85 Homemade Food Gifts for Foodies

Updated: Feb. 27, 2024

Treat friends and family to something extra-special this year with one (or two, or three!) of these food gift ideas.

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Candied Pecans

I pack these easy candied pecans in jars tied with pretty ribbon as a food gift for family and friends. My granddaughter gave some to a doctor at the hospital where she works, and he said they were too good to be true! —Opal Turner, Hughes Springs, Texas

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Homemade Limoncello

This limoncello recipe makes a drink better than any store-bought version. It’s perfect as an after-dinner treat on its own, or whipped up in a cocktail. —Jenni Sharp, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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Mustard Pretzel Dip

This flavorful pretzel dip recipe is addictive, so be careful! It’s also delicious served with pita chips, crackers and fresh veggies.—Iola Egle, Bella Vista, Arkansas

Need some gift wrapping inspo? Check out these creative wrapping ideas for food gifts!

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Chocolate-Covered Pretzels

These chocolate-covered pretzels came from my grandma, who loves to make candy and treats a food gifts for my students. I have followed in her footsteps and make these for people at work and for other family members. —Aimee Worth, Fair Oaks, California
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Hot Chocolate Bombs

These hot chocolate filled spheres are all the rage! Make them ahead of time as a holiday gift or to have on hand when you have a hot chocolate craving. —Rashanda Cobbins, Taste of Home Food Editor

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Apple Pie Moonshine
Jennifer Schwarzkopf For Taste Of Home

Apple Pie Moonshine

Looking for an original food gift or signature cocktail for your crisp-weather gatherings? Don’t waste time sifting through numerous apple pie moonshine recipes—the best one is right here. —Jennifer Schwarzkopf, Madison, Wisconsin

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Gentleman's Whiskey Bacon Jam

You can slather this smoky bacon jam on pretty much anything. It lasts only a week in the fridge, so I freeze small amounts for a quick snack with crackers. —Colleen Delawder, Herndon, Virginia
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Candy Snack Mix

Chock-full of raisins, peanuts and M& M’s, this crunchy salty-sweet mix stays fresh for weeks. I keep it on hand to serve to unexpected guests or to fill decorative containers to give as last-minute gifts. —Mary Newsom, Grand Ridge, Florida
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Caramel Apples

Nothing tastes better at this time of year than a sweet-to-eat caramel apple! That rich homemade flavor just can’t be beat. —Karen Ann Bland, Gove, Kansas
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Marinated Olives

Our son often made these olives for food gifts around the holidays. They are simple to make and add a little zest to the other offerings on the table. —Marguerite Shaeffer, Sewell, New Jersey
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Mint Sandwich Cookies

Canned frosting, peppermint extract and chocolate candy coating quickly turn crackers into these wonderful little no-bake cookies. My children and I like to assemble them for parties and holidays. I hope you and your family enjoy them as much as we do. —Melissa Thompson, Anderson, Ohio
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Dr Pepper BBQ Sauce

My family is stationed in Italy with my husband, Lt. William Robert Blackman. William grew up in Memphis, Tennessee, and I’m from Texas, so the dish that spells "home" for us is a good ol' barbecue. I have my own recipe for barbecue sauce that we like to pour all over sliced brisket. Eating it reminds us of weekend barbecues with our families. —Tina Blackman, Naples, Italy
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Homemade Gelt

Giving chocolate coins to children, and sometimes to teachers, is a long-standing Hanukkah tradition. This homemade version of gelt uses a miniature muffin pan to mold the coins into shape. The sliced almonds add a nice crunch, but the chocolates can be left plain or topped with other ingredients like sprinkles, crushed peppermint candies or finely chopped candied ginger. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Carrot Cake Jam

For a change of pace from traditional gifts, try this unique food gift idea. Spread on a bagel with cream cheese, it tastes almost as good as real carrot cake! —Rachelle Stratton, Rock Springs, Wyoming
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Fruitcake Christmas Cookies

As holiday gifts, these rich fruit-and nut-filled cookies are pretty and practical. These are great make ahead Christmas cookies —the taste actually gets better over time! —Julia Funkhouser, Carson, Iowa
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Olive Oil Dip

