The holidays are here, which means the gift buying madness has been in full swing for almost a month. Scrambling at the last minute to find some presents for that relative you really just don’t know what to get for them so you put it off until Christmas Eve, then spend the whole day freaking out what to get…and end up grabbing something out of frustration to wrap up for them. We’ve all been there. In fact, that’s how a lot of people do it! Giving people homemade food as presents kills so many birds with one stone. First of all, food gift baskets look amazing. Second, if the food items are homemade, they’ll be impressed and feel special that you made it for them. Third, even if it’s not homemade, you still took the time and effort to personally put together a basket just for them. And last but not least…food disappears. Which means that you don’t have to worry about the item collecting dust just in case they don’t like their gift just as much as you thought they would. So many problems solved. 🙂
In the above picture, the little snowman is a small plastic container I picked up at the Dollar Store, and filled it with green and red M&M’s. Kids usually seem happy to receive chocolate, so this is a great little individual gift that you can put all kinds of different candies in. The lemon poppyseed loaf was actually given to us by my husband’s aunt and uncle. The loaf pan is ceramic, and super cute! Perfect amount for us to have some slices with our morning coffee.
There are so many options when it comes to variety. Usually when I put together gift baskets or tins, sticking with items that only need to be stored at room temperature keeps it simple, rather than forgetting to tell someone that their edible gifts need to be stored in the fridge…and sometimes those results can end badly. Yikes! These tins were picked up at the Dollar Store, then I stuck a bow on top of the red tin, then packaged some cookies in plastic treat bags, and tied with a twistie tie bow.
There are so many several fun ways to package your edible gifts. You can do large gift baskets, small gift baskets, metal tins (which I have used for years, since they’re cheap, cute, and keep things sealed in air tight containers), package them in little plastic baggies with ties (great for individual goodie bags), or even do small trifles in decorated plastic containers. You can pick up a variety of the metal tins at the dollar store, so it keeps your expenses down…and just separate the layers of goodies with wax paper or parchment paper. And if you decide to do different flavors of cupcakes, several stores have decorated cupcake containers to store them in…and if you make a couple of different flavors, you can mix and match the different flavors with who you’re giving them to. Shoot, you can even make quite a few mini bundt cakes with one batch of cake batter, package them individually and BAM! There you go! 😀
If you want to get really creative, like my sister-in-law does for her employees every year, you could do something like this. Here, she made rice krispie treats, shaped them in the form of Christmas trees, then sprinkled them with green sugar crystals. And the cake balls…oh, the cake balls. She did two different flavors, which is why some are red and some are blue (to distinguish the different flavors, of course). When she told me she was baking last weekend and would love some help, I headed on over there. While our kids played together and stalked us in the kitchen, I helped her with these little snowmen. We used two different sized cookie scoops (small and medium) for the different sizes. After we scooped out an even number of each size and stuck them on parchment paper, they went in the fridge to set. Then, we rolled them into smooth little balls, dipped the larger one in melted chocolate with the toothpick sticking out, dipped the smaller ones and didn’t leave the toothpick in, then stuck them together. She used the Reese’s peanut butter bells (seasonal item) as the hats, and piped on the rest of the decorations with colored icing.
Here, my sister-in-law packaged some of the goodies together for her employees. She used a plastic plate as the base, and got some decorative large Christmas bags that went over the plate, then tied it all together with ribbon. Talk about a presentation! Oh yeah, it’s safe to say that her employees are really spoiled with goodies this time of year. 😉
In this particular basket above, I made this for my mother-in-law last year. It has homemade mocha hot chocolate mix, fluffy pancake mix (dry ingredients with instructions), homemade coffee liquor, peanut butter ritz cookies, dark chocolate covered apples, s’mores candy bars, a gift certificate to her favorite restaurant, and chocolate chip cookies.
If you’re going to a family gathering and you need to take something, a trifle is always a wonderful item to take. I’ve had many people rant and rave over the Tiramisu Trifle and Oreo Trifle that have shown up at different events…and for good reason! They are absolutely delicious!
Cookies and brownies are always a safe bet, but there are sooo many options to choose from…so here are a few room temperature item suggestions:
White Chocolate Macademia Nut Cookies
Brownie Cookies, Triple Layer Brownies and Pillow Cookies (double whammy with brownies and cookies, all in one!)
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Peanut Butter Ritz Cookies
Chocolate Covered Oreos
Peanut Butter Mississippi Mud Brownies
Double Peanut Butter Brownies
Red Velvet Oreo Truffle Brownie Bars
Peanut Butter Shortbread Bites
S’mores Candy Bars
Chocolate Covered Almond Clusters
Dark Chocolate Covered Apples
Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars
Rice Krispie Treats
Apple Pie Cookies
Now, if storing treats in the fridge isn’t an issue, here are a few store-in-the-fridge goodies:
Sopapilla Cheesecake Pie
Cookies ‘n Cream Fudge
Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars
Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries
Mini Cherry Cheesecakes
Mini Oreo Cheesecakes
Black Bottom Pumpkin Pies
Again, one of the many things I personally love about these edible gifts is the fact that the options are endless. You could pick just a few items and make a few small tins, or you could go all out and make tons and tons of stuff, like my grandmother has done for years. 😉 Either way, you end up with happy gift recipients!