Today we interrupt our Home for the Holidays week of giveaways to bring you some personal favorites. We the editors of the six SLM channels are dishing on everything we love about Christmas – songs, books, handmade gifts and more.
It’s probably no surprise that I love to bake, package, and give away edible gifts, and so in this post I’m highlighting a handful of my favorites for your inspiration!
A slender jar of preserves, capped with a pretty round of festive fabric; a tin of rich shortbread, each cookie dipped in dark chocolate; a bag of spiced nuts, toasted to perfection – there’s no question that a lot of love and care goes into a handmade edible Christmas gift.
I’d far rather spend an extra hour or two in my kitchen making my gifts, than have to jostle for parking at the mall and waste time in long line-ups shopping for them. I can crank up the tunes (currently loving A Very She & Him Christmas), stay in my flannel PJ’s, and even enjoy a holiday Cookies & Cream cocktail while I bake.
Sound ideal? Well, here are 20 ideas to get you started on your edible gifts. Choose one or two, round up your ingredients, a few packaging items (plenty more ideas here) and have fun!
1. Pumpkin Spice Snaps ~ No one will know these cookies vary on the healthy side of the spectrum. They stay soft for days, thanks to the pumpkin puree.
2. Brown Sugar Molded Cookies ~ Whether you’re baking molded butter cookies, springerle, shortbread, or speculaas, using a mold will help you to make memorable, beautiful cookies, with almost no extra effort.
3. Jam Shortbread Thumbprints ~ My personal favorite holiday cookie, the shortbread, is dressed up with a dot of homemade jam.
4. Sparking Snickerdoodles :: Bluebonnets & Brownies ~ Amber suggests using red or green sparking sugar for making these pretty cinnamon-spiced cookies all the more festive.
5. Cardinal Gingerbread Cookies :: Sweetopia ~ If you know your way around a decorated cookie, I can’t think of any more beautiful – or festive – than these cheery red cardinals from Marian.
Photo by Shaina
6. Gingerbread Cookie Mix in a Jar :: Food for My Family ~ A creative variation to the holiday cookie, with an adorable presentation, too. You can get many more ideas for edible gifts from Shaina’s cookbook, Desserts in Jars: 50 Sweet Treats that Shine.
7. Pumpkin Spice Granola with Toasted Pepitas ~ Our current favorite granola recipe will be bagged up and handed out to Noah’s teachers this year. Store it in the freezer if you wish to make it ahead of time.
Photo by Katie
8. Homemade Pancake Mix Jars :: Goodlife Eats ~ Katie’s handy breakfast mix, not to mention her pretty presentation, is sure to to brighten up your loved one’s morning.
9. Cranberry Orange Scone Mix in a Jar :: Food in Jars ~ Marisa is definitely onto something good with this scone mix to give away. I love her variations with dried blueberries as well.
Preserves & Spreads
Photo by Tidy Mom
10. Homemade Vanilla Extract :: Tidy Mom ~ This luxurious gift for the avid baker comes with very little effort on your part once the ingredients are procured.
11. Pink Grapefruit & Pomegranate Marmalade ~ A Christmasy, jewel-colored jelly with threads of citrus rind suspended throughout that offers both a delightful texture and hint of bitterness.
12. Cranberry Pear Conserve with Ginger ~ You can still find pears and cranberries in the markets and this beautiful conserve is well worth sourcing them and turning out a dozen or so festive gifts.
13. Spiced Apple Preserves ~ A dense, sweet, highly spiced apple preserve, perfect for topping waffles at a holiday brunch.
Photo by Jamie
14. Hot Cocoa Mix In A Jar :: My Baking Addiction ~ Jamie’s photo kind of says it all, right? An adorable, thoughtful, and downright decadent gift, especially when paired with her homemade marshmallows!
Candy & Snacks
Photo by Cheri
15. Dark Chocolate Rum Truffles ~ Homemade chocolates are a perfect gift to make because not only do they store well in the freezer (if someone is already overloaded with goodies) but they are extremely easy to make and do not require a candy thermometer.
16. Salted Dark Chocolate Almond Bark ~ If you want something that’s easy to do with kids and doesn’t make a mess, this is your golden ticket. All you do is melt, mix, spread and chill. Done!
17. Chocolate Swirl Cinnamon Marshmallows :: Food 52 ~ These are a little more complicated that the two recipes above, but, my goodness, they are so good, it’s difficult to give any away.
19. Golden Candied Vanilla Popcorn :: Family Bites ~ Jan’s the party girl. You have to check out her pretty painted popcorn.
20. Maple Spice Candied Nuts ~ I’m including the recipe for these easy toasted nuts that are sweetened with maple syrup and spiced with festive flavors such as cinnamon and nutmeg. You can package them in a cellophane bag or a cute little jar, just be sure that they stay airtight.
|Maple Spice Candied Nuts for Gifts||
- 2 pounds raw mixed nuts, unsalted,
- 1 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 cup raw cane sugar
- 2 large egg whites
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- pinch of cayenne
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- Preheat oven to 300F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a small sauce pot over medium heat, whisk together maple syrup and cane sugar until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and cool.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk egg whites until foamy. Add salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cayenne and cloves and whisk until well combined.
- Add maple syrup mixture to the egg white and whisk until combined. Add the nuts and stir the mixture until the nuts are well coated.
- Divide the nuts between the two baking pans and spread them into a single layer. Pour any leftover maple syrup over the top of the nuts.
- Bake, tossing the nuts every 10 minutes or so, until the maple syrup has evaporated and the nuts are only slightly sticky. Do not let them burn.
- Remove from oven and stir well. Allow to cool, and stir again, breaking up the clusters, if desired. Store in an airtight container.
Are you making any edible gifts this holiday season?