For many of us, the only way to see family this time of year is to take a long drive in the car or a flight across the country. So when it comes to food gifts, it's important to consider not only how scrumptious that treat is (hello, fudge), but also how well it can withstand a few hours or days on the road. After all, no one wants to find a smushed cake under the Christmas tree!
With that in mind, we've compiled a list of 15 food gifts up to the task — and recipes from our archives to help you make them this week!
What Makes a Food Travel Well?
To qualify as a transportable food, all of our chosen food gifts had to meet one or more of the following requirements:
- A shelf life of a few days or weeks
- Able to be easily and neatly packed in a hard container
- Won't fall apart, smush, melt, spoil, or become otherwise ruined when jostled
- TSA-friendly, or at least checked luggage-friendly if wrapped and packed carefully
Think that's a tall order? Not so! There are many treats that are up to the challenge, and all of them are perfect for gifting. Whether you're traveling by plane, train, or automobile, here are our 15 top picks:
1. Soft Caramels
2. Brittle and Toffee
5. Candied and Spiced Nuts
6. Shortbread Cookies
9. Caramel Corn, Popcorn, and Other Snack Mixes
11. Cocoa and Tea Mixes
12. Extracts and bitters
13. Loaf Cakes and Quick Breads
15. Flavored Salts and Sugars
(Image credits: Erin Alderson; Emma Christensen; Kristen of The Kitchen Sink; Dana Velden; Karen Biton-Cohen; Coco Morante; Naomi Robinson; Nealey Dozier; Megan Gordon; Emily Han; Faith Durand)