Homemade Food Gifts

This is the time of year to give.  And to gain ten pounds between Thanksgiving and New Years.

So as long as everyone’s in the cooking, baking, and eating spirit, why not skip the mall and give that someone special on your list the gift of food.

I’m pretty sure everyone I know would rather have a dozen cookies than a pair or socks.

Here are a few food gift ideas:



Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies (combines my three fave kinds of cookies into one.  Super soft ‘n chewy.  Tied for First Place as my fave cookie on my blog)

Dark Chocolate Chocolate-Chip Cookies Stuffed with Chocolate Covered Strawberries (Try TJ’s for a large selection of chocolate-covered dried fruit; or just omit if you can’t find it.  The cookies are great without them.  Very dark and not overly sweet.  A chocaholic’s cookie.)

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies (naturally Gluten Free, with Vegan option. One of the easiest cookies to make – one bowl and five minutes- and always a hit with folks)

Peanut Butter Oatmeal White Chocolate Chip Cookies (Tied with the first cookie in the post as My Fave Cookie.  Soft, chewy, a hint of peanut butter, white chocolate in abundance.  Love these)


Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge (microwave friendly, 5 minutes but no one will guess it was that easy)

White Chocolate Cookies & Cream Fudge (Oreo cookies and chocolate, no bake, easy; and the creamy combined with the Oreo crunch is perfect)

White Chocolate Peanut, Pretzel, & Chocolate Chip Fudge (no bake, microwave friendly; a white chocolate lovers dream)

Puppy Chow

Peanut Butter Chex Mix, aka “Puppy Chow” (vegan, GF.  No-bake, easy, always a party hit)

White Chocolate Vanilla Peanut Butter Puppy Chow (GF, no-bake, easy, addictive!  A fun white twist on the dark chocolate original, above)

Nut Butters & Sauces

Chocolate Coconut Cashew Butter (homemade nut butter is such a treat.  Get your earplugs out and get ready to blend.  Vegan, GF, chocolatey, creamy, wonderful)

Dark Rum Caramel Sauce (rum is optional but adds such a wonderful flavor.  Use homemade caramel sauce on ice cream, in a pumpkin spice latte, in these Caramel Apple Bars, or on top of most anything)


Coconut Cinnamon Sugar Roasted Almonds (vegan, GF.  Omit the coconut oil and roast without if you’re not a ‘coconut person’.  Cinnamon and sugar roasted nuts are always a hit.  Or add a little honey for honey roasted)

Rosemary Chipotle Roasted Almonds (vegan, GF, slight kick from the chipotle; savory, herby, and addictive)

All these ideas and recipes are shelf or refrigerator stable for a very long time.  Or, colder storage in the freezer always works for long-term storage if for some reason you don’t expect the recipient to gobble up what you give her fairly quickly.

The winner of the $75 SpaFinder Giftcard Stress Relief Giveaway is:

Amanda December 9, 2011 at 5:49 am

“All of the family obligations stress me out a little. Don’t get me wrong – I love my family – but sometimes it doesn’t leave me with enough “me” time to just unwind. Getting in a morning workout helps to get rid of a lot of that stress and sets a positive tone for the day. “:)

Congrats, Amanda!


Have you ever made someone a gift of food?  What was it?  Did he or she love it?

Are you giving any homemade goodies this year?   And if so, what?

If you’re looking for store-bought gifts that won’t break the bank, also see my 10 Gifts Under $10 Dollars post


  1. Last year I made some family members homemade granola and put it in cute mason jars, only to forget them at home when we went to go see them. So I was left with tons of granola and lots of mason jars oops! This year I’m definetely thinking of doing some food items as I’m on a very tight bidget, not sure what yet though. Thanks for some good ideas :)

  2. I can’t believe I won the giveaway! Thank you so much, Averie! :)

    Last year I made white chocolate bark with dried apricots, cranberries, and walnuts. It was based off of a super simple Ina Garten recipe and was a big hit. I love giving homemade foods as gifts – it’s often more personal than something store-bought, and can be a great way to keep from going over budget.

  3. This week I made your fudge and it was a hit! I plan on making your roasted nuts on Christmas day.

  4. because of my 11 year history of bulimia, i shy away from gifting people with food (except for in my current blog giveaway ~ giving away starbucks nuts and KIND bars because both have been strategic in my life after bulimia!). my homemade goodies this year are my christmas cards. they should be finished in exactly three hours! yeah! such a relief! next year, it’s back to papyrus! haha. your cookies look divine. the recurring black cookie with cherry in the center has been calling my name since i started loving your blog. x

  5. I think homemade food gifts are a great gift! They show that you actually took time to make the gift for the person!

  6. those white chocolate and oreos get me everytime i still havent made them and want to so bad! ever since becoming vegan then findin out i was allergic to dairy sometime later, i havent been able to find white chocolate! and the ones online are just so expensive its ridic, but one day ! its my mission! lol

  7. All those fudges look especially appealing to me! Can’t wait to try :)

  8. I love giving (and receiving!) gifts as food. I usually make my Triple Threat Ginger cookies or granola for people. This year, a handful of people who I know became gluten free, so I’m going to whip up some GF goodies for them. I might adapt one of your roasted almonds recipes for roasted walnuts for a almond-intolerant friend!

  9. I enjoy making homemade food gifts for people. I think it comes more from the heart.

  10. For today’s potluck (three this week!) I’m bringing chocolate date balls. That’s what I’m bringing everywhere this year, so I can remember next year not to bring the same thing.
    Not actually fixing anything as a gift, though.