Combine a blend of herbs to create this mouthwatering mix. Plumping the herbs in water before stirring into olive oil enhances the flavor. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Gumdrop Fudge

Making food gifts is one of my favorite things to do during the holidays. This sweet white fudge is as easy to put together as it is beautiful to serve. —Jennifer Short, Omaha, Nebraska
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Homemade Irish Cream

Add some creamy goodness to your cup of joe with a splash or two of this homemade Irish cream. —Marcia Severson, Hallock, Minnesota
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Air-Fryer Cinnamon Almonds

These crunchy air-fryer cinnamon almonds are a spectacular treat to take to a party or gathering. They taste just like the roasted almonds you get at the fair. —Janice Thompson, Stacy, Minnesota
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Holiday Reindeer Cookies

Gather ’round the tree on Christmas Eve and feast on these adorable reindeer cookies. If you listen closely, you might heard reindeer hoofs on the roof! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Chocolate-Dipped Beverage Spoons

These make a cute food gift idea when wrapped individually in cellophane, tied with colorful ribbon and displayed in a Christmas mug. To set the chocolate quickly, chill dipped spoons in the freezer. —Marcy Boswell, Menifee, California

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Chive Biscuit Ornaments
Taste of Home

Chive Biscuit Ornaments

Ring in the holiday season with these tender bell-shaped bites. They used cookie cutters and whole chive “hangers” to form the warm and appetizing ornaments, which get a slight kick from red pepper flakes. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Hot Buttered Cider Mix

Put the butter base for this beverage in a decorative jar and attach a copy of the recipe for a great gift from your kitchen. You can omit the brandy for a kid-friendly version. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Williams Sonoma Peppermint Bark Square
Molly Allen for Taste of Home

Peppermint Bark

The bark features two layers of chocolate plus plenty of peppermint flavor. You can certainly go out and find the original at Williams Sonoma, but there’s also the option to make a delicious homemade version. This is an easy food gift idea that any recipient will love! —Molly Allen, Hood River, Oregon

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Hazelnut Madeleine Cookies

These soft, cakelike cookies have a delicate hazelnut flavor—perfect for making great memories! They’re baked in the distinctive shell-shaped madeleine pan, available in kitchen specialty stores. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Orange Pear Jam

Full of fruity flavor, this delightful jam is a great toast topper. Everyone really likes it. —Delores Ward, Decatur, Indiana
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Chocolate-Covered Coffee Beans

Two terrific flavors—coffee and chocolate—come together in this mouthwatering recipe that makes a great food gift. Enjoy them as a snack or use as a topping on mocha desserts. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Gingerbread Syrup

Here’s a wonderful treat for the winter. Stir a tablespoon of this syrup into coffee, tea or cider. Drizzle it over pancakes, hot cereal or yogurt. Or use it as a glaze for roast chicken or pork chops! — Darlene Brenden, Salem, Oregon
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Ornament Popcorn Balls

These gooey-sweet treats are great for dressing up the tree with a little more than the classic popcorn string. And they're yummier and fun for the family, too. — Deirdre Cox, Kansas City, Missouri
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Spicy Pickled Garlic

Here’s a delicious food gift idea for the garlic lover on your list. You’ll be pleasantly surprised how pickling mellows out the garlic, making it a tasty sandwich topper. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Chocolate-Stuffed Dreidel Cookies

These dreidel cookies are sure to spread some smiles this holiday season. Your friends and family will delight in the surprise chocolate filling. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Aloha Brittle

A vacation to Hawaii inspired me to create this mouthwatering brittle. Coconuts, macadamia nuts and pecans make my tropical-tasting recipe deliciously different.
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Apple Brandy

I spend a lot of time developing recipes for the many fruits and vegetables we grow on our farm. In this creation, apple brandy is enhanced with spices for a delightful drink. It would make a lovely food gift for Thanksgiving.—Deanna Seippel, Lancaster, Wisconsin
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Bananas Foster Crunch Mix

Bananas Foster is one of my favorite desserts. So I thought that a crunchy, snackable version would be a hit. It is heated in the microwave and takes just a few minutes to make. —David Dahlman, Chatsworth, California
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Beer and Pretzel Caramels

