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Holiday Food Gifts

Cookies, candies, and other homecooked family favorites make great gifts.
Cookies, candies, and other homecooked family favorites make great gifts.

It is not uncommon to receive a warm welcome at family picnics with hands full of homemade ice cream, cakes, and a slew of side dishes. Valentine's Day and Easter are known for prompting thousands across the globe to purchase hearts and tins full of chocolate candies. The Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year holidays are perfect for giving food gifts as well.

The order of preparing a food gift first begins with the surprise inside. Second, the packaging seals the deal.

Some examples of possible food gifts are of course, pies and cakes. For an apple pie, try using seasonal apples such as Ginger Gold or Golden Delicious. Add a few more to the recipe as a special treat. Cakes are great with a hint of food coloring and lots of fresh squeezed fruit juice for a glaze. Gingerbread cookies are popular but what about holiday shapes such as polar bears, wreaths, snowmen, and tall crosses. Other familiar desserts such as tarts, scones, streusels, candy bark, and even danishes break loose with cranberries in the recipe. Top desserts with an unusually course sugar such as turbinado before placing in the oven.

Winter soups, stews, and other slow cooked dishes act as great gifts as well. Your dish can effortlessly rest in festive jars. Create labels from a home computer to give a vintage and nostalgic look. Rest tightly closed jars in a basket or a clear faced carryout bag.

Lastly, packaging holiday food gifts come in numerous styles. Start with beautiful tins found in your local Walmart and dollar stores. To step it up a notch, visit home decor stores throughout the city for beautiful ceramic bowls and platters in holiday colors. Spice up colors a bit by trading pine green for a metallic deep lime and a rich, burnt orange instead of red. Cellophane is a timeless product for gift wrapping. Your local Hobby Lobby and Michael's carry holiday printed cellophane. Online websites dedicated to cellophane offer every color in the color spectrum. Satin and sheer ribbons always bring immediate excitement. Visit your local fabric store for fancy ribbons, lace, and fabric by the yard.

The best way to be successful at preparing holiday gifts is to start early. Be sure to keep food gifts cool until distribution to avoid bacteria growth. Happy Trails in your quest and be prepared for an overjoyed gift receiver.