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Monday, March 14, 2022

A Trio of Homemade Gifts and Treats for My Daughters

Surprising family members with little treats and gifts is a source of fun for me. I thought I'd share what I made each day of the past weekend for my daughters (in celebration of their birth month), using ingredients that I had on hand.

On Friday I made these little apple pies for my daughters. I used the last of the homegrown apples combined with some dried apples that I rehydrated before combining with spices, sugar, a splash of lemon juice, and flour to thicken. I had saved some mini pie tins from commercial tiny pies a while ago. Perfect size. My daughters loved these, in part because little versions of bigger things are always cute, but also they said these were delicious.

On Saturday I was brainstorming non-food items that I could make. I came up with some fizzy bath salts. I used Epsom salt, baking soda, citric acid, food coloring gel, lavender essential oil, and vanilla fragrance oil. The combination of baking soda and citric acid is what causes the mix to fizz when exposed to water. These cute, almost-matching little jars were found at a free pile last summer. And I made a ribbon out of a scrap of floral purple and lavender fabric, tying tiny sprigs of lavender around the necks of the jars. I think these turned out really pretty. My daughters were both surprised and delighted to receive these on Saturday.

On Sunday I used the other half of the pie pastry (from the mini apple pies) to do homemade raspberry Pop-Tarts. My daughters said these were the best Pop-Tarts they'd ever had. Of course, I don't buy Pop-Tarts very often, so not a lot they can compare the homemade version to. But still, they really enjoyed having these for breakfast. I'll be making these again sometime.

I pressed the dough into a narrow rectangle then rolled it out, trying to get a finished rectangle that was twice as long as it was wide. Once rolled out, I cut the piece in half and squared both pieces by cutting off excess. The Pop-Tarts only used about 1 tablespoon of jam each. I moistened the edges with water, folded the pastry over diagonally, and sealed the edges by pressing the cut sides with a fork. After slashing the tops, I baked them at 400F for 10 minutes, placed small triangles of foil over the narrow points, then reduced the heat to 350F and baked for almost 10 additional minutes, watching carefully so as not to burn them.

I've had a lot of fun with these surprises. My daughters' birthday is later this week, so I only have a couple more surprises to put together.

I hope you had a lovely weekend!


  1. What fun for your daughters and you to share these treats. And I would think it was be especially satisfying that you used things you already had around the house.

    1. Thank you, Live and Learn, You seem to know me -- yes, knowing that I used what I had made it all the more satisfying.

  2. How lucky your daughters are to have you as their momma! Lovely and loving gifts/treats that reassure them how special they are to you!! What a creative lady you are!

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Linda.
      Have a lovely rest of your evening.

  3. Your baked items could be sold in a bakery! Everything turned out beautifully. Sounds like you have as much fun planning the surprises as they do receiving them.

    1. Hi Kris,
      Aww, thank you! You know, I'd be tempted to buy scratch-made Pop-Tarts from a bakery. You're absolutely right, the planning and making are a joy for me, just something I like doing. Enjoy the rest of your evening.


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