to enjoy a little me-time.
I also like to include a magazine, a seasonal hand towel, and yummy wine. Canned wine is everywhere these days, and they are great for gifting! She can choose to enjoy one for herself or gift them to other friends.
This gift tower idea is so versatile. She can mix and match the things you've given her to gift to other people in a variety of ways. Or she can choose to enjoy it! It's practical, fun and will help ease some holiday stress for her.
Of course, you can put this together in one big basket but the gift boxes make it look so much more fun! Plus, she can even reuse the boxes for her own wrapping needs. It's like gift that keeps on giving!
Giving Cookies as a Gift is Awesome!
Mulino Bianco cookies are perfect for all of your holiday entertaining needs! Along with these super cute shaped cookies, they offer a variety of breadsticks and cookies that kids and adults will love. I loved the way these cookies were crispy and airy at the same time. They had a delicious chocolatey flavor without being overly sweet, making them just as perfect for snacking as for a sweet treat to end a meal.
I was able to find all of these useful gifts, and the ingredients for the Candied Almonds, from my local Albertson's store. I love that not only can I purchase all my groceries but also discover great finds for entertaining and gift-worthy items! These cookies can be found in the specialty cookie aisle. Or you can find them in a store near you using the brand's Store Locator.
This thoughtful gift idea for your girlfriends will really help them out this holiday season. Whether she sneaks some quiet cookie moments for herself or simply handles holiday entertaining with ease, this gift tower is sure to produce a smile!
Find out more about Mulino Bianco by heading to their website, www.mulinobianco.com.