What do you give a person who has everything? Something good to eat, of course! A homemade treat is always appreciated by friends and family—and chances are you'll have a good time making them, too.
1. MILK CHOCOLATE BARK CANDY
Once upon a time, you had to use a double boiler to make chocolate bark, but this recipe melts your ingredients in the microwave. The result is Milk Chocolate Bark Candy from Organized Island that looks a lot more complicated than it is. You can vary the toppings according to your tastes and how you want it to look in a gift box.
2. FLAVORED MARSHMALLOWS
It's very possible that some people on your gift list have no idea that you can actually make your own marshmallows, so they'll certainly be impressed to receive a box of homemade flavored marshmallows this holiday season. Dannyelle at Life Is a Party has the recipes for Coffee Marshmallows and Bailey's Chocolate and Vanilla Marshmallows.
Brigadeiros are festive Brazilian candies that look perfect in a gift box. Darcie Hunter's Brigadeiros at Gourmet Creative are made of a base of soft caramel. Then you can separate the batch and add different flavors to the portions, like chocolate, coconut, or pumpkin spice, and use several decorating options. Then you'll have an assortment of attractive candies to pack for each gift.
4. CURRIED LENTIL SOUP MIX
When you give the gift of a homemade soup mix, your friend or loved one can have a meal, partially prepared by you, whenever they please. A jar of Curried Lentil Soup Mix is a matter of layering the ingredients nicely in a jar, and attaching the cooking instructions with a ribbon. You'll also want to share the full recipe, because they may want to make more.
5. PEPPERMINT HOT CHOCOLATE MIX
Hot cocoa mix is a gift that keeps on giving, and the recipient will think about you every time they make a cup. Just layer up four ingredients nice and pretty, and the recipient can shake it all together themselves. The recipe for Peppermint Hot Chocolate Mix from The Bathonian makes enough for six jars.
6. COOKIE BUTTER
Anyone would love to receive a gift of their favorite cookies in spreadable form. You can use any kind of cookie by following instructions for Homemade Cookie Butter at A Beautiful Mess. Pack it in decorated reusable jars for a personalized and delicious gift.
7. MINT CHOCOLATE PUDDING FUDGE
It's chocolate fudge, revved up for Christmas! The pudding makes them extra silky, and the peppermints and marshmallows on top make them extra festive. You'll find the recipe for Mint Chocolate Pudding Fudge at Kraft.
8. CANDIED MAPLE VANILLA PECANS
Pecans by themselves are a wonderful treat. Add sugar and the flavors of maple and vanilla, and they're worth showing off as a gift to friends and family. The recipe for Candied Maple Vanilla Pecans at Hudson Valley Handy Works is surprisingly quick and easy.
9. PEPPERMINT MERINGUE
Believe it or not, these Peppermint Meringues are only about 15 calories each! Yes, they are made of real sugar, but the largest ingredient is air. The sweet and fluffy treats have even fewer calories when you give them away as gifts. The recipe by Sonja and Alex at A Couple Cooks makes around 45 of them, which should fit in several nice holiday tins.
BONUS: VANILLA EXTRACT
Homemade vanilla extract is possibly the easiest homemade gift you'll ever make, with only two ingredients needed: vanilla beans and vodka. It takes a couple of months to do it right, so you can file this one away for next year. Lindsay Garza explains how to make Homemade Vanilla Extract at Honest Cooking. Luckily, you've got almost a year to find some pretty bottles to put it all in.