Ho, ho, ho!
So, if you’re like me this year, you might be scrambling around for a few last-minute gifts. (Seriously, where did the time go?)
Here’s a dozen ideas for delicious gifts you can make at home in the few days before Christmas and New Year’s.
I’ve never met anyone who would really argue with a bag of homemade cookies. Hands down, this is one of my all-time favorite cookies. It’s a classic chocolate chip cookie dough that’s been packed full of crushed Oreos and then baked until just crisp.
This stuff is seriously delicious. And because it only lasts for a month, it’s actually the perfect thing to whip up at the eleventh hour.
While we’re on the topic of cocktails, homemade simple syrup is right at home in a gift basket for your favorite barfly.
Package it up with a good bottle of vodka, a few nice martini glasses, and a swank cocktail shaker. Make flavored syrup by adding in different flavorings. (Try pink peppercorns or ginger or orange peel.)
Now, there’s a disclaimer on this one: It’s too late to produce a deep brown vanilla extract before Christmas.
That said, you could certainly bottle up some vanilla beans with a few baking goodies (brownie mix, a pretty bundt pan, nice wooden mixing spoons), with instructions that it will be ready in about 5 weeks.
This is my homemade version of a Take-Five bar (pretzels + peanut butter + chocolate), minus the caramel. I make them in heart shape using mini pretzels, but you could use any small, flat pretzel you can find.
These need to be made a day in advance, so that they can set up overnight. I like to package them up with a couple of mugs and some good hot chocolate mix.
This recipe works just as well with lemon, lime, and grapefruit peel. Pack up a bunch plain, or dip them halfway (or all the way) in bittersweet chocolate.
This is my version of Mexican Wedding cakes. They’re buttery, crumbly, and sweet. Definitely one of my favorite cookies to make around Christmas.
Um, yum! (Need I say more?)
This stuff has been popping up everywhere lately. It’s sweet and tangy and is a great way to boost flavor in everything from appetizers to baked goods. And? It’s super easy to make at home. It makes a great gift for anyone who likes to cook.
This is the easiest fudge I’ve ever made.
Pickles? For Christmas? Are you serious? No, really. (Stop laughing!)
It’s going to sound silly, but this is one of my signature things to bring to a party. Folks really love ’em.
The best part? These pickles don’t need to be canned. They just need to soak overnight in an herb-laced, briny bath. Here’s a variation for Classic Bread & Butter Pickles. If you can’t find pickling cukes, just use small, regular cucumbers.