I used to throw an annual cookie exchange and would put together a little party favor for the guests. One year I gave each friend a bag containing the “Essence of Christmas”. This is something my mom always had simmering on the stovetop at our house during the holiday season; it makes your whole house smell like Christmas. It is easy to make in big batches, and if you are already in cocoa kit or rosemary nut production, you should have a large supply of clear bags and labels– perfect for packaging these goodies. Share with neighbors, teachers, co-workers, or bring as a hostess gift to parties.
- 1 t. cloves
- 4-5 juniper berries (can be hard to find, Whole Foods usually has these with the bulk spices from Thanksgiving to Christmas)
- 1 orange (navel oranges– cannot use clementines or tangerines)
- 3-4 bay leaves
- 2-3 cinnamon sticks
- Slice orange and add the orange slices with spices to a pot with 4-5 cups of water. Simmer on the stove to emit a wonderful Christmas fragrance. Refill water as necessary.
- Include the directions listed above along with a little holiday message.