Sweets, and Savories, to Celebrate the Snake

In lieu of contributing to the ubiquitous stream of edible year-end holiday gifts, this year I baked and sent goodies to key Keith Barraclough Photography clients for the Chinese New Year, which began February 10: the year of the snake.

Packaged in a Chinese takeout container (I’ve featured this edible-gift packaging idea before in a summer post on red-wine ice cream), the sampler of six sweets and one savory snack met my criteria of shippability and offering a little something for every palate.

Belgian almond cookie
Bourbon pecans
Chocolate chip cookie
Oatmeal lace cookie
Peanut butter sandwich cookie
Sour lemon squares
Turtle brownies

individually gift-wrapped cookies and Bourbon pecans: client gift for year of the snake

From top (clockwise): turtle brownies, Bourbon pecans, sour lemon squares, chocolate chip cookie, Belgian almond cookie,  peanut butter sandwich cookie. Center: oatmeal lace cookie.

Individually wrapped cookies and nuts packaged in 64-oz Chinese takeout container.

Truffle boxes, plastic cookie sleeves, and baking twist ties and twine available at Broadway Panhandler (in-store only) 

Speed Shopping, Elevated to an Art Form

Friends and family will attest that I enjoy a flair for gift giving and fashion as much as cooking and entertaining; a keen aesthetic runs in my family, which sets the bar high. And since I’m often approached about my sources, I’ll provide commentary here from time to time.

Living in SoHo, I don’t have to go out of my way for inspiration; the shopping possibilities en route to Whole Foods Bowery alone are too numerous to mention.

But when I’m pressed for time and need a gift, I make a beeline for MoMA Design Store. I appreciate its well-edited selection of sleek, unique, functional designs for almost every facet of life: wearable accessories, home décor, serving ware, and gadgets and supplies for both office and kitchen. You’ll also find the usual museum-gift-shop suspects here, such as note cards, post cards, and coffee table books with a specific emphasis on modern art and architecture.

It’s a place where, on any budget, you can quite effortlessly find something useful and thoughtful for anyone on your list. Often, the most clever and charming items are among the least expensive: The “2 Carat Cup” makes a particularly great hostess or Valentine’s Day gift. The ingenious packaging, photographed below, speaks for itself. Priced so modestly, these diamonds are definitely a girl’s best friend.