What’s Going in Your Holiday Gift Baskets This Year?

by Shawnda on December 10, 2011

in Holiday Favorites

Swirly Chocolate-Peppermint Bark Fleur de Sel Caramels Chocolate Crackles Tahitian Vanilla Beans Peppermint Chunk Cookies Red, White, and Green Biscotti
Baileys Marshmallows Cranberry Pecan Bread Salted Vanilla Bean Caramel Sauce Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix Homemade Red Wine Vinegar Homemade Granola
Homemade Marshmallows Red Jalapeno Pepper Jelly Homemade Fortune Cookies Mint Chocolate Chunk Cookies Grasshopper Chocolate Bark

What homemade Christmas gifts are you making or baking this year?

Our gift baskets/bags/boxes usually hold 3-4 items. Every year, we (I) struggle to find a balance between old favorites that we have to make and new things that we (I) want to make. All while staying on-budget and trying not to end the night of the 23rd with me in a panic, wondering why I (just me!) once again tried to take on too much.

But it really isn’t Christmas without:

    Sea Salt Caramels with Vanilla Bean – They’re a favorite of The Foodie Groom, his younger brother, and small cousins. And instead of making several batches of the caramels last year, I made jars of salted caramel sauce instead. And wouldn’t you know, the first thing one of those cousins said to me was, “I can’t wait to get my caramels!” :oops: The kids will not be denied their candy this year.
    Red, White, and Green Biscotti – They’re a big hit with the Foodie Groom’s grandmother, aunt, and my mother-in-law. And they’re my favorite. They get double or triple portions of what goes into our standard gift bags.

This year, we’ve decided on two additional items: a box of chocolate bark in two flavors (Swirled Peppermint Bark and “Grasshopper” Chocolate Bark) and a jar of homemade jalapeno pepper jelly. I’ve already made the pepper jelly and chocolate bark is relatively low-maintenance, requiring only chopping, melting, and pouring. The flavor combinations are pretty much endless and everyone loves it. We all win! And hopefully one of us (me!) will be a little less stressed out on the 23rd :)


{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Katrina December 10, 2011 at 9:09 am

Your basket is going to be lovely! I put bark, crinkle cookies and caramels in mine too. I also put Oreo truffles Nanaimo bars and other cookies :)


2 Jessica December 10, 2011 at 1:43 pm

Grasshopper chocolate bark?!? Yum! Your baskets sound fabulous!

I really wanted to put some together this year (like I usually do) but I am having a hard time figuring out the logistics of getting it from San Diego to Ohio with out sacrificing much needed luggage space.


3 Cara December 10, 2011 at 5:52 pm

All I gotta say is whoever is on your list is darn lucky :)


4 Tara December 11, 2011 at 3:22 am

I’m taking a page from your book this year and everyone is only getting gift baskets…and actually, most of the stuff is coming from here. :) Red pepper jelly, vanilla bean caramels, hot chocolate, marshmallows of some kind, wooden teaspoons dipped in chocolate, peppermint patties, granola, and caramel corn. It’s a good thing I’m only working 4 days between now and Christmas!


5 Sara December 11, 2011 at 5:50 am

Ummmm, can you add me to your gift basket list please?. . . . just kidding, sort of ;)
They look amazing, and now I have dreams about that red, white, and green biscotti!


6 Chelsea December 11, 2011 at 5:25 pm

I’m trying to convince my family to do this! My mom makes some amazing salsa and my dad makes his own beef jerky. And I’ve already got lots of jars of homemade vanilla extract that could be added!


7 Aaron Greenwood December 11, 2011 at 6:57 pm

I have an amazing recipe for praline sauce, so we do that…sometimes with pancake mix or something of the sort…or ice cream sundae stuff, brownies, etc. Its pretty much amazing on everything. ;)

& of course, peppermint bark, banana bread, OH! & of course, ICEBOX SHORTBREAD. So few ingredients, stress, etc. & SO easy to package & so festive too.


8 Maria December 12, 2011 at 12:04 am

Awesome! I put homemade gingersnaps, candy cane sugar cookies and chocolate crinkles.


9 Liz Parker December 12, 2011 at 7:20 am

I put your hot chocolate, red, white and green biscotti, cream cheese cranberry bread in mini tins, Annie’s chocolate chip scones (dry ingredients only with directions) and my own fudge. I had such a great time making them this year since I knew EVERYTHING was to die for! My son and daughter’s school gifts are all taken care of. Next weekend, I finish it off for friends and work. LOVE this time of year. :-)


10 sherri lynn @ life of a wife December 12, 2011 at 8:38 am

I just made those caramels on Saturday! Those are gifts, as well as homemade vanilla extract. We think alike! :)


11 Sarah December 12, 2011 at 9:14 am

Chocolate dipped Pretzels, hot chocolate, dipped peppermint meringues, fudge, caramels, caramel corn, marshmallows. All handmade…it’s been a busy few weeks. Bagged with labels and ready to deliver. Plew. Fun but not sure I’ll go so crazy next year! ;)


12 Erin December 12, 2011 at 2:26 pm

Your gift basket items sound absolutely divine! Lucky ducks! I went pretty simple this year – three different kinds of cookies and homemade vanilla extract. Next year I think I may experiment with making some flavored salts…


13 ruhama December 12, 2011 at 4:07 pm

Ah, yes, the neighbor baskets… I haven’t figured it out yet, but I do know homemade marshmallows have to be included. Much like your caramels, folks are starting to expect them!


14 foodiebride December 13, 2011 at 10:32 am

So many awesome gifts, you guys! I’d be stoked to get any one of those baskets :)


15 Nicole December 16, 2011 at 3:51 am

I would love to see pictures of the finished baskets!


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