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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

This bark recipes uses white chocolate, roasted salted shelled pistachios, dried cranberries, and chopped dried apricots.

Recipe: White Chocolate, Pistachio, and Apricot Bark

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Nutella Bark

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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Shortbread Messages

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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Speculaas Snowflakes

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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Chocolate-Dipped Apricots

A homemade dried-apricot liqueur infused in the dipping chocolate makes this an extra-special treat.

Recipe: Chocolate-Dipped Apricots

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Fruit Jellies

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

It’s almost too easy, given how good it tastes: Add zest to alcohol. Wait a week. Give.

Recipes:

Lemon Vodka

Lime Tequila

Tangerine Gin

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Citrus Salt

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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Orange Bitters

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

Fill a gift tin with extra-crisp toffee with a tongue-tingling spark of salt.

Recipe: Salted Chocolate-Pecan Toffee

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Almond Toffee

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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Rosemary Limoncello

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

This tri-color cookies are fun, festive, and pleasingly old-fashioned.

Recipe: 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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Classic Cocoa

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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Mexican Cocoa

Make this version with cinnamon, brown sugar, and Mexican chocolate. Garnish the jar with whole cinnamon sticks.

Recipe: Mexican Cocoa

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Mocha Cocoa

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

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