Frugal fine foods: Create first-class desserts at economy prices

Peanut Bureau of Canada bakes up new recipes for penny-wise holiday sweets

To help Canadians through the busy holiday season, the Peanut Bureau of Canada has developed three delicious and budget-friendly recipes – Chocolate Peanut Crackle Clusters, Peanut Blast Squares and Peanut Toffee Pie – that will keep family and friends coming back for more.

“Homemade desserts and sweet treats are an easy way to add your own touch to any holiday event, and they don’t have to cost you an arm and a leg to make,” says food editor and writer, Heather Trim. “There are many economical and great-tasting ingredients to choose from to make delicious, crowd-pleasing desserts for any budget level.”

The holidays are a favourite time of year for getting together with friends and family, and indulging in some special treats to toast the season. Heather offers her tips on how to use great tasting, affordable ingredients and keep guests satisfied and wanting more:

Take a cue from classic flavour combinations, like chocolate and peanut butter. For as long as we can remember, these two blockbuster flavours have been paired together – and are widely available at the grocery store. For recipes that call for chocolate and nuts, consider replacing expensive nuts with affordable peanuts.

A little goes a long way. If you are preparing for a holiday open house and planning to offer a variety of desserts, don’t hesitate to pre-cut bars and pies in smaller servings. Guests will enjoy the opportunity to try a few different sweet treats, and a single recipe will go a long way.

Make a big batch, and stash some away for impromptu visits. Some recipes offer a large yield, or can easily be doubled. Keep some on the counter ready to serve and stash the rest in the freezer. It won’t take long to defrost on an as-needed basis and they taste just as good as a fresh batch from the oven.

Homemade beats store-bought, every time. Investing a little elbow grease in preparing delicious desserts and treats for friends and family is worth it – you’ll know exactly what goes into them, and your guests will appreciate the time you spent to make something just for them.