Beer and pretzels are a natural combination—mix them with smooth caramel and you have an awesome candy. The guys will go wild over these crunchy, chunky chews. —Jenni Sharp, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Peppermint White Hot Chocolate

My soothing white hot chocolate is a great warm-up after a wintry day spent sledding or ice skating. Or include it as a festive addition to brunch or an afternoon tea party. —Darlene Brenden, Salem, Oregon
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Chicago-Style Hot Giardiniera

I've been living in Chicago for the last 12 years and have grown to love the spicy giardiniera served at restaurants. So I developed my own to use at home. We love it on everything from eggs to sandwiches and even pizza! —Andrea Quiroz, Chicago, Illinois
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Chocolate Snowballs

This is my favorite Christmas cookie recipe. The cookies remind me of the snowballs I packed as a child during many cold Wisconsin winters. —Dee Derezinski, Waukesha, Wisconsin
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Homemade Kahlua
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Homemade Kahlua

You only need four simple ingredients for this homemade Kahlua recipe. It’s great for cocktails, baked goods and gifting friends and family. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Christmas Cranberries

Bourbon adds bite to this holiday standby, packed in a small heavy-duty glass storage container with a tight-fitting lid. Wrap in a vintage tea towel or cloth napkin, cinch with ribbon and adorn with small ornaments. —Becky Jo Smith, Kettle Falls, Washington
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Santa’s Elf Cookies

These rosy-cheeked elf cookies will make a showstopping addition to your holiday cookie tray. Or set them atop cupcakes for an extra-cute treat. —Josh Rink, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Attending or hosting a Secret Santa party? You’ll want to check out these Secret Santa food gifts.

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Homemade Creme De Menthe
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Creme de Menthe

Every home bar or kitchen pantry needs a bottle of creme de menthe. This DIY version is better than that store-bought stuff and equally great for cocktails, desserts and gifting. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Christmas Jam

I have a passion for cooking, and I can probably thank my grandmother for it. She was a marvelous cook who could really stretch a food dollar. —Jo Talvacchia, Lanoka Harbor, New Jersey
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Cranberry Honey Butter

If you are traveling to a friend's or loved one's for the holidays, bring them something even better than a bottle of wine—this easy to whip up treat! —Arisa Cupp, Sherwood, Oregon
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Hazelnut Liqueur
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Hazelnut Liqueur

Before you buy that bottle of Frangelico, you might just have all you need to make this hazelnut liqueur recipe at home. This simple food gift idea makes a great hostess gift or housewarming gift.—Mark Neufang, Taste of Home Culinary Assistant

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Delicious Chocolate Sauce

Dressing up a dish of ice cream is especially easy with this sauce. It mixes together in a matter of minutes! The sauce serves another purpose, too. One batch yields so much, I have plenty extra to pour into pint jars and give out as gifts. —Dorothy Anderson, Ottawa, Kansas
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Double Chocolate Walnut Fudge

Anyone who's fond of chocolate will like this smooth, nutty fudge twice as much. I enjoy making several batches when Christmas rolls around. It doesn't last long at our house during the December festivities! —Florence Hasty, Louisiana, Missouri
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Favorite Bread & Butter Pickles

I made these pickles while growing up and love them because you can eat them with just about anything. Now, both of my children love these pickles, too. I think they’re a good food gift idea, too! —Linda Weger, Robinson, Illinois
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Grand Marnier
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Grand Marnier

Love orange liqueur? Use our Grand Marnier recipe to make your very own right at home. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Fresh Herb Butter

I love impressing dinner guests with flavored butter. I mix up a big batch and freeze it. Then when company comes, this special spread is ready to go. Cut them in different shapes for a little fun. —Pam Duncan, Summers, Arkansas
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Garlic Lemon Butter

This tangy flavored butter offers a nice change from plain butter and gives a refreshing new taste to an ear of corn. When I serve this on the side during fresh corn season, the same question always gets asked—"What's in the butter that makes it so delicious?" —Margie Wampler, Butler, Pennsylvania
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Holiday Salsa

