Gifts of the edible sort are some of our favorites to give or receive! A little packet of cookies or a jar of cocoa mix can is the perfect way of saying "from my kitchen to yours." Here are our top choices for treats that can be made ahead, wrapped up, and survive a trip through the mail:
1. Brittles and Barks - We say "peanut" brittle, but really we mean any toasted nut held together with toffee or chocolate - or both! This Chocolate-Orange Hazelnut Bark from Martha Stewart is looking particularly appealing right now!(Image: Martha Stewart)
2. Marshmallows - Make enough of these, and you could use marshmallows to cushion the rest of your holiday packages! Our favorite recipes for right now are these Candied Sweet Potato Marshmallows, Peppermint Marshmallows from Coconut & Lime, and Chocolate Marshmallows from Brownie Points.
3. Fudge - Fudge is one of those supremely decadent treats that doesn't last long in our house. It's really best to send it off to someone else! Here's a recipe for classic chocolate fudge, or you can add a twist with some candied bacon! (Image: Flickr member Flickr username licensed under Creative Commons)
4. Cocoa Mixes - Find a few pretty canning jars and fill them with layers of cocoa mix. We found these DIY mix recipes on Sunset a few years ago and have used them ever since: Peppermint Stick Cocoa, Mocha Cocoa, and Mexican Cocoa. This year we might make hot cocoa on a stick as well! (Images: Sunset)
5. Caramels - We'll never get tired of soft, chewy caramels! If you made us pick, our favorites would be Ginger-Cinnamon Caramels and Salt Caramels.
6. Soup Mixes - If you're more of a savory cook, think about putting together a package of all the dry ingredients for your favorite soup. You could layer them in a canning jar or wrap each ingredient separately with a little bow. Don't forget the recipe instructions!
7. Spice Blends and Rubs - We love introducing friends and family to the new spices we've discovered by mixing them signature spice blends. We'll include a few recipe cards to get their cooking started! Try Chinese 5-Spice, Garam Masala, or Egyptian Dukkah.
8. Spiced Nuts - We make these all winter long to have as appetizers at parties or in case a neighbor drops by. It didn't occur to us until recently that we could package them up and send them off as gifts! We like these Herbed Almonds, Rosemary-Coated Cashews, or Sweet-Salty Cinnamon Almonds.
9. Buckeyes - Cookies have the unfortunate tendency to crumble while en route, but not these truffle-esque peanut butter and chocolate buckeyes! Try these Milk and Honey Peanut Butter Balls for a non-chocolate version. (Image: Flickr member stevendepolo licensed under Creative Commons)
10. Jams and Preserves - Your friends have probably been eying your jars of strawberry jam for months, just hoping you'll give them some. And not only your jam, but also your secret barbecue sauce, your pickles, and all your other delicious preserves!
What other homemade gifts are you thinking of giving this year?
Related: Wrapping Homemade Candy