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Gifts from your kitchen -- what are you giving this year?

A group of friends and I generally limit our holiday gift exchanges to (1) something homemade, or (2) something we re-gift, or (3) something that is purchased for $5 or less. It always turns out to be fun (some of the re-gifting has been hilarious!) and inexpensive. So I'm looking for a bit of creative kitchen inspiration. Any ideas? Thanks!

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    1. Jars of homemade chocolate/mint cocoa mix with 6-8 homemade marshmallows. Doggie treats for for neighborhood canine pals. Cheesecakes for a special few that have requested them. I may add more as time goes on.

      1. This year I'm putting together goody baskets with a bunch of little things...I'm going to bottle some spices like homemade red pepper flakes, garlic powder and chili powder. My husband wants to make some chili garlic oil and I really want to make hot chocolate on a stick with homemade marshmallows. I may even make some brittle as well.

        1. I've always made truffles or toffee. but after an entire week of making candies for my wedding. i think i'll take a break and make the fam jars of chili oil or harissa.

          1. Oh, I'm so glad someone started this topic. I've tried to search for past posts with no luck. I just don't understand the best way to search on CH.

            I'm looking for preferably savory gifts. Here's what I'm thinking of for this year. Links below for some.

            Spiced nuts
            Bleu cheese pecan or walnut crackers/cookies
            Granola
            Martha Stewart's macadamia popcorn (choc-almond popcorn on the same link below)
            Breakfast cookies for the freezer (take one or two out per person the night before to thaw)
            Cheese straws (I've often used a cookie press to make these into hearts or Christmas trees)
            Puff pastry twists with Parmesan and black pepper or maybe smoked paprika

            On a sweeter note, I did toasted coconut tea breads last year. Really good. Freezes well.
            Orange or lemon flavored sugar for tea or baking
            Quick breads in mini tin foil pans freeze well if folks are overwhelmed with cookies right now and need to stash something for the future. Pumpkin, Choc-Zucchini, Gingerbread, Glazed Lemon, etc.

            I also found a recipe for Carrot Cake Jam which I haven't made but sounds perfectly seasonal.

            http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/m...

            http://www.marthastewart.com/photogal...

            http://www.slashfood.com/2008/02/20/o...

            4 Replies
            1. re: nemo

              I'm finding some of your suggestions especially helpful because one of my friends can't have anything that contains sugar. I've got a really wonderful recipe for homemade granola... I just need to find it. :)

              1. re: nemo

                just an idea to add to the savory list - herbed or seasoned salt. you can use any blend of fresh herbs, garlic, citrus zest, spices, seeds, and/or pepper that strikes your fancy. just whizz in the FP with coarse sea salt, spread on a parchment-lined tray, and dry overnight in the oven on the lowest setting. store in sealed glass jars.

                you could even do a few different blends based on regional or ethnic cuisines, and package a small jar of each in a nice gift box.

                1. re: nemo

                  Orange zest goes beautifully in homemade granola, for a Christmassy flavour.

                  I scrape off as much of the pith as possible, finely julienne it, and chop into 1 cm lengths. Then I toss that in with oats, millet (it adds a nice crunch) almond flakes, shelled pumpkin seeds, with maple syrup and a bit of molasses for the sugar, and a mix of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and ginger for seasoning. The end result has a fantastic orange-spice flavour.

                  1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

                    ever try replacing the orange zest with pink grapefruit (or combining the two)? the flavor works surprisingly well, and it's just a little lighter/brighter. i know many people love the orange-spice combo, but sometimes it's a bit heavy & cloying for me. the grapefruit seems to take care of that!