11 Freshly Baked Gifts For Everyone On Your List

iStock
iStock

Whether it's a crispy cookie or a perfectly frosted cupcake, baked goods are one of life's greatest pleasures. And thanks to the miracles of modern shipping, you can have them sent directly to someone's door.

1. T-REX COOKIE COMPANY GIANT SEA SALT CARAMEL CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES; $55

T-Rex Cookie Company Giant Sea Salt Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies
T-Rex Cookie Company

Named the "Best Cookie in America" by Time Out, these 8-inch-wide behemoths are embedded with chocolate chips, caramel chunks, and glittery flakes of sea salt. They're crafted in Minneapolis by baker Tina Rexing, who has spent 20 years getting the recipe just right. The package contains five cookies, and each half-pound treat supposedly serves three. (But we won't judge if the giftee eats it all by themselves.)

Find It: Goldbely

2. REDTRUCK BAKERY LEMON AND BLUEBERRY MOONSHINE CAKE; $34

The Red Truck Bakery's lemon moonshine cake next to a bottle of moonshine
Red Truck Bakery

Chocolate is fine and all, but what about booze? This rural bakery in Virginia has been named one of the best small-town bakeries in America, and their mail-order moonshine cakes frequently receive accolades. The 8-inch ring cake is "made with real Virginny corn whiskey hooch from our pals in the next county," according to the folks at Red Truck. Add plenty of lemon zest, dried blueberries, and a sugar glaze, and you've got a refreshing (if potent) dessert.

Find It: Goldbely

3. ANCHOR BAKERY DOUGHNUT OF THE MONTH CLUB SUBSCRIPTION; $25 PER MONTH

These mini-donuts from Anaheim's Anchor Bakery are free of additives and preservatives, so the post-doughnut glow can linger a little longer. The subscription includes a dozen of their monthly featured flavors, and comes in three-month, six-month, and 12-month subscriptions—for people who love doughnuts, but not commitment.

Find It: Anchor Bakery

4. SWEETIE PIES BAKERY PUMPKIN PIE; $40

Sweetie Pies pumpkin pie
Sweetie Pies

There’s nothing quite like digging into the creamy custard of a pumpkin pie encircled by a perfectly flaky crust, and Sweetie Pie delivers (literally). In fact, Food & Wine says this is the best mail-order pumpkin pie in America. Plus, it’s topped pretty with pastry leaves for a rustic-looking decorative flourish.

Find It: FoodyDirect

5. MILK BAR B'DAY TRUFFLES; $25

These little truffles from the inventive Milk Bar bakery pack in all the joy you felt eating birthday cake as a kid—they're moist vanilla rainbow cake mixed with vanilla-infused milk, coated with white chocolate and rolled in rainbow cake crumbs. And the lack of candles means there's no need to pretend it's anyone's birthday.

Find It: Goldbely

6. WE TAKE THE CAKE RED VELVET CUPCAKES; $52

This Oprah-approved South Florida bakery has been shipping cupcakes around the country since before it was cool. Their eight large cupcakes arrive topped with both cream cheese frosting and a delicate buttercream flower and pearl, packaged in a custom cake box that’s nestled in a dry ice cooler to keep things fresh. If red velvet isn't your thing, they also have chocolate, coconut, and golden butter options (or get an assortment to try all three).

Find It: We Take the Cake

7. BREADS BAKERY CHOCOLATE BABKA PIE; $53

For those unfamiliar with babka, imagine a chocolate croissant married with brioche cake, only better and more Eastern European. Named "Best of NY chocolate babka" by New York Magazine, this creation presents babka in the shape of a pie, for a holiday delight that is sure to wow the recipient.

Find It: Foodydirect

8. KILLER BROWNIES THE ORIGINAL; $5

For some people, nothing less than a brownie will do for the ultimate treat. Send them these pecan-studded goodies filled with gooey caramel, and watch them die of happiness.

Find It: Shopdldm.com

9. PERFECT PIE HUCKLEBERRY AND BLUEBERRY PIE; $35

Perfect Pie's huckleberry and blueberry piece
Perfect Pie

Berry pie aficionados will love this fragrant dessert. Created by former White House pastry chef Bill Yosses, the "It's Pie Day" Huckleberry and Blueberry Pie features Northwest Passage huckleberries and Maine blueberries in a buttery crust. The pie arrives in a handcrafted birchwood presentation box to make it feel even more special.

Find It: Perfect Pie

10. CALLIE'S CHARLESTON BISCUITS CINNAMON BISCUITS; $40

Callie's Charleston Biscuits Cinnamon Biscuits in a red package
Callie's Charleston Biscuits

What can make your favorite person's morning coffee a bit better? These cinnamon biscuits baked in Charleston, South Carolina. Send them to someone living in a biscuit desert and watch the thank-you notes roll in.

Find It: Callie's Biscuits

11. ZINGERMAN'S BREAD CLUB; PRICES VARY

An assortment of Zingerman's bread
Zingerman's

Zingerman’s Deli in Ann Arbor is known for its hearth-baked breads, and they have an exclusive club for carb-lovers: Zingerman's Bread Club. You can choose from three-month and six-month options, with one or two loaves arriving each month. Many of the options are savory—think sourdough and rustic peasant breads—but there's also cinnamon-raisin and chocolate varieties sprinkled throughout, for those who like their mail-order surprises with a bit of sugar.

