The holiday giving time is upon us. A homemade, edible gift is ideal for when you’ve tapped your funds or are just trying to make something a little more personal. Plus, a gift made by you is the perfect little something to give to your cocktail or cookie party host. Here are a few ideas for things baked, mixed and blended. (But be sure to check out The Post’s Holiday Gift Guide and Voraciously’s list of 14 essential kitchen gifts, too.)
We’ll start with the goods. The baked goods:
Compost Cookie Granola, above. This sweet, candy-like granola from Milk Bar’s Christina Tosi is loaded with salty pretzels, mini chocolate chips and crushed up graham crackers. It batches up easily and keeps at room temperature for up to a month. If you’re really trying, you could include a jar of jam with the gift, so the recipient can use it to make their own breakfast parfaits.
Sesame Oat Crackers. Making your own crackers is easier than you may think. Bundle these up in wax paper and tie them with a cute ribbon, then perhaps gift with a wedge of nice cheese and a fancy jam.
Middle Eastern Millionaire’s Shortbread. Of course, something sweet is always nice. Make it taste like a million bucks with this recipe from Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh’s 2017 desserts cookbook: It’s a buttery shortbread topped with halvah (sesame candy) and a tahini caramel. Yes, you read that right: Tahini. Caramel. These need to be stored in the refrigerator, so gift them in a small tin or glass container (stacked between layers of wax paper). Or if you’d rather make a sweet that’s slightly simpler and infinitely flexible, go for cake truffles.
Next, jarred and bottled things:
Rose Petal Harissa. This versatile sauce is rich and spicy. It’s flavored with several spices (caraway, cumin, coriander and fennel) and gets the teensiest of sweet boosts from dried rose petals and rose water. The recipe makes a generous two cups, so this would be a nice one to divvy up in smaller jars for multiple gifts. It keeps in the refrigerator for up to two months.
Super Simple Sunflower Seed Butter. Fancy schmancy alternative nut butters are all the rage, but did you know they’re easy to make, too? Here’s a basic sunflower one that takes well to sandwiches or apple slices. To add some flavor, try this cinnamon and vanilla version. Either way, the butter keeps at room temperature for up to a month.
Pistachio Orgeat. Got a friend who loves tiki drinks? Then make a batch of this syrup, which can be used in recipes that call for the traditional almond-based orgeat. You could also include a recipe for a cocktail or two, such as the Thousand-Yard Stare and Trinidad Sour.
Time to mix it up! Here are a few baking mixes and spice blends (read: things that don’t require a refrigerator to store):
Big Batch Dry Mix. Homemade baking mixes that you put in a jar and tie up with a bow seem a little retro, no? It’s a gift that stands the test of time, because it’s so darn versatile. Use this mix to make cakes, cupcakes, muffins, scones or pancakes. Be sure to include an expiration date, though — it needs to be used within three months of mixing.
A homemade spice blend presents both a thoughtful gift and a clever way to clean out your spice drawers. Here are five blends to try from Lior Lev Sercarz, chef and owner of New York spice store La Boite. Also check out Becky Krystal’s tips on mixing up your own spice blends, here.
Holiday Old-Fashioned Sugar Cubes. This is a neither here nor there type gift — it’s not a baked good, although there is baking involved. It’s not a spice blend, but there are spiced things (bitters) within. But we’re tacking it on here because it seems very impressive to make your own sugar cubes and we can picture an adorable handwritten note detailing how to make an Old-Fashioned accompanying a pack of the cubes. The cubes store well at room temperature (in an airtight container) for several months.
More from Voraciously: