What should I bake for Holiday gifts
November 24, 2018 6:18 PM   Subscribe

So traditionally I bake granola and caramel corn to give out to people as gifts since I hate buying adults presents. But I feel like I've been doing that for ages and I'd like to try something new. I've also done biscotti in the past that went over well. Any other suggestions? Item should be tasty and relatively long-lasting.
posted by selfnoise to Food & Drink (19 answers total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
Cocoa and marshmallows. These are not the ones I make, but mine are from a cookbook that doesn’t appear to be online. But they’re similar.
posted by greermahoney at 6:28 PM on November 24, 2018

Best answer: Apple cider caramels. They're easy to make. Reduce the apple cider in a large skillet to make it go much faster. I would also at least double the recipe.
posted by sevenless at 6:35 PM on November 24, 2018 [2 favorites]

I'm doing a couple batches of cranberry bread from the Beard on Bread cookbook, including one that will be mailed halfway across country. Let me know if you want the recipe!
posted by kalimac at 6:40 PM on November 24, 2018 [2 favorites]

Candied citrus peel!!
posted by OrangeVelour at 6:48 PM on November 24, 2018

Orangette (candied orange peel dipped in chocolate)
posted by jazzbaby at 6:52 PM on November 24, 2018

Chocolate covered almonds - this version with a crackly sugar inner shell is the best. Plus, these are fun, albeit messy, to make.
posted by snaw at 6:54 PM on November 24, 2018 [1 favorite]

People go wild for these vegan chocolate crinkles and they only improve with age -- they're at their best when kept in a tin for a little while.
posted by halation at 7:16 PM on November 24, 2018

Homemade marshmallows!! I use this Smitten Kitchen recipe to great success.
posted by honeybee413 at 7:18 PM on November 24, 2018 [2 favorites]

Speaking of smitten kitchen: sugar and spice candied nuts!
posted by junques at 7:48 PM on November 24, 2018

If you want to go savory:

-Citrus herb salt
-Dukkah spice
-Chile oil (I love Andrea Nguyen's recipe using Spectrum unrefined peanut oil)
posted by jenquat at 8:16 PM on November 24, 2018

My SIL did candied citrus peels one year and they were so good. I bet they'd be ever better in dark chocolate, as suggested above.
posted by radioamy at 8:58 PM on November 24, 2018 [1 favorite]

Candied ginger (if you can find young ginger).
posted by just_ducky at 9:40 PM on November 24, 2018

Peppermint bark
posted by Champagne Supernova at 9:52 PM on November 24, 2018

Fruit leather, fermented beverages, herbal tea mixes, soup mixes, etc.
posted by aniola at 9:52 PM on November 24, 2018 [1 favorite]

It is probably too late this year, but I made a version of Trinidad black cake and each cake the size of an ordinary cake layer has a full bottle of rum in it. We sampled it a week out and it was harsh—two months later it was boozy and wonderful. Seven months later the remains were ambrosial. Everyone was either a fan or a foe—there was no indifference to this cake! They aren’t kidding that it lasts forever wrapped in plastic in a metal tin, and it just keeps getting better.

I used the cherry brandy and rum rather than the Bailey’s offered as an alternative, and I used half Smith and Cross (123 proof) and half Cruzan Blackstrap but there is much room for experimentation. Also, it’s worth finding the commercial burnt sugar. Making your own is fraught with mess and hazard. Naturally, I found the Guyanese grocery in Minneapolis that carries it the week after I made it... For anyone that’s interested, it is Guy-Am West Indian Grocery and Goorgle insists it is an auto repair shop in spite of having a picture of the storefront with a huge sign... “AI,” my ass. I couldn’t figure out how to get a URL pointing at Groogle’s search result to post—sorry.
posted by Gilgamesh's Chauffeur at 12:57 AM on November 25, 2018 [1 favorite]

Scotch Tablet. I have never encountered anyone who doesn't love it, and no one in the U.S. is getting huge quantities of it from everyone.
posted by Rush-That-Speaks at 1:07 AM on November 25, 2018 [2 favorites]

Seconding some kind of chocolate bark. Peppermint bark is always a crowd pleaser, but there are other versions, like this French Chocolate Bark from Ina Garten. And you can artfully break up the pieces and put them in crinkly plastic with cute bows for extra presentation points.
posted by Preserver at 10:18 AM on November 25, 2018

+1 for homemade marshmallows. Those always go over well. I've also had good success with peppermint bark, and chocolate covered oreos and chocolate covered pretzels, usually decorated with festive sprinkles or something similar.

I've been wanting to try making hot chocolate on a stick. I haven't made this yet, but am thinking of giving it a try this year: https://www.foodiewithfamily.com/hot-chocolate-on-a-stick/
posted by nalyd at 1:54 PM on November 25, 2018

Response by poster: Thanks for all the great suggestions! I made the apple cider caramels and they are divine; they taste like some kind of magical Wonka candy that gives you an entire slice of apple pie in each bite.
posted by selfnoise at 2:07 PM on December 9, 2018

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