No one likes fruitcake

Looking for some foodie-friendly gifts to hand out this year? We’ve pulled together a few top notch ideas that will make your friends (and their bellies) happy this holiday season.

I have a real love/hate relationship with Christmas time, specifically with gift-giving. I love to give gifts, I really do. But, when it comes down to it, lack of time and money makes me dwindle my list down to the “MUST BUY FOR” folks, leaving no room for anyone else.

I end up crossing most of the peripheral people off of my list because I don’t want to just buy something from the dollar store or because I feel like I have to give them something. Plus, I like my gifts to have some thought and a personal touch behind them. So, this year, my friends, neighbors, my girls’ teachers, and far-away family will be getting a food gift. (If you’re my friend and are reading this and like your gift to be a surprise, stop reading this now.)

I’ve gathered a few ideas to share with you in case you also have people on your list who would appreciate a gift ‘o’ food, handmade by you. But remember: if you’re going to give an edible gift, make it stand out in the crowd. Make it the treat that gets eaten first and something your recipient can share with company or their own holiday guests.

My thought behind each of these choices included:

  • Is it mass-production friendly?
  • Can I give it a cute, gift-like presentation?
  • Is it original? We’re not just talking Chex-Mix here.
  • Is it easy to ship or deliver?
  • Can I “add-on” to the gift? Meaning, make it a little bit better for some or all recipients if the budget allows?
  • Does it have “WOWWWZA, THIS IS THE BEST THING I’VE EVER TASTED” qualities?

First up, Cinnamon Honey Butter (YUM). I happened upon this recipe on a blog that I frequent, and have to pass it on straight from her site to you. Her pictures are fabulous, and I love the cute little jars and tags. If you want, you could add a fresh loaf of bread to go alongside the butter.

Coffee Toffee, shown here, is an awesome idea. I actually received some of this from a manufacturer last year, and just about ate the whole lot of it single handedly. I would recommend putting this in a cute tin to add to the presentation.

Mini loaves of bread are a somewhat typical gift, but how about this recipe for Almond Poppyseed Bread? The glaze on top almost turns it in to a dessert. Include a cute butter knife or spreader for an extra special touch.

So, despite having the unfortunate name “Cake Balls,” these treats look too good to be true. AND, oh my Lordy, it gets even better: only four, count them, four ingredients. I think it would be cute to do half in white chocolate, line them up in a little box, wrap a bow around, and poof! A great gift!

I know, I know, what would a Christmas food list be without a mention of a cookie in it? These Snickers Peanut Butter Cookies are sure to be a show stopper. Arrange them on an inexpensive cookie plate so your recipient still has a little keepsake.

Do you have a thriving herb or two in your winter garden? Take some inspiration from this cute idea by cutting a sprig of rosemary or basil, potting it, and passing it along to a friend. Bump up this gift by adding a small trowel or a pair of gardening gloves.

Think about revisiting the Chocolate-Dipped Pretzel idea. You can bring it up to a new level by adding some nuts or toffee sprinkled on the chocolate.

Hot Fudge pumped with some rum could be the perfect chocolate or ice cream lover’s fix. Dress it up in a nice jar with a cute label. You could add to it by including an ice cream scoop tied to the side.

Want to get your kids involved?

These lollipops would be great for kids’ gift exchanges. Use reds and greens for a holiday twist or just wrap them up with a giant red bow.

Who doesn’t love a Rice Krispies treat? These treats-on-a-stick are super easy and sweet as can be. Again, a family with kiddies may appreciate these best. Decorate them with red and green sprinkles for a guaranteed Christmas treat hit!

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Kelly Blanchard

Kelly Blanchard loves thinking about, preparing, consuming, and serving good food. Believing that life is to short to eat the same stuff over and over, she loves to test new eats on her friends and family. Kelly loves her coffee-addicted hubbie, her two little blonde-haired babes, all things sweet, black tshirts, and the color pink.

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