There are many reasons to go the homemade gift route this holiday: Perhaps you feel stuck about what to gift someone who already has everything. You could be watching your wallet. Or maybe you’ve realized what we’ve always known: that homemade gifts simply taste the best. Regardless, we have plenty of gift ideas that are perfect for sharing with loved ones this time of year. From spiced nuts to intricate sugar cookies to marmalades and more, here are a dozen of our favorites.
|Spiced Rosemary Nuts
The combination of rosemary, cumin and cayenne pepper lends an irresistible flavor to toasted nuts. Pack these savory gifts in small decorative tins or in cellophane bags tied with a ribbon.
|Marinated Goat Cheese
Marinated cheese is a welcome departure from holiday confections, for your friend who lacks a sweet tooth! Pack the cheese in glass jars and tie with a decorative ribbon, then attach a card on top with suggestions for serving.
|Lemon Zest Shortbread
Crumbly, rich and buttery shortbread is a classic treat with coffee or tea after a meal. Pack these cookies in pretty tins or boxes, or wrap them in a package with a personalized mug.
|Candied Grapefruit Peel
Take this old-fashioned sweet to the next level by dipping the candied peels into melted bittersweet chocolate. We love how they look in miniature glasses tied with a Christmas ornament or other embellishment.
Capture the sweet-tart flavor of oranges with this jelly, which is wonderful on the breakfast table. Give it in sealed jars wrapped with a ribbon or bow.
France’s famed Dijon mustard is easy to make. Our version is smooth, creamy and not too hot—perfect for everything from vinaigrettes to sandwiches. Bundle it with another pantry staple, such as marinated olives.
|Christmas Sugar Cookies
Sugar cookies are a holiday crowd-pleaser. Make yours stand out with the help of royal icing, decorating pens and colored sugars.
|Caramel Sea Salt Truffles
Using coarse sea salt crystals on the caramel gives added texture and a burst of flavor to these candies. Place them in cupcake liners for a pretty party favor.
Although brittle is usually made with peanuts, this recipe calls for pistachios, which add a vibrant green color; you can swap in chopped walnuts or pecans as well. The brittle will keep well for several weeks stored in a dry, airtight container—like a cookie tin!—with each layer of brittle separated by parchment paper.
|Dark Chocolate Bark with Toasted Almonds and Dried Blueberries
Believe it: this nutty, fruity chocolate bark is also healthy! Wrap it in a cellophane bag and give it to someone who appreciates a tasty treat that’s still good for them.
|Chocolate Frangelico Truffles
Bring these bourbon-infused truffles as a gift to a party, where you can stick them in the freezer when you arrive (and the host or hostess will have something special to look forward to). They pair particularly well with after-dinner cordials.
|Classic Southern Pralines
These bites of caramelized sugar and pecans are simple and fun to make. You can store them between layers of waxed paper in an airtight container for up to 10 days, so they’re great to give as gifts.