8 Easy-Peasy Edible Gifts (You Can Even Make Last Minute)
From friends and family to teachers, coworkers, and your beloved mailman, everyone on your “give list” would love a heartfelt, handmade holiday gift that’s good enough to eat. Your favorite cookies made with the assistance of your little elf are always a great go-to. But if the holiday spirit has you feeling kitchen-crafty, try one of these surprisingly easy and seriously tasty projects:
1. Scrumdiddlyumptious Peppermint Bark
Definitely the most delicious bark on earth (and priced accordingly when store-bought), peppermint bark is also ridiculously simple to make. (But don’t tell your friends—they’ll be really impressed you made fancy candy.)
Take a peek at this peppermint bark how-to from the Food Network, which involves just four ingredients: white chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate, peppermint extract, and crushed candy canes. The key is using high-quality chocolates (no chips—no exceptions!) and not eating it all before wrapping it up for holiday gifts. Package it up in little tins, cellophane sacks, or Ziploc® bags.
2. Totes Adorbs White Chocolate Buttons
Okay, so this candy recipe is even easier to make than the peppermint bark and the results are cute as a button.
Line a baking sheet with waxed paper and then melt a bag of white chocolate chips in a double boiler or in the microwave at 50-percent power—start with 30 seconds, stir to melt further, and then continue with 15-second increments, stirring after each, until the chocolate is melted and smooth.
Drop tablespoons of the melted white chocolate onto the prepared sheet, a couple inches apart. Top them with dried fruit (cherries and cranberries are tasty and festive), nuts, M&Ms, or whatever else appeals to you, and then refrigerate until they’re hard.
3. Perfectly Messy Pretzels
Get those elves of yours in on this one! Line a baking sheet with waxed paper and melt semi-sweet or white chocolate chips using the same method described for the buttons.
Dip pretzel sticks or twists into the melted chocolate and let the excess drip off before placing them on the baking sheet. Coat with colorful sprinkles, mini M&Ms, chocolate chips, chopped nuts, coconut, or cookie crumbles and place them in the refrigerator to harden.
4. Fabulous From-Scratch Nutella
Make this creamy, dreamy hazelnut-and-chocolate spread from scratch and you will definitely be the coolest Santa in town.
This recipe from cookbook author Christie Matheson for the Splendid Table makes the process a cinch—the bulk of the time/work involves roasting the nuts for 12 minutes. After that, you just melt your chocolate, blend all those ingredients up, and bam—you’ve got a gift that literally spreads the love.
5. Dreamy Salted Caramel Sauce
Again, you only need four ingredients to make this decadent sauce from the Brown- Eyed Baker that loved ones can drizzle over ice cream, stir into brownies, bake into an apple pie, or just stand at the counter and eat with a spoon. It will also make you seem super hip.
6. Super Simple Mixes in Jars
Easy to make in large batches (with no cooking on your part required!), jars filled with the dry ingredients for one of your favorite recipes are always a hit. Cookies, pancakes, muffins, hot cocoa…the options are endless.
Layering the ingredients makes for the prettiest presentation, like these cowgirl cookies from Bakerella, but if you’re short on time, just blend all the ingredients together in a large bowl and distribute between your jars.
Add a cute label or tag with instructions and tie with fun ribbon or twine. If you want to add extra flair, include a cookie cutter with a sugar cookie mix or layer your hot cocoa mix in a mason-jar mug.
7. Crave-Worthy Spiced Nuts
Recipes for these crunchy snacks (or salad toppers!) typically include egg whites or fat to bind the seasonings to the nuts. And there are tons of ingredients you can use to create different flavors, from salty-sweet to spicy-savory.
Here’s an Allrecipes version with the whites and sweet spices, and one with butter and spicy flavors. We also love these cocoa-dusted almonds from Greatist that only require almonds, sea salt, agave syrup, and unsweetened cocoa powder.
8. DIY Gingerbread House KitFamilies with kids will love this interactive treat—just package up all the necessary parts for them to build their own cookie palace.
This Country Living version includes a downloadable gift-box label and house-assembly instruction card, plus a powdered version of royal icing (the white icing that is used as mortar/glue) that you can bag up with the rest of the supplies.
Include decorative candies with the house, like red hots, mini candy canes, peppermint discs, gum drops, mini marshmallows, licorice whips, and more. Note: This isn’t a project for parents who are short on time or patience, but it’s a nice way to spend a rainy Saturday and your house will smell divine.