HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


What Holiday Food Gifts Are You Making?

I'm having a great time preparing food gifts for family & friends this season, and am wondering what others are giving this year?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
    1. re: sydthekyd

      How are they packaged/delivered? Are they frozen? This is an interesting idea.

      1. re: MrsPatmore

        I am going to try making them with ground lamb.

    2. Tequila-Lime Fruitcake, homemade pretzels and mustard and cardamom bread. Cookie baking will commence today--woohoo!

      1 Reply
      1. re: sandiasingh

        Totally read that as fruitcake, pretzels, and mustard-cardamom bread. Mmmm mustard bread! :P

      2. Venison summer sausage, goat milk cheese and mini "cocktail" rye breads.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Springhaze2

          Yay summer sausage! I got my boyfriend a smoker for Christmas, so hopefully we can send some out next year.

            1. re: shaebones

              Oh my, can you please expand on what this is?

            2. Bar nuts from the Union Square Cafe Cookbook.

              1. Chocolate hazelnut spread.

                I use this recipe, but add an extra tablespoon of powdered cocoa to the mix:


                1. Red wine and balsamic pickled eggplant (from the garden,) onion marmalade, Martha Stewart's recipe for penuche, apple cider vinegar pickled red onions, pickled sweet cherry peppers (from the garden,) and some buttercream filled cookies that are a family recipe. Also, for us and my immediate family, tamales. I usually do green chili chicken and red beef.

                  I'm not getting crazy with the amounts of anything this year, though. No decorated cut out cookies, no caramels, no gingerbread, no home made booze this year. I'm taking it easy this time.

                  1. Homemade vanilla extract, "Marilyn's Toffee," and cookies, TBD. I have quite a lot of real lavender honey, so I'd like to make some type of cookie that would go well with a cup of tea & lavender honey. Any suggestions are welcome!

                    I have been requested to make pierogies, so they might also end up as gifts. We shall see.

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: MrsPatmore

                      Shortbread or some type of lemon cookie.

                      1. re: Jerseygirl111

                        Lemon cookie. That's perfect. Thanks, jerseygirl. ;-)

                      2. re: MrsPatmore

                        After the other thread circulating here, I am almost afraid to make my cookies. Although I got a call yesterday offering suggestions on which were most preferred!

                        1. re: coll

                          《After the other thread circulating here, I am almost afraid to make my cookies.》

                          Ain't that the truth, coll? Actually this year, I was planning to give (canned) Ball jars of the Epicurious cranberry-port wine-fig sauce. I made 24 eight ounce jars prior to Thanksgiving. There's one jar left. Everyone who tried it at Thanksgiving asked if they could have some. Next thing I knew, it was nearly all gone. LOL

                          1. re: MrsPatmore

                            I know, I'm trying to put it out of my mind for now. I have some jars of quince preserves and rose hip syrup that I'm also including for some; if people are afraid of home baked cookies and their "germs" imagine what some would say about home canning!

                            1. re: coll

                              Thankfully, where I live, people just say, "yum" or more often, "can I have some more?"

                              As an aside, I'm very conscious of food safety issues, and have been canning and preserving food for more than 25 years. Where I grew up, we had both 4-H classes and classes at the local cooperative extension service in home ec and that included canning. I never won a blue ribbon for any of my county fair entries, but I did get a couple of 2nd place awards.

                              1. re: coll

                                Oh dear, I just did the math. I've been canning for more than 35 years not 25 years. Geez, I feel like an old geezer

                        2. I'm doing cookies this weekend. Just for my coworkers mostly, since I don't really have friends. :p I'm thinking of sending some to my brother, but I'm in Virginia and he's in Cali.... Not sure how they'll ship.

                          Pecan sandies
                          Chocolate crinkle
                          Pumpkin-oatmeal with maple glaze
                          Chocolate-drizzled coconut macaroons

                          6 Replies
                          1. re: Kontxesi

                            I ship cookies all over the country every year, just pack them tightly so they don't rattle around.

                            1. re: Kontxesi

                              Oatmeal cookies and macaroons both travel very well. Some cookies that are crisp may not fare as well -- could arrive as crumbs.

                              1. re: ChefJune

                                Well, he should be getting them today, so we'll see! Everything I sent was fairly soft, so they should be okay. I put them in ziploc bags inside the tin to keep them from getting stale.

                                1. re: Kontxesi

                                  Hopefully nestled amidst tons of wax or tissue paper.

                                    1. re: Kontxesi

                                      This is my 35th year, and for the first time I feel like asking everyone honestly if the cookies have always been in good shape upon arrival.

                            2. SInce I'm hosting Christmas Eve and New Years Eve this year, I'm toning it down a bit on the holiday baking.

                              But I am making David Lebovitz's salted butter chocolate sauce as stocking stuffer gifts.

                              Btw, you're cookies look great FoodWacky!

                              1. I'd like to find a killer savory cracker that will hold up more than a day (i.e., stay crunchy). Any ideas?

                                2 Replies
                                1. Made dough last week (pulling out of freezer now) and baking up: Chocolate chip cookies, snickerdoodles, peanut butter cookies, M&M cookies - purely the basics. Overseeing the making of peanut brittle and some other candy with my boys for them to give as gifts (they will buy the ingredients, do the bulk of the work, wrap, etc.).

                                  1. Cookies, cookies and more cookies. But I found out right here, that home made is a total turnoff for some. So from here on, store bought/mail order/gift cards only, I'd love to take it easy for a change. I have forewarned all my loved ones.

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: coll

                                      I don't understand homemade being a turnoff for some???
                                      Are there really people that would prefer their food made in factories? I am flabbergasted by that thought!

