Why is it that gift giving always ends up being a last-minute chore? No matter how hard you try to plan ahead and get all your ducks in a row, it's almost inevitable that you're frantically rummaging through the store for a gift on Christmas Eve. If you're short on time this year and need some store-bought food gifts that are just as good as a homemade treat, we've got you covered. We stopped at our favorite grocery stores and artisan shops to sift through all the good, bad, and just plain awful to bring you our absolute favorite holiday treats.
Regardless of how organized you are, having all your friends and family covered when it comes to gift giving during the holiday season can get a little crazy. Whether you are absolutely stumped on what to get that friend who has literally everything or maybe it’s that distant relative for whom you feel slightly obligated to get something for but don't really know well enough to pick a great gift (we all have that person), store-bought food gifts are the easy answer. However, the retail shelves are bursting with holiday-themed everything right now, and that means that there’s a whole lot of junk going on in there.
You don't have to leave these gifts to chance. Instead of hoping the jar of chocolate-covered trail mix you picked up is good, turn to our collection of holiday food gifts that are delicious and actually worth giving. We did the work for you and picked out the most delicious food gifts from Target, Williams-Sonoma, Sur La Table, Trader Joe’s, and Whole Foods. We'd be happy if these gifts showed up under our tree, so you can rest assured your friends and family will enjoy every bite, too.
Listen to us very closely. When you enter Williams-Sonoma during the holiday season (let's face it, we all do), it is imperative that you put your head down and head directly to the Peppermint Bark. No questions asked. Seriously, this stuff is delicious, and we can't think of anyone who wouldn't want this for a gift.
Aside from the wide array of addicting peppermint treats, the Fleur de Sel Cookies are rich chocolate biscuits topped with caramel and dipped in chocolate. They're the perfect balance of sweet and salty. No one will be mad when you gift them a stack of these beauties.
In a pinch, we can always look to our trusted TJ's, and as expected, they surely didn't let us down this time either. Not only are the Mini Gingerbread Men with white fudge icing adorable (available in stores), they are pretty darn tasty for a store-bought cookie.
We also fell head over heels for the decked out brittle. Loaded with almonds, cashews, cranberries, and pumpkin seeds, this buttery brittle is not shy on caramel crunch.
If you're stopping at Whole Foods for a couple groceries, you can kill two birds with one stone and stock up on some last-minute holiday gifts, too. The Limoncello Panettone is a citrusy delight, made with creamy butter, candied lemon peels and tart limoncello cream. It's so festive and mouth-puckering, it's almost a crime not to have a bite of this during the holiday season.
For the dark chocolate lovers in your life, treat them to something new and exciting with the Pear and Almond Chocolate Bar (available in stores). Balancing a nutty crunch with tart pear sweetness, this chocolate bar is something new for the palate and the ultimate gift for the slightly highbrowed cocoa fiend.
Sur La Table
Take a deep breath before you throw back one of these Mexican Spiced Caramels, because the heat is no joke. Packaged in an adorably festive golden tin, these salted caramels blend cinnamon, cayenne, and chili powder with dark chocolate for a velvety-smooth delight.
If spicy isn't your thing, you can't go wrong with the Salted Caramel Hot Cocoa on a Stick (available in stores). By submerging the chocolate marshmallow stick in hot water or milk, you're just moments away from a rich, decadent cup of hot cocoa.
As if Target didn't have enough amazing holiday knick knacks and gifts already, you can go ahead and add food gifts to the list. Archer Farms Dark Chocolate Seal Salt Caramel Corn Clusters (available in stores) and Chocolate Peppermint Snack Mix (available in stores) are both great party mixes to bring to your holiday hostess. Since you know you'll most likely be in Target at least four more times between now and the New Year, you might as well go ahead and stock up on these for the inevitable gift recipient that has slipped your mind.
Sure, you could say that homemade gifts are more sincere and from the heart, but there ain't no shame in your last-minute, store-bought food gift game. In the spirit of the giving season, I think that we can all agree that no one is going to turn down packages of peppermint, chocolate, gingerbread, and salted caramels. Happy shopping!