35 Heavenly Homemade Food Gifts | Midwest Living
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35 Heavenly Homemade Food Gifts

Snacks, food gifts in a jar, cinnamon pretzels, fudge, candy and more—the season's best recipes are the ones that double as gifts, especially when you pair them with clever packaging ideas.

Nut candies

Pair Chocolate-Caramel Pecan Clusters with quick and easy Salted Peanut Squares for the nut lovers on your holiday list.

Salted Peanut Squares

Chocolate-Caramel Pecan Clusters

Toffee Blondies in a Jar

This easy-to-assemble holiday gift tastes so good that you'll want to keep some extra for yourself. Layer dry ingredients in a glass or clear plastic container, tie on a holiday ribbon, and give along with a pretty kitchen towel.

Toffee Blondies in a Jar

Snowflake Mix

Salty meets sweet as cereal, pretzels and peanuts get a coating of melted white baking pieces. Package this gift from the kitchen in boxes that resemble takeout containers.

Snowflake Mix

Sweet greeting

When you want to give more than a card, but less than a gift, slip a cookie or two in a plastic treat bag (available at crafts stores) with a solid-color piece of scrapbooking paper. Fold contrasting paper over the opening, punch two holes, then tie with ribbon.

Winter Orange Pomegranate Iced Tea

Make a gift-giving splash with this quick and easy tea, which takes just 10 minutes to prepare. Tie a ribbon around a keepsake bottle with the recipe attached.

Winter Orange Pomegranate Iced Tea

Cinnamon pretzels

Sugary cinnamon meets salty pretzels in this super-easy, gift-worthy snack mix. Package them in a pretty, airtight container.

Cinnamon pretzels

Christmas Mice

These adorable treats will be an especially popular gift for families with kids. Give in a small box nestled in holiday-colored chocolate candies.

Christmas Mice

Click here to see our how-to Christmas mice video

Chili Pecans

A coating of spicy and sweet turns toasted pecans into a holiday food that makes a great food gift or party snack. Make these ahead of time to give out at the holidays—just store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks or freeze for up to 1 month.

Chili Pecans

White Christmas Cherry-Almond Fudge

Fudge in any flavor makes a classic holiday gift, but our white fudge dotted with dried cherries and toasted almonds looks especially festive. The recipe comes from the Inn at Cedar Falls near Logan, Ohio. Also in our red foil box: Best-Ever Peanut Brittle, another holiday favorite.

Packaging tip: Any plain gift box with a lid will feel decadently special when you wrap the lid and bottom separately, like this pair covered in shiny red paper.

White Christmas Cherry-Almond Fudge

Best-Ever Peanut Brittle

Gift in a Jar: Spicy Three-Bean Soup

Our Spicy Three-Bean Soup makes dinner in a jar, the perfect present for busy people. Give along with a bag of corn chips or tortilla chips.

Gift in a Jar: Spicy Three-Bean Soup

Printable recipe labels and instructions

Holiday Cranberry Syrup

Cranberries give this syrup its rich color and characteristic tang. Use the sugar mixture as a base for drinks or as a topper for ice cream, cake or pancakes. Give in decorative bottles for food gifts, along with the recipe.

Holiday Cranberry Syrup

Fruit and Nut Granola

At Abilene's Victorian Inn in Kansas, chef Adrian Potter bakes this granola for guests. Eat it with milk or layered in a parfait with yogurt and fruit. This makes a great food gift at the holidays; it can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 5 days, or placed in freezer bags and frozen for up to 2 months.

Fruit and Nut Granola

Little Traveler's Lemon Curd Bars

Little Traveler in Geneva, Illinois (40 miles west of Chicago) uses creamy, tangy lemon curd to make these bars for its "girlfriend tea" events. Box them in striped paper and a simple wooden box (available at crafts stores) and add a festive red ribbon for a girlfriend-worthy holiday gift.

Little Traveler's Lemon Curd Bars

Gift in a Jar: Fudgy Snack Cake

This easy cake-in-a-jar is both quick to assemble and easy to bake. Candy pieces and chopped nuts add a tasty topping to this moist, easy cake—no frosting necessary!

Gift in a Jar: Fudgy Snack Cake

Printable recipe labels and instructions

Orange Popcorn Gorp

The sweetness of dried fruit and chocolate meets salty pretzels and popcorn in our easy food gift. Pour the snack mix in a jar, and cover the lid with a circle of colorful scrapbooking paper. Grosgrain ribbon around the edge of the lid pairs with yarn and a tag to make the package complete.

Orange Popcorn Gorp

Roasted Nut Snack

Give party nuts a holiday twist by roasting them with one of four flavors: Cocoa-Sugared Mix, Curry-Spiced Mix, Barbecue-Seasoned Mix and Asian Five-Spiced Mix. Find frosted-plastic boxes at crafts or scrapbooking stores to make the nuts easy to give away in single servings.

