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.
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.
Slow Cooker Dulce de Leche
Dulce de leche is lusciously thick Latin American caramel that's traditionally made by boiling an unopened can of sweetened condensed milk. Our slow-cooker method allows you to monitor the caramel's color, plus the end result is an instant gift.
Gift in a Jar: Chocolate-Nut Cookies
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.
Candy Cane Snack Mix
What's better than sweet and salty? Sweet, salty and pepperminty! This easy-as-could-be snack mix is fantastic for holiday gifts.
Short on time? Make chocolate bark for gifts-or for your family. After melting and spreading the chocolate, it's just top, top and away!
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.
Sugary cinnamon meets salty pretzels in this super-easy, gift-worthy snack mix. Package them in a pretty, airtight container.
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.
Make a Scandinavian brownie with a Scandinavian straw ornament for an easy food gift or cookie exchange treat!
Purchase inexpensive straw ornaments from sources such as Minneapolis-based Ingebretsen's. Bake brownies (see recipe above) in an 8-inch pan and cut into 9 squares. Wrap each square like a present in cellophane wrapping paper (we bought ours at Walmart). Attach strips of red ribbon using glue dots, then add ornaments using glue dots.
Gift in a Jar: Spicy Three-Bean Soup
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.
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.
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.
Little Traveler's Lemon Curd Bars
Little Traveler in Geneva, Illinois, 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.
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! Get the recipe at our link above and download a PDF of 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.
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.
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. Get the recipe above and download a free PDF of 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.
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.
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.
Gift in a Jar: Fruit and Nuts Oatmeal
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.
Cheddar-Herb Bread Mix
Bags of this herbed dry mix make an ideal hostess gift for Christmas open houses.
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.
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.
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.
Click above for the recipe and click or tap here to download a free PDF of 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.
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.
Crimson Cranberry Chutney
This pretty gift-in-a-jar will be a welcome accompaniment to holiday meats.