Once upon a time, making Mishloach Manot, or food gifts for Purim, was a simple affair; homemade hamantaschen, of course, were always the centerpiece. There were usually little bags of chips or pretzels, some candy or fruit, and maybe a little bottle of grape juice in the more extravagant baskets. Nowadays, over the top baskets rule, and many gifters try to outdo themselves each year with new and imaginative takes on the mitzvah. Whether you’re sending baskets to 2 people or 25, here are lots of ideas and recipes to help you assemble creative, delicious Purim baskets.
I thought it would be fun to put together a few Mishloach Manot baskets for Purim, to give you some examples of the types of items that might be included. Obviously these are just ideas; with Mishloach Manot, you can really get creative and have fun putting together all kinds of baskets, from simple to spectacular. The only “rule,” really, is to have at least two items or two different brachot that can be eaten in the basket. Most baskets will also contain some sort of hamantaschen, a traditional cookie for the holiday.
You can take large clear plastic cups and fill the bottom half with mini chocolate cookies (dirt) and then filled the top half with different shades of green jelly beans (grass). Then add gummy worms on top and stick in a flower lollipop.
The most fun thing I ever did was candy sushi! To make candy sushi: buy fruit roll-ups in your favorite flavor. Next, make rice crispy treats according to directions. After the rice crispy treats are made spread them out on top of the fruit roll-up.
Next, you have to add your ”veggies”! You can use any candies you would like. Licorice, gummy worms and jelly beans are good choices. Place the candies in the middle of the sushi and roll it up. After it is rolled up cut the roll into pieces and place in a container. Along with the sushi, I sent some chopsticks and soy sauce. The chopsticks can be log pretzels and for soy sauce, melted chocolate.
Are you an avid traveller? If so then this mishloach manot theme is for you! You can even dress up as a stewardess or pilot. You can put all your mishloach manot items inside a “barf bag” (unused, of course), which some of you might have collected from your frequent flights. Otherwise, use a white lunch bag. Inside put a bottle of water, a bag of peanuts, pretzels and a napkin from the airline (my parents flew to Israel, I had them grab me a whole bunch of napkins from Continental). For the tag, you can scan in a real boarding pass but then changed the info on it.
Why not send out a “flower bouquet” of goodies to everyone? Plan to bake ahead of time in large batches and freeze for simplicity. This year’s cookies are plain sugar cookies on sticks, but mounted with Gerber Daisies made of sugar dough. The smallest bit of sugar dough goes a long way and you can easily make a few dozen flowers a night. Plus, once they dry they don’t go bad and can be used any time if kept in airtight tupperware.
You can also make butterfly cookies on sticks and some bumblebee cake-pops because one batch will be enough to decorate a dozen baskets. Homemade caramel corn is kind of rare and unknown in Israel, so this will act as the stuff to hold up the flower cookies and other elements (edible dirt I guess).
Think of an Anne Geddes-like photo of your children sitting inside flowers (simple photoshop trick) to make a family wine label to cover the tiny cheap bottles of grape juice and act as the Purim note in each bouquet.
I was going for a comfort theme this year. I took a coffee cup , bought a bag of Hershey kisses, a box of mint green tea (individually wrapped), and a box of Oreo wafer cookies, that come two in a package in the box. They also happened to have these cute napkins with masks on them, perfect for Purim, so I used one to jazz up each cup.
Wow! Did I tell you these ideas were awesome?! So, can you pick a favorite? It’s tough, I know! Leave me a comment telling which mishloach manot idea you like best – bonus points for creativity and originality:)
Here are some other Purim DIY Ideas: