26 Delicious Gifts from Your Kitchen
Amazing shortbread, chocolate bark, infused liquors, and more special DIY gifts
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Dark Chocolate Peppermint Bark
Melt chocolate, spread it out, and add your favorite toppings—that’s almost all there is to making bark. We added one important step, though: tempering the chocolate so the bark stays shiny and snappy.
Recipe: Dark Chocolate Peppermint Bark
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White Chocolate, Pistachio, and Apricot Bark
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Create a Nutella layer with white chocolate, topping with chopped hazelnuts.
Recipe: Nutella Bark
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Caramel Bourbon Sauce
Your lucky gift recipients will be sampling spoonfuls of this sauce long before it hits the ice cream. The combination of deeply caramelized sugar plus cream, salt, vanilla, and a little booze is that good. (And unlike versions that contain butter, this one, made only with cream, stays pourable right from the fridge.) If you prefer, the sauce is also great without the bourbon.
Recipe: Caramel Bourbon Sauce
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Sheet Pan Scottish Shortbread
There is shortbread, and then there’s this shortbread, ultra-buttery with a light crunch. The secrets are rice flour for the sandy texture and a slow-and-low baking process to develop the flavor. It’s a recipe that lends itself to easy, festive riffing (sprinkles! snowflakes!)—and one you’ll be happy to have in your back pocket for years.
Recipe: Sheet Pan Scottish Shortbread
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Sprinkle-Top Shortbread Bites
Add colorful sprinkles to this batch of shortbread, and cut them into 1-in. squares to create these little bites.
Recipe: Sprinkle-Top Shortbread Bites
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Carefully cut hot shortbread with 2 1/2- to 3-in. chunky letter-shaped cookie cutters (we used 3-in. Ann Clark alphabet cookie cutters) to spell holiday messages such as fa la la, joy, or the initials of recipients.
Recipe: Shortbread Messages
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With brown sugar, cloves, and a Nordic Ware snowflake shortbread pan, these little snowflake squares look almost too good to eat.
Recipe: Speculaas Snowflakes
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Blenheim Apricot Liqueur
Be sure to get California-grown apricots, especially the Blenheim variety, which are head and shoulders above imported for flavor and color.
Recipe: Blenheim Apricot Liqueur
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A homemade dried-apricot liqueur infused in the dipping chocolate makes this an extra-special treat.
Recipe: Chocolate-Dipped Apricots
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As joyful as the candies from childhood, this version explodes with fresh-from-the-tree flavor.
Recipe: Fruit Jellies
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Candied Citrus Peels
Recipients can use these peels in all kinds of ways—in baked goods, on cheese plates—but odds are, they’ll eat them straight from the box.
Recipe: Candied Citrus Peels
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Citrus-Infused Vodka, Gin, and Tequila
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Two ingredients—and about 15 minutes of your time—are all you need to make this zesty gift for your favorite cooks.
Recipe: Citrus Salt
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It’s the holiday season, in a bottle: This sweet, spicy cocktail ingredient of the moment is as fun to make as it is to drink.
Recipe: Orange Bitters
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Salted Chocolate-Pecan Toffee
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Try this toffee with almonds or vary the recipe with any nut you wish to use.
Recipe: Almond Toffee
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Savory Spiced Shortbreads
These buttery, curry-flavored shortbreads are perfect with cocktails ― particularly those made with whiskey, bourbon, or rye.
Recipe: Savory Spiced Shortbreads
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Italy's Amalfi Coast and adjoining Sorrento Peninsula are the regions most famous for this intensely lemony liqueur, traditionally served ice cold as an after-dinner drink. We've added a subtle note of rosemary.
Recipe: Rosemary Limoncello
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Peppermint Layer Cookies
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Sweet-Hot Spiced Pecans
Fill a tin or pretty bag with crisp, lightly browned nuts tossed in sugar, cinnamon, and a touch of cayenne, allspice, and coriander.
Let the recipe itself serve as the perfect wrapping.
Recipe: Sweet-Hot Spiced Pecans
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Quick bread in a bottle
Cool weather puts us in the mood to bake. So why not give a friend a head start? Layer the dry ingredients for this easy quick bread into a milk bottle or 1-quart mason jar.
Recipe: Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Quick Bread
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Layer the ingredients in a jar, add a ribbon and a tag, and you have a simple but stylish gift.
Our mixes will fill 1-quart jars (12 servings), but if your containers are different sizes, just keep the ratio of ingredients constant. On the back of the tag, write: "Mix contents in a large bowl. For each serving, place 1/3 cup cocoa mix in a mug and stir in 1 cup boiling water. Store remaining mix in airtight container."
Recipe: Classic Cocoa
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Make this version with cinnamon, brown sugar, and Mexican chocolate. Garnish the jar with whole cinnamon sticks.
Recipe: Mexican Cocoa
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For deep flavor, try this version made with espresso powder and dark chocolate.
Recipe: Mocha Cocoa
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Peppermint Stick Cocoa
Top this version with a layer of crushed holiday candy and mini chocolate chips.
Recipe: Peppermint Stick Cocoa