When we offer this cream-cheesy salsa of fresh cranberries, cilantro and a little jalapeno kick, everyone hovers around the serving dish until it’s scraped clean. It makes a handy last-minute food gift. —Shelly Pattison, Lubbock, Texas
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Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

I like using pretty mini muffin liners and topping these homemade peanut butter cups with colored sprinkles to coordinate with the holiday we're celebrating. People can't believe how simple it is to make this irresistible candy with gooey peanut butter centers. This is how to make homemade peanut butter cups. —LaVonne Hegland, St. Michael, Minnesota
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Peach Raspberry Jam

Back when my children were young, I put up about 100 jars of jams and jellies each summer, including this freezer version. Although I don’t make that many now, I do stir up a batch to give to neighbors at Christmastime. —Donn White, Wooster, Ohio
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Ranch Dressing and Dip Mix

This versatile ranch dressing mix converts easily into a creamy dip or smooth salad dressing. It's delicious served with fresh veggies or drizzled over greens. —Carolyn Zimmerman, Fairbury, Illinois
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Candy Cane Reindeer

We had a blast creating these adorable food gift stocking stuffers! Rudolph and his friends never looked sweeter than they do with pretzel antlers, chocolate eyes and candy noses made with Red Hots. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Vanilla Coffee Creamer

Flavored coffee creamer drives my husband nuts. Even so, I still make this classic vanilla one all the time. It’s better (and cheaper) than store-bought—and I know exactly what’s in it! —Shauna Sever, San Francisco, California
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Shortbread

I live in Missouri, but many of our family recipes come from New Zealand, where I lived as a youngster. I proudly claim a Down Under heritage! These special-occasion cookies bring back warm and sweet memories of my childhood, and I'm going to make sure they're passed on to the next generation in my family—no matter where they live. —A. Swenson, Camdenton, Missouri
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Homemade Chocolate Liqueur
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Chocolate Liqueur

Every home bar and pantry should have a bottle of chocolate liqueur on hand for cocktails, hot cocoa, desserts and more. This easy DIY food gift idea ensures you’ll never run out. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Spiced Almond Cookies

These cookies are my all-time favorite! The recipe has won ribbons at fairs and applause from family and guests alike. One of the reasons I like it is that I can make the dough and freeze it. Then, when I need another batch of cookies, I take a "log" out of the freezer, thaw it and make fresh cookies in minutes. —Wanda Daily, Milwaukie, Oregon
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Birthday Cake Fudge

This decadent birthday cake fudge is the perfect thing to make your big day special. Or prepare it ahead and package it as a surprise gift for a friend. —Rashanda Cobbins, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Potato Chip Crunchies

When my family comes home, I like having treats ready for them. No matter what's on the cookie tray, these are always the first to vanish. —Dorothy Buiter, Worth, Illinois
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Pretzel Bark Candy

I usually make this pretzel candy as a food gift, but it’s also fun to share at office parties. The recipe makes a big batch and stores well. —Betty Claycomb, Alverton, Pennsylvania
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Family-Favorite Cinnamon Candy

I have fond memories of standing at my grandmother's stove with my mom and my aunts, helping to make this cherished recipe. Now I share the tradition with my kids. —Wendy Hagan, Oak Grove, Louisiana
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Coconut Rum Balls

My mom has made rum balls for as long as I can remember. They look beautiful on a dessert spread and can be packaged in a decorative tin as a gift. I substituted coconut rum for the traditional rum and added shredded coconut. —Jana Walker, Macomb, Michigan
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Hazelnut Dream Cookies

I sampled these goodies at a Bible study and knew from the first bite that I had to have the recipe. To my surprise, the rich cookies require just four ingredients. —Julie Peterson, Crofton, Maryland
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Toni’s Tropical Biscotti

My second mom would bake biscotti with pistachios and dried papaya for food gifts. Since she’s a fabulous cook, I gave it a whirl. The result was sensational!—Bonnie Hauschild, Wellington, Florida
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Almond Tea Bread

