Show your appreciation to friends, family and coworkers this holiday season by making one or all of out favourite homemade holiday food gifts from cookies, cakes, cheese, pickles and chocolate.
There's something about the holidays and the magic of the season that makes us nostalgic, appreciative and thankful for the family, friends, and coworkers we have in our life. Something as simple as a kind note is a lovely way to round out the year and share the magic with those closest to you.
Sometimes, for the very lucky, we spread even more holiday cheer with homemade holiday food gifts. In very little time (not counting the babka), you can dazzle with edible gift ideas guaranteed to leave an impression. Plus, holiday food gifts are easy on the wallet, appear very thoughtful (because they are), and are even more fun to wrap as they are to eat! Check out our top 5 Homemade Holiday Food Gift ideas below.
1. Smoked and Chewy Salted Gingerbread Cookies
Classic Christmas cookies are a must-have on any homemade holiday food gift list. Depending on the number of food gifts you're giving, bake a large batch of your favourite cookies and serve them in a holiday cookie tin, a festive loaf pan, or wrap them in parchment paper tied with twine and pine. Our favourite cookies to make over the holiday are gingerbread cookies and this year we elevated them by smoking them on the smoker. Find our original recipe here.
2. Chocolate Babka
A true labour of love, chocolate babka requires 12 hours, 3 rises and is so totally worth it. This braided eastern European bread resembles a buttery brioche, with layers of chocolate and brained to reveal a chocolate swirl with each slice. To top it off, bake the babka with a chocolate streusel for even more chocolate flavour (because why not). Wrap your babka in cellophane or serve in a loaf pan for those super special individuals on your list. Find the full chocolate babka recipe and video at NYT Cooking.
3. Lemon, Thyme and Chilli Marinated Feta
For the gourmand on your holiday list, jar your own marinated cheese and let the simplicity of the ingredients shine. In a jar, layer cubes of your favourite feta with grilled lemon, fresh thyme, chilli peppers and black peppercorns. Then, top with olive oil. A super quick, 10 minute gift that looks like you spent hours making is the perfect host or hostess gift that you can enjoy together over the holiday season.
4. Red and Green Chocolate Bark
Chocolate bark is as cheap and as easy as melting your favourite bar of chocolate, then loading up on your favourite toppings (literally). In a double broiler, we melted chopped dark chocolate and spiked it with Grand Marnier to add a touch of orange flavour. Then we poured the melted chocolate into a parchment lined pan and sprinkled half with pistachios and dried cranberries, and the other half with almonds, pomegranate seeds, and matcha. Place in the refrigerator to set for a few hours and then cut your bark into squares. Wrap your bark in cellophane and tie with a bow.
5. Cinnamon Pickled Beets
The perfect accompaniment to any charcuterie or cheese board, these pickled beets contain just enough cinnamon and cloves to ignite holiday flavour with each bite. Peel and boil beets for 30 minutes, then slice into ¼ inch thick slices. In a pot with 1 cup of water, 1 cup of cider vinegar, ½ cup of sugar, 1 tablespoon of salt, 3 cinnamon sticks and 3 cloves, add beets and bring to a boil. Simmer for 25 minutes and place in a mason jar and top with remaining liquid. Wrap your mason jar with ribbon and include a note or recipe of your favourite way to serve them. We love cubing our pickled beets and making crostini with basil and goat cheese.