45 Homemade Gifts from The Kitchn

updated Nov 15, 2023
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Credit: Cathy Pyle

We here at Kitchn believe that the very best gifts are of the edible sort, so today we’re sharing all our favorites — and we mean all! There are soft gingerbread cookies to send in the mail and rosé gummies to share with your BFF. New moms will be thankful for a big jar of DIY instant mac and cheese, and anyone would be happy to find some vanilla-scented nut clusters under the tree.

Cookies & Bars

If you’re planning on mailing sweet treats this holiday season, bar cookies and sturdy biscotti travel well and hold up beautifully.

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Gingerbread Cake Cookies Recipe
These chewy, molasses-spiked cookies are filled with warm, spiced flavor.
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Peppermint Cream Squares

Make double-sure that you buy soft mint candies — not the hard ones that are available year round, which can damage your food processor. The most common brand I’ve found is Bob’s Sweet Stripes (see link below).

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Irish Shortbread Toffee Bars

The toffee bars, also referred to as “millionaire bars” (which I found out after the fact), is exactly what you’d expect from an old Southern recipe collection; they were sweet, rich, and oh-so-delicious. Definitely a new classic in my opinion, just like the cookbook they came from.

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Coconut Snowballs
No-bake, gluten-free, vegan coconut snowball cookies that are quick to assemble.
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The gift of something sweet has a special way of bringing a smile to anyone’s face.

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Failproof Chocolate Truffles: The Easiest, Simplest Method
Our step-by-step guide to making rich, creamy chocolate truffles at home.
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Date Caramels
Turn dates into a chewy, salty-sweet caramel without heating up the stove.
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Rosé Gummies

With just a few steps and some chill time (which you could very easily pass with a glass of rosé) you can make these charming, lightly fruity, just a bit tangy rosé-flavored gummy bears.

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Classic Southern Pralines

You can call the praline a cookie, because it’s shaped like one, but it’s rightfully a type of candy. You make them entirely on the stove top by boiling a mixture of chopped pecans, sugars (two kinds!), butter, milk, and vanilla until it becomes creamy and caramelized.

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Chocolate-Almond Toffee
This buttery, crunchy toffee covered in a layer of dark chocolate and toasty almonds comes together on one sheet pan.
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Soft Caramel Candies
A two-step approach to making easy caramel candies.
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Chocolate-Toffee Matzo Bark with Easter Candy
Sheets of matzo are covered in caramel and chocolate and topped with Easter candy for a dessert suitable for both Passover and Easter.
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Classic Chocolate Fudge

This recipe for fudge is a classic one from my childhood. I like it because it requires no special equipment or ingredients — just sugar, cocoa powder, milk, salt, butter and vanilla. Even a candy thermometer is optional.

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 Brittle and Chocolate Bark

Whether it’s topped with chopped peppermint candies, pretty rose petals, or cookie pieces, chocolate bark is easy to make and the most excellent gift for any chocolate-lover in your life.

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Salted Pistachio Brittle

As luck would have it, the brittle is just as fun to make as the cookies (and a nice break from the oven-to-cooling-rack merry-go-round). You start by coaxing a potful of butter, sugar, water and corn syrup into a dark bubbling caramel.

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Holiday Nut & Fruit Brittle

It’s perfect for gifting and so versatile, using whatever nuts or dried fruit you have around.

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White Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake Bark

This sweet treat is quick and easy to whip up, and it makes a beautiful gift simply layered in a pretty container.

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Peppermint Bark

The ingredient list is short — just dark and white chocolate, peppermint candies, and peppermint oil — and you don’t need any special equipment to make peppermint bark for yourself or to give as gifts. It helps to know a little bit about each ingredient and to have an hour to dedicate to the process. Here’s how to make your own peppermint bark at home for gift-giving this season.

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Bark

This is an easy homemade gift and a gorgeous addition to any holiday dessert tray.

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Other Sweet Treats

Packaged up in a nice jar with pretty ribbon, flavored sugars and sauces make a wonderful hostess gift. They’re also easy to make in big batches.

