Still need a lat minute gift for a difficult-to-buy-for person on your Christmas list? Want an easy DIY handmade gift idea or stocking stuffer?
These little flavored salt and sugar samplers might be just the thing for you. I made these for my sisters and handed them out at my family Christmas gathering yesterday. These are great for anyone who enjoys experimenting a little in the kitchen. Or they may be great for the person who doesn’t enjoy cooking, since they can enhance the flavor of a dish and give it a little extra something with little effort.
I chose to include two flavored salts and one flavored sugar in mine. There are lots and lots of recipes to be found online. I choose not to reinvent the wheel at times like this, but to go with something someone else has already given the time and effort to come up with.
There are a couple of ways to make flavored salts. The reduction method and the dry method. Both are explained in this blog post. I had trouble with the reduction method. The first time I think I didn’t cook the liquid down enough, the second time I think I cooked it too much. It’s a little trickier than the dry method, so I decided I’d stick with that. But if you’re experienced with making a reduction and feel comfortable doing it, go for it. There are so many great recipes out there that call for that method, so it’s worth giving it a try.
I found these great little glass test tubes at an antiques shop several months ago. I had been purchasing them a few at a time to store my sequins. But then I saw something on Pinterest that made a lightbulb go off, and I knew these little glass vials would be perfect for this gift idea. You can find similar ones online. Just do a search for test tubes. If you don’t want to use test tubes, or don’t have the time to purchase any, any small container would work to put your flavored salts/sugars in to present as a gift. Most recipes make around 1/2 cup. My little test tubes held only a few tablespoons each.
This first one is Rosemary Lemon Salt, and can be found on the blog I just mentioned above. She includes several recipes, just scroll down until you come to it.
This one would be great for adding to poultry or seafood dishes. The rosemary and lemon would be great for enhancing the flavors of those types of dishes.
The vial in the middle holds vanilla flavored sugar. I don’t have a recipe for this one. I make my own vanilla extract and always have leftover vanilla beans, which I keep stored in some white sugar to help maintain their freshness until I’m ready to use them. The sugar I keep the beans stored in gets this wonderful vanilla flavor and aroma. It’s great for adding to your coffee or dessert dishes to enhance the vanilla flavor.
This last one is Hand-chopped Garlic Herb salt. You can find the recipe here. This one smells Ah-maaaaa-zing!! My entire house smelled like you just walked into a Subway restaurant with all the garlic-y herb-y goodness going on. This one would be great on Italian dishes, or even sprinkled on meat before grilling or roasting. I can’t wait to experiment a little with this one.
Then I packaged all three little bits of flavored goodness up in a hand made box. The bottom of the box is card stock, and the lid is made from an office transparency sheet. I do have measurements for the box and lid, if anyone is interested in those. Just leave a comment and I will be sure to share them. If you’re short on time or would rather not make your own box, you could simply place them in a small, purchased box or basket with tissue paper in between for protection.
I also added some labels inside the box made with my trust label maker (love that thing!), so that everyone could remember which one is which. Another option is to stick a label onto each test tube/container, but since these were vintage glass test tubes, I didn’t want to mess around with sticky labels on the glass.
I loved how these turned out. They were fun to make and give. And hopefully fun to receive as well.