    By the way, I know how crazy you are about your mini-donuts. Here’s an idea for when you’re ready to take the next step: http://imgur.com/KoOBh

    • making those mini donuts, along with sewing barbie clothes, or drinking my tea out of thimbles would be…perfect :)

      i have come to realize that the mini donuts are cute but way too much of a PITA to be bothered with by and large!

      I love your strategy “That’s what I’m bringing everywhere this year, so I can remember next year not to bring the same thing.”

  11. I used to make homemade hot cocoa mix for everyone and now they request it, it is super easy. All of your homemade gifts look great, I really would want to keep them all for myself though :)

  12. Normally every year I make TONS of homemade goodies to share, but this year we went a different route… we’re making sushi making packets for everyone! Still homemade, but not sweets. I may still throw in some goodies, just cause I LOVE making them. Happy weekend to ya!

  13. Great ideas. I’ve bookmarked it so I can make my “baking for friends” checklist. You’ve got everything on there, good job! I can assume that these were not all taken in one day…or one week??!

  14. Great gift inspiration here! I’ll probably be sending lots of kale chips, raw balls, and other dehydrator goodies as gifts this year.

  15. I made my moms boss a cheesecake for his birthday this year :)! He’s also her best-friend haha. He loved loved it.

  16. What a great idea for work! I have a large department so baking is perfect!

  17. Handmad,e DIY gifts are my MO. I’m totally adding the white puppy chow to my baking list. I want to make it now but that is just a bad idea. I’ll make them when there are a lot of other people around to help me eat them. Otherwise, that 10 pounds? More like 20. ;)

  18. Hmm, I don’t know. Dustin would love everything on this page, including the socks. Fudge and socks are two of his favorite things in the whole world, so I think it could go either way with him, LOL. He’d love to eat everything on this page, except maybe the PB cookies. He doesn’t care for PB cookies but likes everything else PB. He’s odd. I need to make him some fudge or puppy chow. Maybe when we make xmas cookies. :)

    And I would love to receive anything sweet on this page instead of what I’ll probably get, haha.

  19. I always give homemade gifts. Cookies, bars, and other random holiday treats. Fun and tasty for me, and I definitely agree people would rather have tasty goodies than socks.

  20. These look like the best gifts ever. (Especially the food ones.) The only problem is that I’d probably eat all of them before I get a chance to give them away. Oops.

  21. I can’t wait to get home and bake more than I can eat, so I am sure some friends will be getting edible presents :-)

  22. Hehe, I just blogged about the gingerbread I made a friend for Christmas earlier this week. I get major anxiety whenever I give people recipes I’ve never made before but fortunately my friend loved it. I always know they aren’t just being nice when they polish off one and immediately reach for another….

  23. Whoa! What an amazing collection of goodies you have here. I believe you just made this diabetic’s blood sugar soar, just by looking at it all! ;)

  24. Yes, yes, and yes :-)

    This year’s goodies are cookies (including your flourless chocolate peanut butter cookies) and some awesome roasted spiced nuts that I’ve put my own unique spin on. Can’t wait to see what everyone thinks.

  25. My dehydrator’s running right now preparing the first of my good gift batches. Great compilation you have there. And hey, I bet my bottom dollar you’re not planning on gaining 10lbs btwn Thanksgiving and Christmas!

  26. LOVE homemade Food gifts. They are seriously the best, and everyone always loves them. This year I made some nut-date balls in all sorts of flavors…and pumpkin pie bars!

  27. haha most of my gifts to people are food :) love homemade food gifts

  28. I hope to make either your peanut butter or cookies and cream fudge for this year! And I would like to try some of your nut butters! I made your Nutter butter special K bars last week and they were so amazingly addictive and wonderful!

  29. You take the best cookie pictures! I love how you capture their “yumminess”! I hardly ever make cookies, but you make me want to try. ( :

  30. I have white chocolate PB oatmeal cookies in my oven right now – thanks for the recipe! I’m thinking cookies and fudge will be on my homemade goodie gift list this year.. yum!

  31. I usually just take homemade goodies to my in-laws and my sister. I haven’t really even given food as gifts, but I like the idea.

  32. Wow! All of those look so yummy! My homemade gift this years is Cognac Whole Grain Mustard with Fresh Pretzels. Can’t wait to see how they turn out :)

  33. Oh my, these are all look far too good. For the last few christmases I have made chocolate food gifts for people. I might try making chutney or jam this year though.

    Loving your holiday pics, it looks amazing! How I wish I was relaxing on a beach right now :)

  34. I’m baking for Christmas this year! I love giving/receiving baked goods as gifts :)

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  37. While I’m grateful for the thought, I wish people would NOT give me food gifts. I’m a celiac as well as a vegan and someone who has numerous food allergies including nuts and chocolate, and I can NEVER eat the cookies and food that people who don’t know me well enough to know my food issues give me. I haveno immediate family to eat this stuff, either. There’s one neighbor I told several years ago about all this, and still she shows up with containers of Xmas cookies containing wheat, dairy, eggs, nuts, etc. I thank her and find someone else to give it to, but I’m running out of people to whom I can “regift.” I hate to throw away the things people take the time to make, but I have no other choice. Count me as one of those people who would love a pair of cute sox instead, or a little plant … or really just a greeting card would be fine. I don’t think people should assume that others can eat what they eat, or whatever happens to be traditional. Sorry If I sound like a Grinch.

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