My mom worked at a school when I was growing up, and to this day, some of the gifts she received — like Mrs. Anderson’s pumpkin bread and Mrs. Hutcheson’s spiced tea mix — are among my favorite holiday traditions. Now, as a busy mom on a budget, one of my favorite ways to save money while still giving to all the people who make a difference in my family’s life, is to hand out homemade food gifts.
When you make these recipes in large batches, you can cover quite a few gifts in just a few hours of work. If you shop at bulk stores, it’s pretty affordable too. And then you can give to everyone from family to teachers, coaches to your UPS delivery person. None of them will be able to resist a big batch of gingerbread granola or red velvet crinkle cookies.
And, of course, don’t forget to also check out the rest of our 2016 holiday gift guide where we’ve got you covered with everything from gifts to get kids in the kitchen to outrageous gifts for cooks who have (or want!) it all, and hostess gifts for foodie friends under $50 to fantastic food-themed stocking stuffers.
You can also enter to win our holiday prize pack valued at over $500 on any of these posts and here too. In fact, you can enter to win on all of them to increase your chances of winning. Yay!
— Don’t miss your chance to win a holiday prize pack valued at more than $500! Details below. —
Holiday food gifts tend to go heavy on the sweets, so we love the idea of gifting someone this jar of Fiery Mustard at Larder Love. It’s the perfect dab of spice to add to a cheese tray or charcuterie plate for a holiday or NYE party this year.
Go ahead and make extra of this delicious, easy-to-make Gingerbread Granola at Zagleft, because you deserve a delicious gift too. You can eat yours straight off of the baking sheet, but for every one else, simply fill a mason jar and tie it with a bow. Done!
Cranberry Orange Serrano Pepper Jam
‘Tis the season for cranberries, and this spicy Cranberry Orange Serrano Pepper Jam at Happy and Harried is packed with delicious, unexpected flavors. Include some tips for serving it — great on leftover turkey sandwiches, served with crackers and melted Brie, or on warm buttery biscuits with Christmas ham — on a cute tag to make it even more personal.
Parmesan Rosemary Snack Mix
Make a few jars of this savory Parmesan Rosemary Snack Mix at Funny Love Blog to keep on hand for last-minute gifts throughout the season. We think that this makes an especially great hostess gift, because it can immediately go on the buffet. That is, if your hostess is willing to share.
Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies
A box of homemade holiday cookies, like these Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies at A Cupcake for Love, will never go over poorly. Of course, you can use any of our favorite Christmas cookie recipes — or all of them — in your gift boxes instead, but these are particularly pretty for gifting. Important note: The recipe is in grams, but you can convert measures to ounces or cups on Google. Phew.
Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate on a Stick
There are so many clever, kitschy food gift ideas all over Pinterest, but our favorite is still the fun and very useable hot-chocolate-on-a-stick idea, especially if it’s this Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate on a Stick at Cookie Named Desire. Because salted caramel + hot chocolate = yum. Want alternatives? Skip the salted caramel and add crushed peppermint, peanut butter cups, or Andes mints instead.
Garden Herb Salt
There is so much food happening around this time of year that we love the idea of giving something that can be used a few weeks or even months down the road, like this Garden Herb Salt Mix at Uproot Kitchen. Your friends who love to cook can use this to season their dinners throughout the year, and they’ll likely think of you each time they do. Aww.
Gourmet Hot Chocolate Mixes
A mug of homemade hot chocolate is so much better than one made with those industrial packets, especially when you embellish with fun ingredients. That’s why we love the Hot Chocolate Mixes at Gringlicious. Adding treats like peanut butter cups or peppermints to the base mix gives hot chocolate a gourmet twist that’s so easy to make and downright delicious.
Pro tip: Be sure to alternate the light layers with darker cocoa to give the jars that pretty look.
We love gingerbread recipes of any kind, so these Gingerbread Biscotti drizzled with chocolate at My Ginger Garlic Kitchen immediately had us. These make a perfect gift for faculty and staff at your child’s school. Add a Starbucks card for their homeroom teachers, and you’re all set.
EXTRA COOL: WIN IT!
We’re always happy to help you find the perfect gifts for friends and family, but just as much, we love treating you with gifts too! With the support of Blue Apron, we’ve put together a holiday prize pack valued at over $500 for one lucky winner, which includes:
– 4 weeks of two-recipe Blue Apron Family Plan boxes
– A fabulous maple cutting board
– A gorgeous handcrafted 5.8″ Japanese petty knife
– An awesome Kitchen Drawer set, which includes a ton of must-have kitchen utensils
– A must-have 10-piece prep bowl set and a lovely apron
To enter for a chance to win:
1. Subscribe to Cool Mom Eats. If you’re already a subscriber, leave us a comment telling us that you are. (Be sure to use the same email that you subscribed with so we can double-check. Don’t worry, no one can see it but us.)
For additional entries:
1. Follow Cool Mom Eats on Twitter AND tweet a link to this post with the hashtag #CMEHoliday. Be sure to tweet something fun, like “I am LOVING this year’s @coolmomeats #CMEHoliday guide! http://bit.ly/2hhZsT8” Hey, you can even share your favorite gift idea seen here. You can get up to 6 additional entries (one for every post in our guide).
2. Like Cool Mom Picks on Facebook AND share a link to this post on your feed. Make sure to send your link (or screenshot if it’s a private update) to email@example.com with CME CONTEST in the subject to be entered. You can get up to 6 additional entries (one for every post in our guide).
Contest ends at 11:59 pm PST on December 26, 2016. Void where prohibited. US only please, 18+, see official contest and giveaway rules for details. Good luck!
More ideas from the 2016 Cool Mom Eats holiday gift guide:
* 17 creative gourmet food gifts to make even your fussiest friends drool.
* Outrageous gifts for cooks who have (or want) it all.
* Fabulous hostess gifts for foodie friends under $50.
* Awesome gift ideas to get kids in the kitchen.
* Fantastic food-themed stocking stuffers.