Come the holiday season (or any occasion, really!), my absolute favorite thing for gifting is anything edible and homemade. I'm also equally enthusiastic about receiving homemade food gifts. They're often simple and inexpensive to make or assemble, but they're made with love. And of course, they're delicious. Here are five of my favorites that will work for anyone on your list.
1. A Thoughtful Gift for New Parents: Instant Mac and Cheese Mix in a Mason Jar
This jar is far more than the makings of an ultra-creamy mac and cheese dinner to feed the whole table. What you're really giving is the gift of convenience — something that new parents, or really anyone with a busy schedule, will totally appreciate. It's your way to lend a helping hand to make getting dinner on the table a little easier. It's also a convenience for you, as it's incredibly easy to assemble with no cooking required.
2. A Sweet Gift for Coworkers: Chocolate-Almond Toffee
Toffee is one of the best holiday gifts you can give friends, family, coworkers, and your kid's teacher. It can be made in advance and one batch makes a lot, but you only need a small piece of the crisp, rich, chocolatey treat to be satisfied. Pack it up in small treat bags or boxes with a pretty ribbon, and you're all set.
3. The Ultimate Hostess Gift: Chocolate Sprankles
Mix together a few jars of this sweet and salty topping, and you have a wildly impressive (and inexpensive!) hostess gift to give all season long. Combine chocolate with some sweet crunch and a little salt, and you'll have a sprinkle that makes ice cream sing but is also transformative for coffee, buttered toast, or even chili.
4. The Ultimate Last-Minute Gift: Herby Lemon Salt
A few years ago I gifted jars of store-bought flavored salt and sugars to friends and family, then promptly regretted not making them myself. Flavored salt is inexpensive and incredibly easy to pull together quickly. It's totally ideal when you need to whip up something super fast that doesn't actually require any cooking. This version with fresh herbs and citrus brightens up everything from poultry to hummus (and even fresh fruit!), and keeps well for quite a while.
5. A Fast & Fancy Gift for Everyone: How To Make Foolproof Chocolate Truffles
If you're still stumped, know this: No matter the recipient, you can never, ever go wrong with chocolate truffles. These bite-sized sweets are rich, decadent, and wildly impressive. They are seemingly fancy, yet so simple to make. You don't even have to turn on the stove. All you need is some cream and good-quality chocolate to get started.