Homemade Christmas Gifts don’t have to be limited to sock puppets and handkerchiefs! (You’ll already know that if you’ve Homemade Christmas Gift Ideas Part One!) I thought I’d gather up all my ideas of Homemade Gourmet Food Gifts.
Everyone loves homemade gourmet food, but you need to remember the Golden Rule of Gift Giving: know thy audience! So, if your friend is allergic to nuts, peanut brownies are a bad choice. Dieters probably won’t appreciate chocolate cake – but biscotti have only around a hundred calories each and can be enjoyed by everyone.
Finally, think about when you’ll give your gift, and when it will be eaten. Scones and quickbreads that taste best on the day they’re made aren’t the best choice for food gifts. Unless you’re absolutely certain that your homemade food gift will get eaten on the day, choose something which will ‘keep’ such as…photo © 2008 Razvan Caliman | more info (via: Wylio)
- Gourmet Coffee Syrup – a splash of this will turn a regular coffee into something delightful! The simple syrup is easy to mix up, and tastes divine. Because there’s no actual coffee in the recipe, it’s great for kids too. And why save it for coffee? It would taste just as good drizzled over ice cream… Check out the recipe for Gourmet Coffee Syrup here.
- Preserves – preserves are the original Gifts in a Jar! There’s nothing nicer than a gift of three or four shining jars of jam, marmalade, jelly or chutney snuggled together in a cute basket. Baskets can be bought cheaply second hand, and making preserves year round with seasonal produce which makes this a very cost-effective gift that’s quick to put together at Christmas. (If the jars seal properly, jams will last at least a year!) Check out my posts on preserves here, or search the web for a recipe that takes your fancy.
- Biscotti – biscotti are hard, dry biscuits which are perfect for dipping in tea! They will last a month in an airtight container, which makes them perfect for Christmas gifts. I love Cranberry, Chocolate and Cashew Biscotti – they’re festive and oh-so-tasty! This is my favourite biscotti recipe – I always double it and add a block of roughly chopped chocolate.
- Flavoured Vinegars – what can I say – yum! Flavoured vinegars are simple to make and taste delicious. Check out some simple instructions for making flavoured vinegars here. (Note – homemade flavoured oils are a popular gift idea, but they carry the risk of botulism, so play it safe and stick to vinegar.)
- Potted Herbs – Growing potted herbs is simple, and they make lovely gifts. If you plan ahead and start with seeds, this gift will only cost a few dollars to make. Cheap plastic pots can be wrapped up to make them look that little bit fancier! Why not personalise the gift to the recipient’s tastes? For example, Italiano lovers would enjoy basil and oregano. Check out this simple guide to growing potted herbs.
- Easy Gourmet Food Hamper – this ideas isn’t exactly homemade, but it is quick and easy! Just race around the supermarket and pick up some things that the recipient will enjoy. Try jams, teas, fancy relishes and crackers. You can theme the hamper any way you like, too. Try a Cocktail Party Hamper, with loads of crackers and little things for nibbling, or an Antipasto Hamper, with pickled artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes, and olives. Or why not a picnic hamper? Throw together some bread-and-butter pickles with some cute glass bottles of fizzy drink – all they’ll need to add is a loaf of bread and a picnic blanket! Hunt out second hand baskets and antique napkins and tablecloths for a stylish (and cheap!) gift presentation.
What homemade gifts are you going to make this year? Let us know in the comments!