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Peppercorns give these buttery sweet treats an unexpected bite. To package, cut scrapbook paper to fit the box lid and secure with double-sided tape. Layer two ribbons of different widths in a band around the closed box and hot-glue them in place. Dip the stems of punched leaf shapes in hot glue and press on the ends of hemp twine; knot around the box on top of the ribbon.
Customize tempered chocolate with your favorite candies -- we love the salty-and-sweet combo of pretzels and peppermint. To package, cut a circle just smaller than the jar’s lid from about 25 layers of holiday-color tissue paper. Use a double-threaded needle to make one stitch in the center of the stack; knot. Snip around the circle at regular intervals. Pull the tissue-paper petal shapes up and toward the center. Use a glue dot to adhere the flower to the jar lid.
Drizzle this tangy syrup over pound cake or ice cream, or add a dash to cocktails. To package, wrap rice-paper tape (also called washi tape) around the top or bottom of an apothecary bottle for a quick embellishment. Tie a gift tag to the neck of the bottle with twine.
Standby banana bread gets dressed up for the holidays with cocoa and amaretto-soaked cherries. To package, bake the bread in a wooden basket. When cool, slip it inside a clear bread bag. Band the bread with red velvet ribbon and secure with hot glue. Use a thin-tip permanent marker to write on a wooden tag, and tie the tag to the package with hemp twine.
Get closer looks and tips on making our top food gifts.
Pistachios lend seasonal green color to this nut mix, but you could easily sub almonds or cashews. To package, layer two muffin liners to make a sturdy container and add your favorite nut mix. Punch circles out of cardstock. Fold down the flaps of the liners to cover the mix, and use a dab of hot glue to seal with a cardstock circle.
Orange peel and a bit of pepper join the spice mix in classic gingerbread for amped-up flavor. To package, cut scrapbook paper to fit the interior of a petal envelope and adhere with double-sided tape. Use glue dots to attach buttons to the flap and 1/2 inch from the opposite fold. Wrap twine in a figure 8 around the buttons to close.
Light-as-air homemade marshmallows are a treat to give -- recipients can add them to hot cocoa on a chilly night. Wrap the marshmallows in a cellophane bag topped with a small chalkboard gift tag (found at crafts or hobby stores).
A savory bacon-and-egg casserole goes mobile in a baking dish the recipients will love to add to their stash. Wrap the dish with a festive holiday towel and ribbon, and tie on wooden letters.
Individually wrapped in pretty paper and tied with a bit of string, these decadent bars make small but perfect last-minute gifts.
To make this simple candy, dip peppermint sticks in dark chocolate, then roll the chocolate portion in crushed nuts, cinnamon-sugar, or sweetened coconut. Wrap in clear cellophane and tie with pretty ribbon for giving.
Baklava provides a break from Christmas cookies and stores beautifully in a holiday tin topped with a magnetic clip and a note from you.
Mom's classic recipe makes a great gift and looks tasty in a quart jar wrapped with a flour-sack towel and seasonal ribbon.
A crunchy streusel topping adds a festive twist to this brunch favorite. For simple packaging, try an inexpensive basket with a satin ribbon.
Cinnamon and orange zest add pizzazz to this delicious relish, which can be made up to a week in advance. Decorative jars, topped with a cute wooden spoon and personalized note, make ideal packaging.
Simple metal tins look cheerful when decked with leftover wrapping paper or bold grosgrain ribbon. A handwritten tag under the ribbon lets recipients know what delightful treat is nestled inside -- pumpkin pie-spiced nuts.
This two-in-one brownie gift looks lovely in a pretty confection box (available at crafts stores). Alternate brownie squares for a fun checkerboard effect.
Give your friends and family a ready-to-devour appetizer -- cheese cubes, Kalamata olives, green olives, roasted peppers, and onion wedges marinated in an herb vinaigrette. Fabric dresses up screw-top jars, which are personalized with a homemade label.
With the tempting flavors of pumpkin pie spice, espresso powder, and maple syrup, these flaky rolls are anything but ordinary. For stylish packaging, place them in a baking dish and wrap with colorful ribbons.
For a make-ahead gift your friends and family will love, combine vodka, sugar, and vanilla beans, and then store for a month in a cool, dark place. Copy your favorite drink recipe onto a cute card and attach it to this luscious liqueur for a personal touch.
Cook chocolate pieces and chocolate-hazelnut spread with evaporated milk and sugar for 8 minutes, stirring frequently. Pour it in a glass jar and refrigerate until serving or giving as a gift.
What's more festive than coffee and chocolate? For stylish packaging, spoon this hot chocolate mix into a bag, tie with thread, and tuck it into a cozy mug with directions.
Toss nuts with honey to coat and place in a decorative container; the sweet topping is delicious on pound cake, ice cream, or even oatmeal. You can store it at room temperature for up to two weeks.
The crunch of malted milk balls and toasted walnuts adds a fun twist to classic chocolate brownies. Affix decorative paper around a container or tin for a delightful gift.
Honey and chopped macadamia nuts add a surprise to classic holiday fudge. Package pieces in pretty gold or silver boxes.