What do you give the person on your Christmas list who has “everything”, or the coworkers you hardly know? Tasty treats, of course. The way to everyone’s heart is through the stomach, always. Whether you’re a great baker, candy-maker, amateur distiller, or none of the above (but can follow a recipe) here are some fantastic ideas for easy, affordable and unique gifts that’ll put your (perhaps undiscovered) talents to good use this holiday:
Homemade Vanilla Extract: DIY flavor extracts are a fantastic and impressive gift to give. This tutorial from Chocolate and Carrots even includes label template designs for you to personalize your bottles. Hop on this gift now, though – vanilla extract takes 6 weeks to fully steep. If you choose to make your own extract, write a note to let the receiver know when it’ll be ready to use!
Peppermint White Chocolate Bark: This recipe was a hit last year with Parade readers, and it’s ready in less than an hour–perfect for last-minute gifts! Package it in clear cellophane and tie off with a festive ribbon.
Homemade Flavor Infused Vodka: Infused vodkas are having their “moment”, appearing on store shelves everywhere you turn. But did you realize how easy it is to make them yourself? Break out the mason jars, candy canes, and get creative! Parade contributor Tori Avey shows us how here.
Easy Peanut Butter Fudge: We’ve seen two iterations of peanut butter fudge on Parade.com lately, and both have been extremely popular among readers. This tells us that so long as you or your gift recipients do not have a peanut allergy, this gift will be warmly welcomed – and devoured. Check out both recipes here and here.
Chocolate Lavender Biscotti: From Miche Bacher’s Cooking with Flowers, this recipe for chocolate-hazelnut biscotti with a hint of lavender is deliciously unique and an awakening experience for the taste buds.
Classic Candy Turtles: Liz Gutman and Jen King of Liddabit Sweets sums up why you should gift these this holiday: “It’s been scientifically proven that 97.2 percent of the world’s population loves the turtle. There’s something for everybody, and yet it’s elegant in its simplicity: chocolate, caramel, nuts. It’s like a little candy haiku.”
Rosemary-Cayenne Spiced Nuts: If you’re more a fan of savory snacks, give this recipe a try. Pecans, walnuts and almonds are lightly sweetened with maple syrup and seasoned with rosemary, cayenne, sage, and sprinkled with sea salt.
Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar: Sweet, tangy, and totally unexpected, this homemade infusion is a delight to drizzle over fresh fruit, cake, or ice cream. It’s truly a gourmet gift to give!
Chocolate Buckeyes: Chocolate and peanut butter are a match made in heaven. Why not share a little bit of this heavenly combo with your friends and family this holiday? This recipe makes about 50 buckeyes, but pack them up fast–these are so good they won’t stick around very long.
Candied Bacon: This salty-smokey-sweet combo is always in style. Unless you or your friends are vegetarian, this is the perfect gift to give, wrapped neatly in cellophane and tied off with a festive ribbon.