So it's been a minute since I've done a food post (uh like 3 months!) so I thought I'd bring it back with a homemade gift guide. Personally, I think nothing beats a homemade gift for a co-worker, neighbor, friend, or especially to round out a gift you're giving to someone special. Here's a list of some of my favorites. . . .
BOURBON Pecan Pie from Smitten Kitchen -- I made this for my husband for Thanksgiving last year and the Christmas that same year. He was psyched.
Your friends will love these Slutty Brownies from What's Gaby Cooking -- I mean, look at them!
For the women on your list, you have to make this granola from Joy the Baker. One year I made it for my mom and aunt, filled a mason jar with it, and tied it with a bow. It was one of the most talked about gifts! This year I'm making it with pistachios, pepitas, and dried cherries for a Christmas colored version.
If you're trying to impress someone, making marshmallows yourself is the way to do it! Smitten Kitchen is going to help us do it this year.
Your neighbors will love you for bringing over a still warm batch of these out of this world gingerbread muffins from How Sweet Eats. They are a warm hug of the holidays and would also make the perfect meeting my boyfriend / girlfriend's parents for the first time gift or Christmas morning breakfast. Basically, they are perfect.
We always make a bunch of hot fudge and caramel sauce for the holidays. People think you are really fancy and will love you for it! This peppermint chocolate version from Smitten Kitchen is on my list for this year. I'm also making this red wine version for my co-workers.
If you know a chocolate peanut butter lover, you MUST make these cookies from How Sweet Eats for them for Christmas! I made them for my dad's birthday and then my husband's birthday and they are always a hit!
These Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies are a labor of love but will be the talk of any Christmas party you bring them to. I've been making them for as long as I can remember and am so happy I found the recipe online. They are the holidays in a cookie, seriously.
If you're looking for a cookie to decorate, these sugar cookies from Williams Sonoma are fluffy and so perfectly vanilla flavored. You will be a hit with these plus some frosting and icing for cookie decorating with the kids! I also love adding peppermint chocolate chunks in the dough or dipping them in chocolate after they bake.
Speaking of peppermint, I added these to my list this year--the Christmas version of the perfect chocolate chip cookie! The great part about cookies is you can make a lot of dough (around the holidays I'll double the cookie recipes I make) and freeze it in cookie dough balls to bake off when you're ready for gifting. This is a huge time saver for me and something I always do but especially during the busy holiday season!
I'm making this bundt cake for a co-worker's holiday party later this week and can't wait -- cranberry and strussel are not only two of my favorite things but also seem so quintessentially holiday to me. Thinking about bringing this punch and a bright, Christmas-y salad (spinach, pomegranates, candied pecans, and cheese) to my parents' Christmas party. These coffee blondies (pictured at top) were the suprise of the season. I used to think I was more of a cookie person but these blondies converted me. I may have added extra coffee and just a hint of bourbon--just a hint!
If your recipients are sensitive to gluten or dairy, I definitely recommend the recipes in Celebrations, as I"m sure you know by now! I also made awesome chocolate peppermint vegan cookies from the Oh She Glows App. Other ideas: Thinking these look amazing and I'm pretty sure I need to see how close these come to the other chewy chocolate gingerbead cookies above! I have a bag of quinoa flour in the pantry just tempting me to try these, too. If you're sensitive to dairy, definitely check out the Enjoy Life brand -- I was skeptical but they're REALLY good.
Other homemade favorites include biscotti, homemade spiced nuts, chocolate truffles, pretzel rods dipped in chocolate with Christmas sprinkles, chocolate and white chocolate bark, homemade beef jerky, loaves of cinnamon pull apart bread, and fancy bundt cakes (this one would be amazing with the hot fudge above!)
What are you making this holiday season?