Gifts from the Kitchen

Sunday, December 11, 2011

spiced-pecans-1_thumb1

Every year, long before the Thanksgiving dishes are even dried and put away, the Christmas rush is on. That’s when so many of us find ourselves racing around, spending money we don’t have on lots of things we don’t need. It’s crazy! One way that I’ve found to minimize the stress of Holiday shopping – and spending – is to make delicious gifts for family and friends in my own kitchen. Not only are homemade gifts often more economical, but they can also be much more meaningful to their recipients.

Each year, I choose a different assortment of tasty treats to give as holiday gifts.  I package each in pretty decorative packaging and make up cheery goodie bags to deliver to the lucky recipients.  I usually choose a few easy recipes along with some that are a little more complex to get a nice balance in my bags.   I really enjoy doing this, and the whole process helps to get me into the Holiday spirit.  And, after all that has happened around here lately, I could really use some help getting my Christmas mojo on! 

When it comes to creating edible gifts, the possibilities are endless. From the simplest sugar cookies to more labor intensive items like candies or preserves, there are plenty of recipe options available, regardless of your level of culinary expertise.  Below are some of some of my favorite gifts from the kitchen from years past.  I hope you find a few that inspire you.

cherry-almond-biscotti

spiced-pecans

apple-butter

patedefruits

homemade-nutella

macarons

vanilla-bean-caramels

Russian-tea

tomato-jam

 

strawberrymallows

What are your favorite edible gifts to give and to receive?

21 responses to Gifts from the Kitchen

  1. On December 12, 2011 at 1:43am, Rosa said...

    Great creations and gifts! Those boxes are so cute.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

    • On December 12, 2011 at 6:48pm, Susan said...

      Thanks, Rosa! Happy Holidays! :)

  2. On December 12, 2011 at 2:30pm, Katrina said...

    This is so fun! Love those boxes!

    • On December 12, 2011 at 6:48pm, Susan said...

      Thanks! :)

  3. On December 12, 2011 at 4:53pm, Karen@Mignardise said...

    You’re packaging is fabulous! And I’m sure the treats inside are even better.
    Happy, healthy holidays to you and your family.

    • On December 12, 2011 at 6:49pm, Susan said...

      Thanks, Karen! Same to you! :)

  4. On December 12, 2011 at 5:25pm, Anecia said...

    A girlfriend and I make hampers every year for for all of our friends. This year our hamper included tomato relish, whisky Christmas cake, date loaf, shortbread (plain and orange), gruyere crackers and white chocolate & cranberry cookies. All made over one very long day!

    Your packaging looks fantastic – did you make them yourself or were you able to buy personalised boxes from somewhere?

    • On December 12, 2011 at 6:52pm, Susan said...

      Sounds fabulous! Wish I was on your gift list. ;)

      I bought the boxes and ribbons at Bake It Pretty, and made the labels and gift tags myself.
      http://www.bakeitpretty.com/

  5. On December 12, 2011 at 9:26pm, Phyllis Kirigin said...

    Susan,
    All great ideas with fabulous photos, too. Love your packaging, too. You have inspired me. My favorite gift to make and give are my stained glass cookies http://sweetpaprika.wordpress.com/2010/11/29/stained-glass-cookies/ Happy holidays!

  6. On December 12, 2011 at 9:30pm, Elies_Lie said...

    when there’s “homemade” on the label I love them all!!
    I plan to make a homemade gift also this week since x’mas celebration in my chrurch is on 18 dec…
    loves the photos and loves the idea, tq for sharing and nice to meet u ;)

  7. On December 13, 2011 at 9:32am, Rachel (S[d]OC) said...

    I used to do a lot of cookie baking for gifts for the holidays, but the problem is I never know if people really want them. It turns out someone doesn’t like chocolate (weirdos!) or is allergic to nuts, or watching their calories. My father and stepmother even told me they threw out the cookies I baked them one years because they didn’t want temptation in the house.

    Of course my husband complains that every time I bake, I take the stuff elsewhere, so he told me he wants me to bake him cookies for Christmas!

    Hope those fruit pates didn’t come from any snooty French companies who send you a box of thawed out goop!

  8. On December 16, 2011 at 7:14pm, Anne Galivan said...

    For many years my daughter and I have been baking cookies to give out: some go to neighbors and the last couple of years I also have given them to my son to take to the golf course he works at and my husband takes some to work also (I already have had one of his best clients pestering me for cookies!)

    Every year we make Snickerdoodles. From year to year we change up the other choices. Last year I discovered a recipe for Norwegian Butter Cookies that are going to become a regular fixture as well. And your Sweet and Spicy Pecans are going on the “menu” this year too. We will round out the assortment with Pecan Nut Drop Cookies because they are my 18-year old’s favorite.

    • On December 19, 2011 at 9:30am, Susan said...

      Sounds like a lovely tradition. I can never get my daughter interested in baking with me. I’m so glad you found something from my list to add to your “menu”! The pecans are one of my favorites! :)

  9. On December 18, 2011 at 10:02pm, ALICIA said...

    I just discovered this blog tonight and I have repinned you about 5 times on Pinterest already! You now have a new fan ma’am!!

    • On December 19, 2011 at 9:31am, Susan said...

      Thank you, Alicia! I’m thrilled that you found me! :)

  10. On December 20, 2011 at 12:54pm, Jill Mant (SaucyCooks) said...

    They look good enough to eat, or maybe even shellac and display! How do we get on your “friends and family list”?

  11. On February 18, 2012 at 6:26pm, Diane said...

    Oh my god…I have just found you – been scrolling thru recipes….cannot wait to try so many of them…..sharing your blog with everyone I know…..

  12. On February 18, 2012 at 6:32pm, Diane said...

    Looks like I best invest in a candy thermometer:-)

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kiss the cook!

Hello and welcome to SGCC! I’m Susan, a professional writer, food columnist, recipe developer, wife, mother, daughter and sister, who used to be a lawyer in a previous life. My love of food comes from a long line of wonderful and creative Italian home cooks who didn’t always have a lot, but knew how to make a lot out of what they had. I hope that you enjoy yourself while you’re here, and visit often! read more >>

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