                                      1. re: ElsieB

                                        There are lots of people who don't relish the thought of eating something prepared by someone else in their kitchen.

                                        1. re: monavano

                                          In their non-certified, uninspected by the health inspector kitchen, to be precise. The times they are a'changin'!

                                          1. re: monavano

                                            I'll be honest, when I'm given a homemade food gift, especially canned items, I think twice about who made it and the cleanliness of his/her kitchen.

                                            When in doubt, throw it out.

                                            I also pick and choose to whom I give my homemade cookies and jam, knowing in advance if they would appreciate, enjoy, and even want this type of gift.

                                      2. Carmelitas with cashews

                                        Also, baklava with pistachios and apricots and an orange cardamom syrup.

                                        1. This ain't your first rodeo, that's for sure!

                                          1. I just canned about 2 gallons of Meyer lemon marmalade. 'Tis the season here off the Texas Coast and it has been a good crop year. Tasty stuff and used a new recipe that jelled spectacularly!

                                            6 Replies
                                            1. re: sandbarhappy

                                              Can you share your recipe? My Meyer lemon tree is producing like mad. TIA.

                                              1. re: pine time

                                                It's a bit convoluted, and I even held the lemon wedge liquid an extra day because I simply had no time to get to it.

                                                Oh! and I used all Meyer lemons, even though the first part calls for "regular" lemons. I did add lemon juice not from Meyers, though, and it was still acidic enough. Quite yummy!


                                                1. re: sandbarhappy

                                                  Thanks. Wow, 3 days--quite a labor of love.

                                                  1. re: pine time

                                                    Nah, it's not so bad... chop and soak. zzz. Cook and strain. zzz. Chop and soak. zzz. Cook and jar. Much easier to work into a busy schedule than if all done directly - that would take 2.5-3 hours or so of dedicated time!

                                              2. re: sandbarhappy

                                                Meyer lemons are ambrosial. What are your favorite uses for the marmalade?

                                                1. re: monavano

                                                  The marmalade is excellent on roasting chicken. And I eat it on English muffins. I suppose it could do for pork, as well.

                                              3. Cookies of course, and tomato jam which I use to make a special grilled cheese, and people seem to love.

                                                4 Replies
                                                1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                  How much sugar do you put in your jam? A friend gave me a jar of Spanish tomato jam that I'm not sure exactly what to do with...

                                                  1. re: sandbarhappy

                                                    I use one cup of sugar per 1.5 pounds of tomatoes. Here is a link to the recipe and The Weston Grilled Cheese that I use it for. Tomato Jam is also good as a meatloaf glaze and on cornbread/muffins.


                                                    1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                      Recently had friends over for dinner, and when one said that I am soooo chef-y (I'm certainly not--call myself a peasant cook), I said that dinner was just peanut butter & jelly sandwiches. When I brought out a few appetizers, I had made Biscoff spread with my homemade tomato jam sandwiches, just for a joke. They raved about both! Sent them home with little jars of my tomato jam (similar recipe to above), along with a gift bag, containing a "grown-up" pb&J drink: Chambord and Frangelico (those little airplane bottles). Fun evening.

                                                      1. re: pine time

                                                        I LOVE that idea pine time!!! How fun is that?? I've got to do that sometime!

                                                2. Chocolate Truffles, Macarons au Chocolat, Chocolate-dipped Candied orange Peel, Stollen, Julekaker.

                                                  At least, that's the plan so far. :)

                                                  1. A couple different toffees, chocolate pistachio brown butter toffee and toffee with Marcona almonds ( family only get these as those almonds are very expensive). Variations on Gale Gand's recipe from the Food Network.

                                                    Two cakes made in mini loaf pans (3 cup size) the first is fresh cranberry cake recipe from The Kitchn that I topped with walnut streusel and the second Carole Walter's butter crumb coffee cake with walnut streusel. The cranberry cake was a big hit with my friends when I gave it out on Monday.

                                                    1. Christine Ferber's Banana Chocolate Jam. There's still time to do it and the ingredients are all available at this time of year. It's decadent good! I added a slurp of hazelnut liqueur and some chopped roasted hazelnut for good measure.


                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: rainey

                                                        Good idea. I wonder if it would work with frozen bananas.

                                                      2. I give canned goods (they were picked up when the family came for Thanksgiving, cookies and candies. This year in addition to the gallons of caramel corn I make I made almond buttercrunch, white chocolate pistachio craisin bark, candied lemon, orange & grapefruit rind for candies. For cookies I made a chocolate pistachio dried cherry biscotti, apricot foldovers, macadamia lime cookie, Champagnebrod (a pressed butter cookie filled with apricot jam), slice & bake pecan caramel cookies and the brown sugar cookies mentioned on the DOTM thread. I pack them in Takealong containers lined with the holiday treat bags. These seem to ship the best though I have never heard any complaints about the condition the cookies arrive in. Here are photos of the box layers:

                                                        2 Replies
                                                          1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod

                                                            I can't believe you forgot to mention them! I cut back to six cookies this year, but lemon stars are still on the roster.

                                                        1. Made Kahlua and candied mixed nuts for gifts this year.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. Caramel Corn (CHOW's recipe) and Cocoa Mix (1 tsp cocoa to 2 tsp of sugar) with directions to mix with one cup of hot milk, along with a mug.

                                                            For the cocoa, I found Saco Premium Cocoa in a holiday baking area of my supermarket, and it works perfectly. I also used Hershey's Special Dark worked well, although not as good as the Saco.

                                                            1. Cranberry Orange Bread
                                                              Date and Nut Bread

                                                              1. Goats cheese and basil scones. A bit summery maybe but absolutley bloody delicious.

                                                                Gingerbread stars with a cinnamon and cinder toffee chocolate filling