Homemade vanilla extract: Photo by Kristen Massad

Homemade vanilla extract: Photo by Kristen Massad

With the hustle and bustle that goes on during the holidays, I love the idea of edible gifting. This is an inexpensive way to share a favorite recipe or family tradition with the ones you love. Whether it is homemade or purchased at your favorite neighborhood store, keep it simple and make something special with creative packaging.

1. Homemade vanilla extract
One of the most popular ingredients in baking, homemade vanilla extract is a perfect holiday gift. Choose your favorite alcohol: vodka, rum or bourbon along with whole vanilla beans. Give the extract one month to infuse before packaging and gifting for your favorite baker.

2. Chocolate-peppermint caramel corn
Caramel corn is a classic but can only get better when you add a drizzle of white and dark chocolate, and a sprinkle of peppermint. It will keep you coming back for another bite — the perfect party snack or gift.

3. Nut and dried fruit boxes
A simple and elegant gift mixed with a variety of dried fruit and nuts, this is a great gift that doesn’t get your hands dirty in the kitchen. Check out your local gourmet market and find an assortment of sweet, spicy, and chocolate- or candy-coated nuts and dried fruit. Packaged in a basket or tray, this pairs perfectly with a bottle of wine.

4. S’mores kit
Cold weather, burning fireplaces and roasted marshmallows are the best memories of a busy holiday. Share the love with adults or kids by gifting an adorable s’mores kit. Clear acrylic boxes, graham crackers, large marshmallows and chocolate bars are all you need to create this sweet package from craft blog Twig & Thistle.

5. Seasonal flavored butter
Edible gifting is not always sweet. Combine your favorite fresh herbs or citrus zest with room-temperature butter. Transfer the chilled log of flavored butter into a layer of plastic wrap and onto parchment paper, rolling it up and tying the ends with kitchen twine or jute. It’s a great foodie gift from gourmet food blog The Fromagette.

6. Herb salt
Use any dried herbs you have in your kitchen cabinet for this gift idea from The Pretty Blog. Herb salt can be made well in advance with rosemary, oregano, thyme, parsley or basil mixed with sea salt for a great addition to any meat, fish or vegetable dish.

7. Cookie gift box
If you need the perfect gift for office mates, this is it: a selection of petite cookies sectioned off in small ornament boxes wrapped in cellophane. The recipe from Sweet Paul Magazine requires no baking.

8. Rosemary roasted almonds
For this recipe from Two Peas and Their Pod, whole almonds are seasoned with fresh rosemary, a dash of chili powder and salt, and then roasted in the oven, filling your home with an amazing aroma. The almonds are a great source of protein, packed with flavor, to balance all the sweets being consumed this month.


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