My aunt brought her tea bread recipe with her from Scotland, and enjoying a fresh-baked loaf has become a family tradition during the holidays. Each slice is loaded with red cherries. —Kathleen Showers, Briggsdale, Colorado
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Chocolate-Dipped Pretzel Rods

Kids of all ages enjoy making and eating these fun treats. The decorated pretzels are a pretty gift in a cellophane bag or a glass jar. —Kay Waters, Benld, Illinois
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Homemade Vanilla Extract

Homemade vanilla is fun to give in decorative bottles with attractive labels. Share this food gift idea with special friends who like to cook or bake. —Becky Jo Smith, Kettle Falls, Washington
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Chocolate Peanut Butter Candy

With only three ingredients, these chocolate-swirl treats take just moments to whip up! If you have little ones visiting for the holidays, have them help you with the stirring. —Holly Demers, Abbotsford, British Columbia
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Double-Drizzled Biscotti

Semisweet and white chocolate drizzles give these biscotti a pretty look. The baking time is shorter than for some biscotti, so they're a little softer. —Cheryl Ludemann, Boonville, New York
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Mackinac Fudge

When I got married, a woman at my parents’ church gifted me this version of a popular Michigan treat. I sometimes pipe a bit of frosting onto each piece for decoration during the holidays. —Kristen Ekhoff, Akron, Indiana
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Hearty Pasta Soup Mix

Warm up loved ones on frosty winter nights with a gift of this hearty, stick-to-the-ribs soup mix. Packed in pretty glass jars, it looks just as good as it tastes! Be sure to include preparation instructions and a list of additional ingredients needed with your gift card. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Quick & Easy Chocolate Sauce

Mom made this chocolate sauce recipe to drizzle on cake, and we like it over ice cream, too. —Janice Miller, Creston, Iowa
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Rich Pistachio Brittle

Here's a fun twist on traditional brittle. Pistachios not only add wonderful taste to the rich, buttery candy, but delicious texture. —Valonda Seward, Coarsegold, California
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Creamy Caramels

I discovered this caramel recipe in a local newspaper years ago and have made these soft buttery caramels ever since. I make these as food gifts for Christmas, picnics and charity auctions—and they are so much better than store-bought caramels. —Marcie Wolfe, Williamsburg, Virginia
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Peanut Butter Snowballs

This recipe for peanut butter ball cookies is a nice change from the typical milk chocolate and peanut butter combination. I once prepared them for a bake sale at my granddaughter's school, and I've also put them in gift boxes to share with neighbors at Christmas. —Wanda Regula, Birmingham, Michigan
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Easy Peanut Butter Fudge

My sister shared the recipe for this unbelievably easy peanut butter fudge with marshmallow cream. I prefer using creamy peanut butter for this mouthwatering dessert, but the chunky style works just as well. —Mary Jane Rummel, Linglestown, Pennsylvania
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Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies

I love these oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. I made this recipe just before we showed our house. Not only did the people buy the house, but they requested the recipe. — Nancy Fridirici, Brookfield, Wisconsin
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Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins

I bake a lot of different muffins, but this is the recipe I use the most. Their small size makes them difficult to resist! —Joanne Shew Chuk, St. Benedict, Saskatchewan
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Caramel Heavenlies

Before I cut these bars into triangles, I usually trim the edges so all the cookies will look the same. My husband and daughter love that part since they get to eat the scraps. —Dawn Burns, Lake St. Louis, Missouri
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Sand Art Brownies

A jar of this attractive layered mix produces a yummy batch of fudgy brownies that are dressed up with chocolate chips and M&M’s. If you need a quick food gift for a neighbor or teacher, this is a delicious solution. —Joan Hohwald, Lodi, New York
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Lemon-Thyme Tea Bread

I received this recipe as part of a gift, along with a lemon thyme plant and a fresh loaf of this pound cake-like bread. Everyone who tries it asks for the recipe. —Jeannette Mango, Parkesburg, Pennsylvania
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Cranberry Walnut Biscotti

A chocolate drizzle lends extra sweetness to biscotti loaded with walnuts and dried cranberries. —Joan Duckworth, Lee's Summit, Missouri

Also check out these gifts for cheese lovers that are sure to please.