29 Easy Recipes for Delicious Homemade Food Gifts
There are few gifts you can give that are more thoughtful than something you made from scratch—and if it’s edible, even better. The great thing about homemade food gifts is that they’ve got mass appeal: A sweet treat is perfect for parents, friends, teachers, and colleagues alike.
Food gifts also check lots off your list at once. You can bake a big batch of biscotti or blondies, drop them in baggies, and seal them with bows in less time than it would take you to find a parking spot at the mall during the holidays. With homemade edible gifts, everyone gets taken care of with minimal money (and elbow grease) spent. Plus, food gifts make great "just because" presents. (You don’t need an excuse to drop some brownies on a neighbor’s porch.)
Whether your loved one likes homemade granola and hot cocoa mix or springs for skillet cookie cake or spice rub, there's a delicious recipe here we know they’ll devour.
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There are so many reasons to gift these sweet treats, but first and foremost, know that these bars can stand up to being shipped in the mail without breaking. The date center won't get soggy, either. Whatever you do, make sure to bake an extra batch for yourself—they're just that good!
Spiced Cranberry Toaster Tarts
Instead of baking full-sized pies for friends, whip up tiny toaster tarts that are bursting with flavor. A fragrant blend of orange marmalade, dried cranberries, candied ginger, and cinnamon are stuffed inside pie dough, and then baked until golden. Sprinkle the unbaked tarts with sanding sugar for a sweet finishing touch.
Herbed Goat Cheese
Perk up mild goat cheese with parsley, thyme, and garlic, then jar it up and gift it as a food gift they won’t be able to resist.
This sweet spread will taste delicious on Christmas morning. Can it ahead of time so you can drop a jar in everyone's stocking. And if strawberry is more their jam (get it?), go for it.
Salted Chocolate Caramel Spread
Thought salted caramel couldn't get any better? Think again. Adding cocoa powder makes this spread all the more decadent, and almonds lend a delightfully nutty taste. Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, and top with a pinch of flaky sea salt (such as Maldon) just before giving.
A great topping for ice cream and cakes, this rich, creamy butterscotch sauce keeps for up to one month in the refrigerator. For a quick delivery food gift, pair with a pint of their favorite ice cream so they’ll be encouraged to eat this treat immediately.
Hot Cocoa Mix
Homemade hot cocoa mix is just the thing for sipping fireside. Your loved one can also stir this into coffee, sprinkle on top of ice cream, or mix with Irish Coffee.
Salty Peanut “Puppy Chow”
This nostalgic mix is dangerously addictive. With only five ingredients (including peanut butter and chocolate), this version couldn't be simpler—and the addition of salty peanuts makes it even tastier than the classic. Double or triple the recipe, and give big batches in leftover popcorn tins or decorated coffee cans.
Hot Pepper Sauce
Red jalapeños provide the heat in this fiery sauce.
Cherry and Pistachio Bake-Once Biscotti
These bake-once biscotti are studded with dried cranberries and pistachios, aka red and green, aka the perfect Christmas present cookie.
Cheesy crackers make a great pre-dinner nibble with a glass of something bubbly.
Slow-Cooker Cherry Tomato Confit
The holidays are filled with sugar and sweets, making this savory spread a much-welcomed food gift. The slow-cooker does the heavy lifting for you, stewing tomatoes, thyme and rosemary into a delicious, juicy confit. It's great for adding to burgers and sandwiches. You may even want to keep a jar for yourself!
All-Purpose Spice Rub
For the pitmaster in your life, this is the perfect present. It's sweet, salty, smoky, and making it from scratch means no preservatives or additives.
Chocolate, Apricot, and Pecan Cookie Dough
You can give this edible gift all season long—start with a Hanukkah-party hostess. You don't even need to bake the dough, which is dotted with chocolate chips, dried apricots, and chopped pecans. Shape it into a log, wrap it in wax paper, and refrigerate or freeze overnight before packaging and presenting.
Maple Pretzel Nuts
A crunchy concoction of pretzels, crackers, peanuts, and cashews with a spicy maple glaze makes an addictive snack.
Buckwheat, Almond, and Coconut Granola
This easy-to-make food gift recipe for Buckwheat, Almond, and Coconut Granola is delicious, nutritious, and only takes 10 minutes of hands-on time. Bake, let cool, then toss into baggies and tie with a bow for a sweet stocking stuffer.
Olive Oil Granola
Do-it-All Sugar Cookies
The name says it. This sugar cookie dough recipe is the base for the best thumbprint cookies (fill them with fruit jam or chocolate), biscuits, slice and bake cookies, drop cookies, even cut-out cookies. Grab some festive frosting and go to town decorating!
Spicy Citrus Olives
Infused with lemon and orange, these olives jazz up a martini or spice up an ordinary appetizer platter.
Rustic Sage Crackers
You'll have fun watching these herb crackers brown and bubble in the oven. Brushing the dough with egg white gives them their shiny, golden finish (and helps the sage leaves stick), and a sprinkle of flaky sea salt makes the crackers sparkle. Break into uneven pieces, stack, and wrap in bunches to give with your favorite cheese.
Sweet Cocoa Cereal Brittle
Kids and adults alike will go gaga for this chocolatey treat. Warn your loved ones: the satisfying crunch (and super sweet flavor) of this brittle are seriously addictive.
Whole-Grain Pancake Mix
Who doesn't love a warm, golden pancake? Holiday hosts will be grateful for this layered mix, which they can use to quickly whip up breakfast for their guests. Include the recipe for Buttery Whole-Grain Pancakes with the wrapped jars and, if you're feeling especially generous, present this food gift with a bottle of pure maple syrup.
Skillet Cookie Cake
This cookie cake is deliciously forgiving, which is to say, you can mix in any type of chocolate, caramel, nut, or confection your loved one likes. Customizing the candy to their personal preferences is a sweet way to show how much you care.
Coconut and Pistachio Bark
With just 3 ingredients, you can create a crowd-pleasing candy that makes a beautiful gift.
Rosemary, Ginger, and Grapefruit Syrup
The sweet citrus syrup is a great base for cocktails (vodka, gin, or bourbon), especially an Old-Fashioned. To make a holiday version, add 1/2 ounce of the syrup, a piece of grapefruit zest, 3 dashes of bitters and 3 ounces of bourbon to a shaker full of ice. Shake and strain into a rocks glass, and then top with 1 tablespoon of club soda and garnish with a piece of zest from the syrup jar.
Honey Nut Popcorn
This sweet, salty honey nut popcorn's just the thing for holiday gifting. They can serve this food gift as an appetizer, dessert, take-home treat, or all of the above—or keep it for themselves.
This refreshing Italian lemon drink is like sunshine in a bottle.
Quick Kimchi Pickles
Conquer your fear of pickling with this super simple recipe. Flavoring the brine with garlic, Sriracha, and sesame oil will give the pickles a bold, flavorful kick—don't be surprised if recipients request a second (or third) jar. The pickles can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Sweet and tangy mango chutney works well with chicken and seafood and keeps for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.