Homemade food gifts are the best…here are eleven of my favorite homemade Christmas gift ideas for you to give this Christmas!
We don’t really do the gift-buying thing for Christmas. We buy gifts for my niece and nephews and that’s about it. I don’t really enjoy the wracking my brain trying to think of what to buy (because it can be really difficult to get adults-particularly your parents-to tell you what they want) and I don’t want people to have to wrack their brain about what to buy for me…so it’s just easier to skip the process. Spending time with family is the most important way to celebrate the holiday, in my opinion. That said, when I can get myself organized I do like to make food gifts for my family. Here are eleven homemade Christmas gift ideas to give this year (all fabulous!):
11. Ranch Goldfish
The original version of this was ranch oyster crackers, which are great…but if you can amp something up by making it with Goldfish instead of oyster crackers, well, why wouldn’t you? I could eat my weight in these (and when I had surgery the Christmas before last I pretty much did…they were my snack when I had to take my pain meds), which is why I only make them once a year.
This is a recipe that my Auntie Susan, with whom I share my cooking gene, adapted from The Barefoot Contessa Ina Garten. Roasty, salty, sweet, buttery, and rosemary-y….these nuts are addictive.
Okay, Oreos are classic. I won’t deny it. These aren’t just like Oreos…I’d venture to say that they’re better. Just a little bit softer, so deep and dark chocolatey that they make your head swim a little bit. Or maybe that’s just me. They’re also extremely easy to make, and the unfilled wafers are perfect for making chocolate cookie crusts.
Why didn’t I take a picture of the caramel sauce on its own? Anyway, you get the picture. This stuff is so rich. Salt takes the flavor over the top, but the addition of whiskey (Chattanooga Whiskey, in my case) makes it really pop. This will be my go-to caramel sauce from now on!
How do you make a chocolate chip cookie even better? Add brown butter, of course. I mean, you guys know that I love brown butter, and these cookies are no exception. They are a little more work that your standard chocolate chip cookies, but worth every iota of effort. And they’re gigantic, which makes them even better.
Speaking of brown butter….these treats made me change my mind about my formerly indifferent feelings toward Rice Krispie treats. Doubling and browning the butter and adding salt took Rice Krispie treats from being pretty blah in my eyes to being my standard potluck dessert table contribution. Someone recently told me that the salt just didn’t do it for him. I’ll never be able to take that guy seriously again. Just kidding (or am I?).
For me, peppermint bark = nirvana. It’s like a candy that was tailor-made for me. I don’t adore white chocolate unless it has the right additions, and crushed peppermints definitely count. Add Rice Krispies? Why, yes please. That sounds pretty much perfect to me.
Cranberries, white chocolate, toasted walnuts, and popcorn go together like peanut butter and jelly. And bananas. And marshmallow creme. A big ole’ fluffernutter. But not, because there’s not actually any PB or J or any of that other stuff in this recipe. But you get the picture. This is a food gift that comes together in under 20 minutes and makes enough for a few of your friends.
To me, these cookies are a perfect food gift because they seem like the quintessential Christmas cookie to me. I’m not really sure why that is….maybe the colors, or maybe the fact that cranberries just seem like such a holiday flavor. Regardless of why, this cookie mix is a great gift for your favorite baker.
Truth be told, I could probably eat the entire batch of peppermint bark popcorn by myself, which is why I need to make it one of my top food gift ideas…so I’ll give it away and not eat it all. I’ve fallen in love with Andes Peppermint Crunch Baking Chips and I want to put them in ALL THE THINGS now, but this recipe marries my favorites: peppermint and popcorn. It’s pretty much perfect.
1. Hot Chocolate Mix and Marshmallows
Who doesn’t love hot chocolate (if you don’t, please don’t tell me)? Supermarket mixes usually leave something to be desired, but this mix is quick and easy to make, easy to customize (mint! malt! plain! almond!). I’ve always, always hated marshmallows, but homemade marshmallows barely even resemble store-bought. I can’t eat enough of them. I’ll share the recipe tomorrow!