Every year, I spend weeks checking everyone off of my list: in-laws, parents, siblings, kids, teachers…and, then the week before Christmas I realize there are quite a few folks I didn’t even add to the list (like neighbors, the piano teacher, my husband’s college friend who stopped by with a small something, you get the idea).
So, I turn quickly to my kitchen and put together some homemade food gifts with the help of the kids who are now on break. In fact, I highly recommend that you get the kids involved in the process. There are always fun memories to be made in the holiday kitchen. And don’t worry! Most of these ideas are super simple and most likely you have a ton of the ingredients already in your pantry. (Updated for 2023)
Our readers supplied the very best the best holiday cookie recipes, and we even have ideas for the most festive way to package them! Or try these free printable teacher gift tags for everything from cakes to cookies to hot cocoa mixes.
(The adorablenested holiday cookie tins above, available on Amazon)
White Chocolate Cranberry Pistachio Cookies | Daring Gourmet
Bookmark this one amazing sugar cookie recipes which makes ten easy Christmas cookies all from just one recipe. Don’t forget the holiday cookie cutters — or tie one to some cookies with a bow to make it even more nifty.
Christmas tree rice krispie treats are an easy, fun treat that little kids can help decorate.
These gingerbread whoopie pies are so dang good you may want to make a second batch to keep for yourself.
Baking with love? Here are40 treats you can make with a single heart-shaped cookie cutter.
Santa Belly Cookie Balls | Southern Bite
Spectacular no-bake cookie balls are super fun for the entire family to gather around the table and help make. From toddlers to teens, there is a recipe here for every age and skill level.
These 7 no-bake holiday cookie ideas are creative enough for cookie swaps, holiday hostess gifts, or you know… dessert.
Find some new inspiration in these 8 Hanukkah cookie recipes. (No, it’s never too late to eat Hanukkah cookies!)
Liz’s dad makes the best peanut brittle every year and now our readers agree! (Seriously…it’s amazing.)
My sister made us some of these Christmas bark recipes last year and it was “the best thing” my kids have ever eaten.
Thumbprint cookies are easy baking for the holidays and we’ve got five choices here.
Is it ever a bad time for pie? No way! Try one of these 5 impressive but easy seasonal pies or one of these unexpected twists on classic crowd-pleasing pie recipes
The perfect holiday cake gift.YES! you can gift people a whole cake.
Mason Jar Recipe for Toffee Blondies | Mels Kitchen Cafe
These 10 mason jar food gifts are so smart and I love that the recipient can pull them out and make in the New Year after the other home-baked treats have disappeared.
Flavored salt and spiced nuts are perfect for those people in your life who prefer more savory treats.
Homemade extracts are so beautiful, and don’t worry if they need more time to steep past the gifting date. Just put a note on it with the date it will be ready!
Homemade Irish Cream Liqueur | As Easy as Apple Pie
We also have ideas for a delicious non-alcoholic bottled beverage that gives you an alternative to sparkling cider.
And hey, if you don’t have time to cook, or bake, or even run to the store, no worries! Check out all of these unique food gift subscription boxes or a coffee subscription customized around how you take your coffee. Either way, it will keep the joy coming long after the decorations are put away.