Find It: Zingerman’s

8 New Skills You Can Learn at Home

Ridofranz/ iStock via Getty Images Plus
Ridofranz/ iStock via Getty Images Plus

Whether you're looking to give your career a boost or simply want to enrich your life a bit, the easiest place to start is by learning a new skill. And with the recent boom in online courses, it's never been easier to add a new line to your resume without even leaving your home. Check out these convenient courses you can take from Rosetta Stone, Udemy, Coursera, and edX.

1. The Science of Well-Being; $49/month

Taught by Yale psychology professor Laurie Santos, this course is all about building up productive habits that can lead to positive changes in life, while pointing out the self-sabotaging thoughts that can sometimes get in the way. By learning about the science behind how we perceive happiness and our own well-being, this course aims to build a better, more informed mindset to help you reach your goals. The individual courses are technically free, but if you want a certificate at the end, you'll have to pay for Coursera's $49-per-month plan.

Buy it: Coursera

2. Writing Short Stories: The Essential Guide; $19-$95

Writing a short story is about more than just coming up with a plot and some characters—if you want to sell it, you need to understand the literary marketplace and how to properly pitch to an editor. The on-demand videos and downloadable resources offered by this course guide you through writing fundamentals like tone, tense, and proper endings, as well as the realities of the business, such as payments and, perhaps most importantly, dealing with rejection.

Buy it: Udemy

3. Complete Guitar System: Beginner to Advanced; $30-$200

This course is led by Erich Andreas, who has over 30 years of experience teaching guitar lessons. The class features over 300 lectures, 34 hours of video, and over 100 downloadable resources to help you learn step-by-step methods for mastering chords, songs, scales, and much more.

Buy it: Udemy

4. Introduction to Python Programming; $396

Python is one of the world's most widely used computer programming languages, and this self-paced certification will teach the basics with no experience required. Estimated to take about five months, these classes cover the fundamentals of the Python world, like code writing and revisions. As the classes grow more complex, you'll learn about advanced control structures, data structures, and algorithms. It's the most intense certificate on this list, but with the robust job market available to computer programmers, these skills may prove to be invaluable.

Buy it: edX

5. Learn a New Language; $79-$300

Rosetta Stone's language-learning software allows you to take classes in Spanish, German, Italian, and plenty more, on your own time and on whatever device you want. With interactive exercises, games, and stories to read, this is a great way to take language classes while still keeping your busy work and social schedule intact. The cost varies based on your subscription preference, and you can check out the updated pricing options here.

Buy it: Rosetta Stone

6. Introduction to Self-Determination Theory; $49/month

Like anything else, self-determination is a skill that you can learn and perfect with the right practice. This course will go into the science of motivation and psychological development and explore how both of those aspects are influenced by those around you. From there, you’ll learn how to practically apply self-determination to your education, work, and much more.

Buy it: Coursera

7. G Suite Administrator Fundamentals; $49/month

Google's cloud technology and digital services are becoming a vital tool in business, and with this course, you'll learn how to manage the complete offerings of the company's G Suite, including Gmail, Calendar, Docs, Drive, and more. But you'll learn more than just how to use each one; this certificate is all about becoming a G Suite administrator for large groups. So you'll learn how to create and delete accounts on custom domains, how to manage those accounts, how to spot potential security breaches, and the best way to use all of these tools for your particular business or project. The course itself is offered by Google, and you can take it at your own pace on whatever device you wish. With four classes total, as well as a hands-on project, the G Suite Administrator Fundamentals certificate should take around a month or so to complete.

Buy it: Coursera

8. Essential Cooking Skills; $19-$45

Cooking at home helps save money and can lead to better nutritional choices, but first, you'll need the right set of skills. In this series of courses, you'll get instructions on culinary foundations, like blanching vegetables, making stock, perfecting an omelet, and more. Once you've built up this body of basic knowledge, you can combine it all to give your homemade dinners a bit more flair.

Buy it: Udemy

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

This Card Game Lets You Bring The New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest to Your Living Room

What Do You Meme/Amazon
What Do You Meme/Amazon

Each week, The New Yorker releases a cartoon without a caption and calls on readers to submit their ideas. If you’re looking to hone your skills for your next entry, or you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to judge a competition, you can do both in The New Yorker Cartoon Caption Game. It’s available now on Amazon for $30.

The game is suitable for three to 20-plus players. To start, the oldest player draws three cartoon cards from the deck of 200 and picks their favorite one. They then place the card on the included easel, covering the actual caption. The players write and hand in their best ideas, and the judge reads them out loud to decide the winner. A new judge will take over at the beginning of the next round, so it won't just be one sense of humor dominating the game.

The New Yorker Cartoon Caption Game on Amazon.
What Do You Meme?/Amazon

Made by the same company that created What Do You Meme ($30), the game can take anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes. Along with the easel and 200 cartoon cards, a complete set comes with 300 pieces of paper to write on, instructions, and six pencils.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

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