Delicious Holiday Food Gift Ideas

A homemade gift is the sweetest thing. Not fancy, just straight from the heart. We cooked up three base recipes, with variations—and sprinkled with decorating tips.

Delicious Holiday Gifts

Photo: Rumulo Yanes, Recipes: Julianna Grimes and Deb Wise

Delicious Holiday Gifts

Nothing brings tidings of cheer like fresh and delectable treats that the whole family can enjoy. This year, spend a little time in the kitchen and create gifts that everyone will love. Where to begin? We'll start you off with a basic recipe that you can then use to create two more variations. Then, add a sprinkle here, a ribbon tied there, and pretty soon you will have beautiful gifts for friends and family that are both fun to create and a delight to receive.

Base Recipe: Iced Sugar Cookies

Photo: Rumulo Yanes, Recipes: Julianna Grimes and Deb Wise

Base Recipe: Iced Sugar Cookies

Add water to icing a drop at a time for thinner spreading consistency. Decorate with dragée (sometimes called sugar pearls), gold or silver dust, and coarse or sparkling sugar, and tint the frosting with food color paste. All are available at coppergifts.com. Make the cookie dough up to a month in advance, wrap it tightly, and freeze. Thaw dough completely by placing it in the refrigerator overnight.

View Recipe: Iced Sugar Cookies

Variation 1: Gingerbread Cookies

Photo: Rumulo Yanes, Recipes: Julianna Grimes and Deb Wise

Variation 1: Gingerbread Cookies

These cookies can easily be made into snowmen if you prefer. First, "flood" snowman-shaped cookies by spreading thin frosting with a small offset spatula to coat, if desired. Pipe thicker frosting from a zip-top bag to outline. Use a toothpick to make small dots of icing that act as glue for decorative details like sugar pearls.

View Recipe: Gingerbread Cookies

Variation 2: Pecan Cookies

Photo: Rumulo Yanes, Recipes: Julianna Grimes and Deb Wise

Variation 2: Pecan Cookies

Dust cookies with a bit of powdered sugar for a finishing touch that's not too sweet. Place sugar in a fine sieve, and shake it over cooled cookies.

View Recipe: Pecan Cookies

Base Recipe: Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Frosting

Photo: Rumulo Yanes, Recipes: Julianna Grimes and Deb Wise

Base Recipe: Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Frosting

A touch of butter adds rich, luxurious flavor to the meringue, but admittedly, it also deflates it a bit. For a fluffy, snow-white cap, omit the butter as we did for the photo on left.

View Recipe: Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Frosting

Variation 1: Chocolate Cupcakes

Photo: Rumulo Yanes, Recipes: Julianna Grimes and Deb Wise

Variation 1: Chocolate Cupcakes

Use a block or bar of good chocolate for your garnish of chocolate curls. If you rub your thumb over the surface two or three times and then shave, the curls will be less brittle and less likely to crack and break.

View Recipe: Chocolate Cupcakes

Variation 2: Red Velvet Cupcakes

Photo: Rumulo Yanes, Recipes: Julianna Grimes and Deb Wise

Variation 2: Red Velvet Cupcakes

Dot the thick frosting with a few drops of red food color paste, and stir gently to give it a swirled appearance. Carefully spoon into a zip-top bag, and pipe out.

View Recipe: Red Velvet Cupcakes

Base Recipe: Buttermilk Bundt Cakes

Photo: Rumulo Yanes, Recipes: Julianna Grimes and Deb Wise

Base Recipe: Buttermilk Bundt Cakes

Here we offer three garnishing options for these adorable, delicious cakes: Simply dust with powdered sugar, pipe a bit of glaze over the top, or completely dunk the cakes for a heavier coating. Make the cakes up to two weeks ahead. Wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and freeze, omitting any garnish. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight, and then dust or glaze. Look for mini Bundt pans at kitchen emporiums or big box stores. Be sure to coat the cups of the mini Bundt pan well with baking spray with flour added. Cakes will stick if you use regular cooking spray. Although the mini cakes are really cute, you can bake one large cake, if you prefer. It'll just need to bake longer, about 45 minutes total.

View Recipe: Buttermilk Bundt Cakes

Variation 1: Cranberry-Orange Bundt Cakes

Photo: Rumulo Yanes, Recipes: Julianna Grimes and Deb Wise

Variation 1: Cranberry-Orange Bundt Cakes

For a glaze that completely covers the cakes, dip the tops into glaze and swirl them around a bit to make sure the glaze coats and sticks.

View Recipe: Cranberry-Orange Bundt Cakes

Variation 2: Hummingbird Bundt Cakes with Bourbon Glaze

Photo: Rumulo Yanes, Recipes: Julianna Grimes and Deb Wise

Variation 2: Hummingbird Bundt Cakes with Bourbon Glaze

You'll only need a touch of the bourbon glaze, but for sugar hounds, you can double the glaze and garnish with more.

View Recipe: Hummingbird Bundt Cakes with Bourbon Glaze

General Wrapping Resources

Photo: Rumulo Yanes, Resources: Sarah Smart

General Wrapping Resources

Clear plastic box (containing cupcakes) available at clearenvelopes.com ($10.80 for a package of 10).

1-lb. round silver tin (holding gingerbread men) from The Container Store ($3.29 each).

Waxed linen thread (on spool) available in many colors at The Caning Shop ($12.95 for a 100-yard spool).

Dark teal glassine paper available in store at Kate's Paperie, NYC ($3 per sheet). Similar: German tissue available in green at katespaperie.com ($3 per sheet).

Cupcake Wrapping Resources

Photo: Rumulo Yanes, Resources: Sarah Smart

Cupcake Wrapping Resources

Clear plastic box (containing cupcakes) available at clearenvelopes.com ($10.80 for a package of 10).

Silver foil baking cups available at wilton.com ($1.99 for package of 24).

Red glassine muffin cups from fancyflours.com ($4.85 for package of 45).

Striped ribbon 3/8-inch wide acetate ribbon from Tinsel Trading ($1.40 per yard).

Bundt Cake Wrapping Resources

Photo: Rumulo Yanes, Resources: Sarah Smart

Bundt Cake Wrapping Resources

Letterpress folded cards and envelope (bottom right corner) from Smock ($14 for package of 6).

Glitter star ornament by Wendy Addison (top left corner) from Tinsel Trading ($20 for package of 3). 

Mistletoe wrap (small gift-wrapped package cropping from bottom left corner), from Smock ($8 for 2 sheets).

Assorted ribbon from Tinsel Trading.

Cookie Wrapping Resources

Photo: Rumulo Yanes, Resources: Sarah Smart

Cookie Wrapping Resources

1-lb round silver tin (holding gingerbread men) from The Container Store ($3.29 each).

Quadrille medium box (decorative box, middle right corner) from Smock ($12).

Chevron bitty bags (under Christmas tree cookie) from Whisker Graphics ($5 for 20 bags).

Red glassine muffin cups from fancyflours.com ($4.85 for package of 45).

Silver foil baking cups available at wilton.com ($1.99 for package of 24).

Red small colored tag from Whisker Graphics ($5 for set of 25).

Round white paper box (top, containing ribbon and ornaments) available in store at Paper Presentation or call 800-727-3701 ($3.95 each).

Assorted ribbon from Tinsel Trading.

Printed from:
http://www.cookinglight.com/entertaining/holidays-occasions/food-gift-ideas-00412000073646/