What homemade Christmas gifts are you making or baking this year?
Our gift baskets/bags/boxes usually hold 3-4 items. Every year, we (I) struggle to find a balance between old favorites that we have to make and new things that we (I) want to make. All while staying on-budget and trying not to end the night of the 23rd with me in a panic, wondering why I (just me!) once again tried to take on too much.
But it really isn’t Christmas without:
- Sea Salt Caramels with Vanilla Bean – They’re a favorite of The Foodie Groom, his younger brother, and small cousins. And instead of making several batches of the caramels last year, I made jars of salted caramel sauce instead. And wouldn’t you know, the first thing one of those cousins said to me was, “I can’t wait to get my caramels!” 😳 The kids will not be denied their candy this year.
- Red, White, and Green Biscotti – They’re a big hit with the Foodie Groom’s grandmother, aunt, and my mother-in-law. And they’re my favorite. They get double or triple portions of what goes into our standard gift bags.
- Homemade Vanilla Extract – The serious bakers usually get a bottle of homemade vanilla extract.
This year, we’ve decided on two additional items: a box of chocolate bark in two flavors (Swirled Peppermint Bark and “Grasshopper” Chocolate Bark) and a jar of homemade jalapeno pepper jelly. I’ve already made the pepper jelly and chocolate bark is relatively low-maintenance, requiring only chopping, melting, and pouring. The flavor combinations are pretty much endless and everyone loves it. We all win! And hopefully one of us (me!) will be a little less stressed out on the 23rd 🙂
Your basket is going to be lovely! I put bark, crinkle cookies and caramels in mine too. I also put Oreo truffles Nanaimo bars and other cookies 🙂
Grasshopper chocolate bark?!? Yum! Your baskets sound fabulous!
I really wanted to put some together this year (like I usually do) but I am having a hard time figuring out the logistics of getting it from San Diego to Ohio with out sacrificing much needed luggage space.
All I gotta say is whoever is on your list is darn lucky 🙂
I’m taking a page from your book this year and everyone is only getting gift baskets…and actually, most of the stuff is coming from here. 🙂 Red pepper jelly, vanilla bean caramels, hot chocolate, marshmallows of some kind, wooden teaspoons dipped in chocolate, peppermint patties, granola, and caramel corn. It’s a good thing I’m only working 4 days between now and Christmas!
Ummmm, can you add me to your gift basket list please?. . . . just kidding, sort of 😉
They look amazing, and now I have dreams about that red, white, and green biscotti!
I’m trying to convince my family to do this! My mom makes some amazing salsa and my dad makes his own beef jerky. And I’ve already got lots of jars of homemade vanilla extract that could be added!
I have an amazing recipe for praline sauce, so we do that…sometimes with pancake mix or something of the sort…or ice cream sundae stuff, brownies, etc. Its pretty much amazing on everything. 😉
& of course, peppermint bark, banana bread, OH! & of course, ICEBOX SHORTBREAD. So few ingredients, stress, etc. & SO easy to package & so festive too.
Awesome! I put homemade gingersnaps, candy cane sugar cookies and chocolate crinkles.
I put your hot chocolate, red, white and green biscotti, cream cheese cranberry bread in mini tins, Annie’s chocolate chip scones (dry ingredients only with directions) and my own fudge. I had such a great time making them this year since I knew EVERYTHING was to die for! My son and daughter’s school gifts are all taken care of. Next weekend, I finish it off for friends and work. LOVE this time of year. 🙂
I just made those caramels on Saturday! Those are gifts, as well as homemade vanilla extract. We think alike! 🙂
Chocolate dipped Pretzels, hot chocolate, dipped peppermint meringues, fudge, caramels, caramel corn, marshmallows. All handmade…it’s been a busy few weeks. Bagged with labels and ready to deliver. Plew. Fun but not sure I’ll go so crazy next year! 😉
Your gift basket items sound absolutely divine! Lucky ducks! I went pretty simple this year – three different kinds of cookies and homemade vanilla extract. Next year I think I may experiment with making some flavored salts…
Ah, yes, the neighbor baskets… I haven’t figured it out yet, but I do know homemade marshmallows have to be included. Much like your caramels, folks are starting to expect them!
So many awesome gifts, you guys! I’d be stoked to get any one of those baskets 🙂
I would love to see pictures of the finished baskets!