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Nov 11, 2008 08:48 PM

Best Homemade Food Gift


Each year I like to make something edible to give to various people as gifts. I have made cookie mixes in the jar, pancake mix, and soup mix in a jar in the past. Do you have something special that people love to receive? Do you make something they crave? I would love to hear about it!


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  1. We found that too many people feed the fruit cake they receive at Christmas time to their dogs. Most of the fruit cake I've sampled deserves that end. So my wife and I worked on a recipe that people would truly enjoy - and it's become a standard that friends and family actually ask to receive each year. I can't say they "crave" it, but they sure enjoy it with a good cup of hot coffee or hot chocolate.

    7 Replies
    1. re: todao

      Funny you should mention hot chocolate. I once made homemade hot chocolate mix and gave it away in pretty jars, and that went over really, really well. What was nice was that it was something that lasted a while, and I'd occasionally get a nice email from someone even months later that said, "I'm just enjoying a cup of your hot chocolate!"

      1. re: katecm

        Would you mind posting your recipe? TIA

        1. re: debby

          Here's the very basic recipe. I do try to use a high-quality cocoa, and then you can play around with flavours using spices. I've done cinnamon, and it was lovely, and then I also did one with cayenne and a touch of chili powder.

          2 cups of powdered milk

          Dash of salt

          1/4 cup of cocoa

          1 cup of powdered sugar

          1. re: katecm

            katecm, do you use regular or dutched cocoa? Also, how much cinnamon did you use and what amount of this mix would I use to make a cup of cocoa? Sounds like a great idea to give to a friend of mine, but I don't drink much hot cocoa, so I don't really know how much mix to add to how much water!

            1. re: nofunlatte

              I used regular cocoa, and just a dash of cinnamon. You don't want the cinnamon to overpower it, just to give it a bit of warmth.

              I would typically use a spoonful to mix into the hot water, but it depends on preference. My grandma would add several because she liked it really strong.

            2. re: katecm

              I did this also a few years ago and tied to the jars some homemade marshmallows in colored bags/cellophane. I think they were a hit, and surprisingly easy to make.

              1. re: ScarletB

                What a great idea - Home made Marshmallow, I bet the presentation was great!

      2. My Favorite to receive & give: Pecans.
        1. Praline Pecans

        2. Pralines

        3. A sort of trail mix with Pecans, Golden Raisins and (red label) Togarashi Spice Mix and Sea Salt. (EVERYONE loves this!)

        4. A homemade Indian Spice Mix for Lentil & Spinach Soup

        5. Peanut butter fudge

        2 Replies
        1. re: Isabella

          I'd love to hear more about the Indian Spice Mix for soup.

          1. re: cbritton

            It is really good. But I have to figure out what I put in it.
            I really wish I would write down some of this stuff, but I just start grabbing
            spices & kind of whip up something.

            However, I will say that Garam Masala is a good one to use & I often do, but
            will add other spices to the mix as well.

            Great in butternut squash soup.
            I will be making some in a few days, so I'll pay more attention to what I put in there & let you know. By no means is it officially Indian, but it does taste that way.

        2. I enjoy giving (and receiving homemade food gifts) as well. I've made and/or received: salsa, hot mustard, pepper jelly, bourbon balls, peppermint bark, pretzels dipped in chocolate (then rolled in nuts), biscotti, cookies (or course), crystalized ginger. This year I might be doing an herb blend with a small grinder, maybe a dip mix with handmade pottery dish - that's it so far. Found a few awesome sites if you google "homemade food gifts" - many in a cute cone wrapping.

          9 Replies
          1. re: lexpatti

            Lexpatti, what recipe did you use for your crystallized ginger? I haven't tried making it myself, mostly because I've heard so many people say heir attempts failed, but I'd love a tried and true recipe.

            1. re: lexpatti

              I love those long fat pretzels dipped in one end of chocolate.

              1. re: iL Divo

                OOh I've had them double dipped in caramel then chocolate. Dangerously good. I'd be making some for the holidays but can't find the thick long pretzel rods anywhere in town.

                  1. re: iL Divo

                    I'll have to check our local WalMarchay ;) I've checked every other grocery store. Maybe they just don't ship them north to us Canadians?

                    1. re: iL Divo

                      I like pretzel rods (still looking btw) and driving to Pennsylvania would be a heck of a road trip but I don't think I can convince DH to drive that far for pretzels heh(I'm north of Montana). It's one of those things things that I'll have to look for on

                      1. re: maplesugar

                        not sure if you've found them yet.
                        the pretzel rods.
                        let me know if you can't find them.
                        I'll get a bag or two and send them your way.

                        1. re: iL Divo

                          How sweet of you to offer! I just found some awhile ago at Michaels (craft store) of all places. Mr. Sugar has demolished a bag but I do plan on experimenting with the remaining bag once the kiddos are back to school next week.

              2. Frozen cookie dough, bread dough. There is so much food around the holidays that people appreciate something they can have another time. Plus nothing beats freshly baked cookies or bread/rolls, especially for people who don't cook.

                1. Infuse a bottle of white wine vinegar with a couple of sprigs of tarragon (two teaspoons of dried also works) and a few garlic cloves (no need to peel). After about three weeks this can be used to make wonderful vinaigrette.

                  Fruit spirits are another favorite: Fill an empty bottle to about one-third with fruit (cherries are good or plums, which will of course need slicing to fit into bottle), shop-bought is fine, add about a wine glass of any sort sugar (using a funnel helps). Then top up with your chosen spirit. Vodka, gin or brandy work well. Stopper the bottle and lightly agitate once a week for three months (up to a year is fine) or so then strain off the liquid. A real winter treat!