Mulling over spices and tasty treats

I realize it's still a little early to be thinking Christmas, but I am. So there.

I think it was getting up to Raleigh for the Handmade Market, not being a part of the selling, but having the time to meander and browse, chat and not worry about what's going on at my booth. We knocked out about half of our shopping just in that one room. It took about 2 hours, no shipping fees, and a whole lot of "Wow! That's perfect for _____." It was easy, it felt good, and hopefully the gifts are a little better thought out than a Snuggie from Big Lots.

Then there are all of the little gifts to give--the ones that say "Hey! You're important to me and I love you, but I'm pretty poor, so this is something for you to let you know I'm thinking about you." And for those people, I'd like to give the warm tummy hug of something tasty.

I have a few ideas that will fit the bill.

Whimsy and Spice marshmallows have been tempting me since. . .well, I guess the first time I saw them. Seeing they have a cardamom version may push me over the edge to make that first purchase. Of course, I'd buy extra to rationalize the shipping costs, and eating a handmade marshmallow would be a real treat, don't you think?

Little Brown Pen has a kit to make 8 whoopie pies complete with packaging to pass them on as gifts to friends. The description includes this little tidbit. I especially like the part about her grandma.
Kit contains: 8 muslin bags: Nice, natural texture and the perfect size for one whoopie pie. 8 gift tags (2x2): Original whoopie pie illustration, offset printed on super-thick, uncoated, post-consumer paper for quality and texture. Whoopie pie recipe: My grandma's. I grew up in Lancaster, PA--home of the whoopie pie. Her recipe is legendary.
Design Mom has instructions to make your own vanilla extract. That one has "holiday gift gold mine" written all over it because 1) it's affordable, 2) I've easily spent $9 on a small bottle of good(-ish) vanilla before, so this absolutely falls under the indulgent gift category, and 3) I can still say, "I made that!" and get all the gushing praise and reactions that come with making gifts. After all, the praise and happiness of giving a gift are just as important in the whole gift giving process, right?

With the vanilla, I think I'm going to add a teaspoon. I love the ones from Beyond the Shaker; they're the perfect accompaniment to an amber bottle filled with homemade organic vanilla extract, don't you think?

(PS~If you're on my gift list and reading this, you better still act surprised, ok?)

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