'Tis the season for gifts from the kitchen

 English toffee

Every year my holiday wish list gets smaller but my holiday treats list grows. I've come to enjoy making cookies, candies, and other non-food handmade items for friends and family. I know that they enjoy them too, because they save the tins for months and always manage to return them a couple of months prior to year's end. I have a few "must makes" - an English toffee recipe very similar to this one from Simply Recipes by Irvin Lin (pictured above), plus homemade caramels, but I also love trying new recipes to keep things fresh.

I know I am not alone in this sentiment - for avid cooks and bakers, creating unique and delicious products is cathartic and rewarding in itself. Sharing it with others is icing on the cake (or cookies, as the case may be). To help keep you inspired, we've gathered a few resources to find new items to add to your cookie trays or canning jars for presents or just to take to dinner. 

The Happy Foodie has compiled a Pinterest board full of homemade holiday gift items from Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh, including many items from Sweet. Don't forget about Eat Your Books' Pinterest pages like Preserving, Candies & Sweets, and Cookies

While sweets dominate most lists, there are plenty of savory options as well. Food & Wine magazine has a list of easy food gifts that includes savory items such as spicy herb salt and garlic confit. The Kitchn offers 45 options in several categories such as cookies and bars, brittles and chocolate bark, nuts and popcorn, and infusions and other drink items. The list from Delicious Magazine (UK) contains many delicious-sounding items like salted caramel whiskey sauce and spicy apple and walnut chutney.

You may also find some great recipes this month in the Eat Your Books Cookbook Club where we are starting to share our favorite cookies and holiday treats. 

If you need to ship any of your handmade items across town or across the country, Cooking Light Magazine  offers tips on how to package things like cookies so they arrive intact. Chowhound also provides packaging advice plus a list of "drop dead" dates for US shippers including the USPS, UPS, and FedEx, to ensure that your items arrive in time for the holidays. 

What's on your holiday gift baking list? 

1 Comment

  • Jane  on  12/8/2017 at 8:38 AM

    My Christmas food gift is mince pies. I make the mincemeat ahead (it is steeping now in brandy) then use Nigella's frangipane mince pies recipe from Domestic Goddess. I also make and gift Scottish shortbread, a recipe handed down from my Scottish grandmother. Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without those two!

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