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Sweet and Salty Chocolate Sprinkle Mix
These sweet and salty chocolate sprinkles are beloved by many and beyond easy.
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Citrus Sugar

Citrus zest brightens so many recipes, but if you have citrus sugar in your pantry, you’ve got a wonderfully fragrant gift.

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Dairy-Free Nutella

A combination of coconut milk and dairy-free chocolate chips make a really great substitute for the creamy chocolate component of this spread. It has past the test of many a Nutella-lover, so much so that I started making batches around the holidays and packaging them up as gifts!

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Rhoda's Peppermint Hot Fudge Sauce

In addition to ice-cream, this sauce is excellent drizzled over slices of pound cake, cheesecake or a meringue. The version made with vanilla extract is also delicious served with poached fruit.

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Maple Bourbon Caramel Sauce

Maple bourbon is the most popular flavor of bourbon on the market now with big guys like Jim Beam and Knob Creek topping the list of producers. It’s a sweeter style and works well in lots of hot cocktails, after dinner drinks and desserts.

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Toasted Coconut Sugar

The coconut flavor is subtle, so the sugar pairs best with ingredients that are not strongly flavored. Use it as you might use cinnamon-sugar: dip sugar cookies in it before baking, sprinkle it onto buttered toast, or mix it into oatmeal.

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Instant Pot Vanilla Extract
Use your Instant Pot to make better homemade vanilla extract, faster.
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Nuts and Popcorn

You can’t go wrong with the gift of snacks, whether you go savory, sweet, or a combo of both. Nuts and popcorn are also a great choice when your list of gift recipients runs long.

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Slow Cooker Spiced Nuts: The Essential Method
Not just any spiced nuts, these gift-worthy vanilla-scented nuts are coated with a candied crunch only the slow cooker can produce.
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Vanilla Cashew Clusters
A recipe for lightly sweetened cashew clusters that make a healthy snack or topping for yogurt or ice cream.
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Chicago-Style Popcorn

If you love the mixed tins of caramel and cheddar popcorn, known as the classic Windy City blend, give this mix a try at home — and even give it as a homemade edible gift.

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Granola is one of my favorite foods to gift. There are so many different variations out there that I know I can find one that’s just right for everyone on my list.

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Savory Bacon-Rosemary Granola

There’s just something so right about how the sweetness of the syrup mixes with the salty-smoky bacon. So it’s about time bacon got a starring role in another breakfast staple: granola.

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Almond & Coconut Granola

This recipe is super versatile: use any kind of nut (larger nuts like whole walnuts or pecans should be chopped), any other kind of dried fruit (currants, blueberries, cranberries, even little snipped pieces of dried mango or papaya), or go without either for the nut-allergic and fruit-adverse. Tip: add a tablespoon egg whites per cup of rolled oats to help make the granola more clumpy.

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Cardamom-Spiced Granola with Tahini

This delicious spiced granola is proof that tahini has a world of uses.

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Other Savory Treats

For anyone who’s not really into sweets, these thoughtful items are simple yet fun and creative.

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Harvest Crackers with Cranberries, Pecans & Rosemary

The crackers are sturdy enough to spread with cheese or hold some dip, but they’re also fantastic on all on their own as a mid-afternoon snack. For pre-dinner cheese plate or a handy hostess gift, trust me: these crackers bring it to win it.

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Instant Mac and Cheese Mix in a Mason Jar

Assembled in a tall jar, this DIY instant mac and cheese goes way beyond anything you’ll find in a box, and cooks up into an ultra-creamy dinner to feed the whole table.

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Infusions, Cocktail Mixers, and Other Drinks

Surprise your cocktail-enthusiast friend with a fun homemade twist for her bar cart.

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Fruit-Infused Vodkas

This is also perfect for when you’re not in the mood for a big preserving project, but want a quick way to make sure that handful of juicy berries, plump purple figs, or last peaches doesn’t go to waste. Because a bottle of jewel-colored, summer fruit-infused vodka will never go to waste. Trust me on this.

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Fruit Shrub Syrup

Making a shrub syrup at home is a fun way to preserve and play with seasonal fruit, and you can follow this template for practically any fruit you have on hand. In addition to drinks, you can use the brightly flavored syrup in salad dressings and homemade jam, or as a glaze for meats.

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