Great eggspectations: Surprising holiday gift ideas

(BPT) - At a loss for new and unique holiday gifts for your loved ones this year? Have you ever considered eggs?

In a lighthearted look at gift giving, the American Egg Board offers two new humorous 15-second films that turn classic gift ads on their heads. One is a spoof on the classic jewelry store “Proposal,” while the other pokes fun at the auto ad favorite driveway reveal of the “Big Bow.”

“Food is ever important during the holidays, and we expect it to be much more so this year as families look for ways to celebrate under challenging circumstances,” said Emily Metz, president and CEO of the American Egg Board. “We wanted to give people a laugh because we could all use a little extra cheer this year. We hope these lighthearted digital shorts remind us all that something homemade is sometimes the best gift and a great way to make meaningful new memories, celebrate traditions and bond over incredible food.”

It’s a great idea to consider creating gifts for your loved ones that nourish the spirit and are made with love — that can mean so much more than a store-bought gift.

And eggs are so versatile and affordable that a dozen eggs makes a perfect “present” both for the holidays at home and for food gifting to extended family, friends and neighbors.

Gift cards for eggceptional eateries

You can also help friends and loved ones at the same time as you support your favorite local breakfast spots and restaurants by giving gift cards for takeout, curbside pick-up or delivery meals — especially for that most eggcellent meal: brunch.

Unsure what locales to choose? Check out Google Maps for suggestions of nearby restaurants offering breakfast or brunch gift card giving. Gift cards make giving the gift of eggs easy, and they offer a great alternative for those who need a break from cooking during the hectic holiday season.

Eggscentric baked goods

Fortunately, eggs are also a vital component to help you conjure up all sorts of giftable holiday treats, from the trendiest new recipes to traditional family favorites. Why not make extras to arrange in a pretty box or jar to give to others, including the recipe on a hand-decorated card so they can make more once the treats have been devoured?

Worried about baked goods not surviving shipping to friends and family far away? Mail or email a photo of the finished goods included with a copy of the recipe — plus a grocery store gift certificate to buy the crucial ingredients — including, of course, The Incredible Egg!

Here’s just one eggceptional treat you can make that’s deliciously giftable:

Nutcracker’s Salted Caramel Pecan Shortbread Bars

10 minutes prep time; 60 minutes total time

Ingredients

3/4 cup and 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and divided

1/2 cup sugar

1 and 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

18 caramel candies (individually wrapped)

1/4 cup light brown sugar

2 large eggs

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 cup chopped pecans

Pinch kosher or sea salt (to serve)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare a 9” x 13” baking dish with aluminum foil, leaving an overhang on the edges for easy removal.

2. In medium bowl, use electric hand mixer to cream together 3/4 cup butter and sugar. Add flour and mix until combined.

3. Firmly press mixture into prepared baking dish. Bake 15-20 minutes, until edges are just starting to brown.

4. Meanwhile, in small saucepan over low heat, add caramels, milk and 2 tablespoons butter. Cook until caramels are smooth and melted. Allow to cool slightly.

5. In medium bowl, combine brown sugar, eggs, vanilla and salt. Gradually mix in the caramel mixture, then stir in pecans. Pour filling over warm crust.

6. Bake 25-30 minutes, until filling is set. Allow to cool completely, then refrigerate 1-4 hours.

7. Sprinkle with flaky salt and serve. Refrigerate leftovers up to 3 days. Makes 20 servings.

Remember, the surest way to anyone's heart is through their stomach, and a dozen eggs will get you there! For more eggciting recipes and gift ideas, visit IncredibleEgg.org/Recipes.

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