The gift of giving is a fantastic way to connect with our hearts and our friends. We can use the gift of giving as an effective tool to distract our minds from stressful thoughts and redirect them to a happy place of doing something for someone else.
One of my favorite ways to show friends appreciation of their time, friendship and support is to bake or cook for them.
Over the weekend I had a perfect opportunity to practice friendship appreciation. A friend had invited us for dinner and I wanted to bring her a gift to express my graduate and appreciation. I decided on homemade peanut butter cookies packaged in a nice gift box with a hand painted card.
I got the kids involved too.
Great things about homemade gifts
- Making a gift is a perfect opportunity to spend quality time with the kids doing something fun
- Encourages us to use our creativity by first thinking of the gift and then by making it – in this case the kids decorated the card and the box
- Experience the thrill of giving a gift from the heart – made by you
Baking the cookies, knowing we were going to give them away, was such fun! My friend’s favorite cookies are peanut butter cookies so that’s exactly what we made.
Here’s my Grandmother’s recipe for peanut butter cookies. Note these are gluten containing. I’ll amend this recipe to a gluten free version in the near future.
Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe
| Peanut Butter CookiesDry Ingredients (mix together)1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon saltWet Ingredients
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
|DirectionsPreheat oven to 350°F. In medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.In large bowl with mixer at medium speed, beat peanut butter and margarine until smooth. Beat in sugars until blended. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Add flour mixture; beat until well blended. If necessary, refrigerate dough.Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Flatten with fork dipped in sugar, making crisscross pattern.
Bake 9-11 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove; cool completely on wire rack. Store in tightly-covered container.
The first step, put all the ingredients on the table. Mix dry ingredients in a small bowl .
Measure butter, white and brown sugar into large bowl.
Cream butter and sugars until smooth creamy.
Add peanut butter, mix. Add eggs mix, add vanilla mix.
Add dry ingredients into wet ingredients mix.
Heat oven and shape cookies.
This was the fun part, the girls started off with traditional peanut butter cookies, round with the square pattern.
After a tray of these they decided it was time for the cookie press! They chose the cookie shape of a tree, similar to a cedar. This was significant because last week they painted the Lebanese National flag on rocks, we live in Lebanon link to my about page, for the Lebanese Independence day celebrations. Lebanon gained independence from France on 22 November 1943.
Later we decorated the trees. Natasha’s patience for decorating was quite amazing, she placed each candy cane so delicately on each branch of the tree. I dream to be as patient and detail orientated!!
With the cookies finished the girls found a heart shaped box, placed some tissue in the bottom and filled it in layers decorated peanut butter cookies. Natasha decorated the gift box, Valantina cut a piece of cardboard for the gift card. She decorated it and wrote a personalize note. It was so sweet.
Viola! A delicious, low cost, homemade peanut butter cookie gift box!
This was a great learning experience. We created a great gift, one that keeps on giving with every bite!
Friendship appreciation fills our lives with immense pleasure and joy.
The take away message:
The gift of giving provides us an opportunity to get in touch with what matters. Friends, social connection and graduate for our friends.
Next time you notice your mind stressing call a friend, make a date and try making your hand a baking. Let me know if your mental focus changes with your gesture of friendship appreciation at share your story.
To the gift of giving,