Roasted Nut Snack

Gift in a Jar: Cranberry-Bran Muffins

This gift in a jar has stripes of flour, whole bran cereal, apple pie spice, almonds, brown sugar and cranberries. Seal the streusel topping in a small sturdy plastic bag and enclose at the top of the jar. The jars/gifts keep at room temperature for up to a month.

Gift in a Jar: Cranberry-Bran Muffins

Printable recipe labels and instructions

Santa's Delight Peppermint Bark

This super-easy Christmas treat uses just two ingredients: candy coating and either crushed candy canes or crushed round peppermint candies. 

Santa's Delight Peppermint Bark

Pretty packages

Gifts of homemade holiday treats, including fresh-baked breads or iced cookies, look striking in pretty packaging. Fold colorful cardstock to create easy containers. Accent with ribbons and tie on a meaningful message. 

To make mini-loaf bread packaging as shown, click on the link below for a free template and instructions. For recipe ideas, click here for quickbreads and here for Christmas cookies.

Download a free package template 

Nut candies

Pair Chocolate-Caramel Pecan Clusters with quick and easy Salted Peanut Squares for the nut lovers on your holiday list.

Salted Peanut Squares

Chocolate-Caramel Pecan Clusters

Coffeehouse Chocolate Spoons

Dip plastic spoons into chocolate, and refrigerate them for 30 minutes to allow chocolate to set up. Drizzle designs in melted white chocolate. Give them in a pretty coffee mug.

Coffeehouse Chocolate Spoons

Gift in a Jar: Fruit and Nuts Oatmeal

Toasting the oatmeal before layering is worth the effort for added nutty flavor. Give with a small jar of honey.

Gift in a Jar: Fruit and Nuts Oatmeal

Printable recipe labels and instructions

White-Chocolate Candy and Prancher's Penuche

White-Chocolate Candy combines red and green marshmallows, cereal and nuts for a quick-fix holiday treat. Prancer's Penuche will take longer, but family or friends can help you stir this luscious brown-sugar candy. Wrap a few in colored cellophane as gifts for neighbors or co-workers.

White-Chocolate Candy

Prancher's Penuche

Cheddar-Herb Bread Mix

Bags of this herbed dry mix make an ideal hostess gift for Christmas open houses.

Cheddar-Herb Bread Mix

Cookie and nut sampler

An assortment of baked goodies fills holiday-printed boxes trimmed with ribbon. Add treats of different sizes and colors such as our Lemony Spritz Cookies, Chocolatey Shortbread Bites and Sugared Almonds. Then gather the boxes on a festive cake stand, ready to give away as party favors.

Lemony Spritz Cookies

Chocolatey Shortbread Bites

Sugared Almonds

Candy treats

A box of homemade candies makes an elegant gift from the kitchen. (Tiny boxes of candies make good stocking stuffers, too!) The recipes for chewy, chocolate-coated Coconut-Caramel Treats and decadent Almond Truffle Temptations come from the Golden Turtle Chocolate Factory in Lebanon, Ohio.

Almond Truffle Temptations

Coconut Caramel Treats

Gift in a Jar: Chocolate-Nut Cookies

Layers of flour, brown sugar, coconut, chocolate pieces and peanuts appeal to the baker who receives this gift in a jar. Include a cookie scoop for an added touch. 

Gift in a Jar: Chocolate-Nut Cookies

Printable recipe labels and instructions 

Cozy wrappers

For super-quick food gifts, start with cozy mittens and tuck in bottles of specialty beer, champagne or pop, a pretzel and a candy cane or two.

Gift in a Jar: Blueberry-Ginger Hotcakes

Add a bottle of real maple syrup when you give this layered pancake mix in a jar. The hotcakes are more flavor-packed than traditional pancakes.

Gift in a Jar: Blueberry-Ginger Hotcakes

Printable recipe labels and instructions

Coconut-Tangerine Snowball Cupcakes

Add holiday color to the coconut topper by tossing coconut with liquid food coloring. For a striking gift presentation, alternate cupcakes with candy-filled paper bake cups.

Coconut-Tangerine Snowball Cupcakes

Candy Cane Cookies

Twist three different-colored ropes of dough to form these cane-shape cookies. Flavor with a touch of peppermint or cinnamon. The tricolor treats are perfect for a cookie exchange or a gift from the kitchen.

Candy Cane Cookies

Crimson Cranberry Chutney

This pretty gift-in-a-jar will be a welcome accompaniment to holiday meats.

Crimson Cranberry Chutney

Continue for more great Midwest Living holiday recipes

Click any link below for more delicious holiday recipes!

 

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