12 Best Food Gifts for the Holidays

Giving away your own goodies for the holidays is a total win in my book: homemade food gifts are environmentally friendly, they don’t break the bank, they are guaranteed to be of use to the recipient, and they give you the perfect excuse to spend a bit of time playing in the kitchen.

But not tooooo much time either: I’m sure you have a mile-long to-do list around the holidays, and making your own edible gifts should not add to your stress. So I’ve handpicked some of my best food gifts — the kind that’s easy to make and delicious to receive — to share with you. Please add you own favorites in the comments so we can all benefit!

French Christmas Sablés

Thin, crisp, and delicately buttery with just a whisper of cinnamon, these classic French cookies are based on my best friend’s mother’s recipe, who has been making them every year for decades. Add them to your own tradition!

sablesnoel-holiday-gift

Easy Orangettes

Orangettes are short strips of candied orange peel dipped in dark chocolate, and they’re a classic of French chocolate confections. These are a breeze to make if you buy the orange peel already candied from a baking supply store, yet they make for a super classy gift.

shortcut_orangettes-holiday-gift

Dukkah

Dukkah is an Egyptian spice mix made with nuts (commonly hazelnuts, sometimes pistachios or almonds) and seeds (cumin, sesame, coriander, fennel). It is typically used as an interactive appetizer: serve with bread and a shallow cup of olive oil for people to dip in. Perfect to make as a big batch and give out to all your friends!

dukkah1_holiday-gift

Gluten-Free Chocolate Cookies

I love “naturally” gluten-free baked goods that don’t require specialty flours or thickening gums. And these chocolate cookies are just perfect: crisp as you bite in, then meltingly tender on the tongue, not too sweet but strongly chocolate-y with a touch of salt. For the gluten-free chocolate lovers on your list.

sables_choco_GF_holiday-gift

Chesnut and Herb Canistrelli

Canistrelli are a rustic, crisp little cookies typical of the French island of Corsica. Inspired by a vacation we took there, this savory version works perfectly as an apéritif nibble with a nice chilled white wine.

chestnutcanistrelli_holiday-gift

Raw Chocolate Hazelnut Truffles

These easy-to-assemble, two-bite raw chocolate truffles will make you weak in the knees. Made from raw cocoa powder, nuts, and dates to sweeten, they are a healthy yet decadent spin on this indulgent treat.

raw_truffles-holiday-gift

Buckwheat Speculoos Cookies

The season calls for these speculoos cookies, an emblematic and hugely popular spice cookie that is typically baked in the north of France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and parts of Germany. The notes of buckwheat work extremely well here, and the dough can either be molded into shapes or simply “sliced ‘n baked”.

speculoos-holiday-gift

Easy Candied Almonds and Hazelnuts

It’s amazing how easy these crisp and lightly caramelized candied nuts are! In a mere twenty minutes, you can be standing over a tray of golden brown almonds and hazelnuts, waiting for them to cool just enough to try a bite. Hopefully there will be a few left to give away.

candied almonds-holiday-gift

Cinnamon Chocolate Granola Bars

Inspired by the thick, nut-studded chocolate slabs you find at good chocolate shops in Paris, these cinnamon granola break-apart chocolate bars are the perfect recipe to dip your toes in the homemade chocolate pool, and the recipient of your gifts will be forever grateful for such an amazing treat.

cinnamongranolachocolatebar-holiday-gift

Chipotle Cumin Roasted Almonds

Few people take the time to make their own spiced and roasted nuts, yet they are so much tastier than anything you can buy at the store. It’s a very simple project, too: all you need is a handful of pantry ingredients and half an hour.

saltedchilialmonds-holiday-gift

Homemade Rose and Chocolate Marshmallows

The French love their fluffy guimauve and making them is a super fun project. You can dream up endless variations in terms of flavoring and coating, and if you’re going to give them away, chocolate-dipping is always a winning strategy.

guimauve_rose_holiday-gift

Caramelized Sesame Chocolate Bar

In this incredible homemade chocolate bar, the smooth bitterness of the dark chocolate combined with the crunchy, nutty, caramelized sweetness of the sesame clusters makes for a sublime combination. I’ve given this away many times, and people can’t believe I didn’t buy it from a chocolate shop.

caramel_sesame_chocolate-holiday-gift

Want more?

Check out my Best Food Gifts board on Pinterest for more great seasonal gift ideas. What edible gifts will you be making this year?

  • Karen Kelly

    I love the idea of spice mixes as gifts. I think they are totally underrated and come in so handy when cooking.

    • I agree that’s a great idea too! And freshly milled spices just knock your socks off if you’re not used to them, so it’s bound to make an impression.

  • Great ideas here! I love giving food as gifts. I recently made a refined sugar-free whole wheat cake with fresh fruits for a friend who just gave birth. She had it for lunch immediately because she didn’t have time to cook. I like how practical and nourishing food gifts are.

  • Chirag Dua

    Above all the Ideas of Gift, Interesting while Holiday Season. apart from that I love to have gluten free chocolates, I thought one of the best cookies ever.. So I am going to tell my mum this cookies… thanks for giving Great Ideas on Holiday..
    http://www.meenusmenu.com/

  • Rose

    Thanks for this Gift Ideas It’s very useful
    Cookies are so delicious

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