This year I sent homemade food gifts to a few family and friends. It’s actually amazing how much time you spend in the kitchen in order to have enough to send to just a handful of people. Maybe next year I’ll plan ahead and start earlier (insert hysterical laughter here). But I was happy with what I made and what I sent, and I found some downloadable labels on the internet, so I didn’t have to label everything with ugly labels (links at the end of the post). That’s important, you know!

Here’s what I made and sent this year, and some links to recipes.

First, of course, I included cracker candy in everyone’s package. This was a batch I made with half graham crackers and half club crackers. The graham crackers were my least favorite!

Next I made almond cookies for some of the boxes. This is the recipe I followed, which was super, super easy and came together quickly. And so good. I love a really delicate, light tasting cookies.

Some boxes had homemade marshmallows in them. This was my first time making them so it was an adventure. I used the Alton Brown recipe, which was very easy thanks to my mixer. Someone on Twitter mentioned they’d made marshmallows and burned out the motor on their mixer, so make sure you have a mixer with a higher wattage motor like mine, or that you watch it closely. The boxes that got marshmallows also got hot cocoa and peppermint stir sticks.

All of the packages also got caramel cinnamon popcorn with almond bark drizzle. This turned out…amazing. So good my husband didn’t want me to ship it off. It’s simple to make, but not a process to involve the kids in and it takes some muscle power to stir the popcorn to coat!

A few of the boxes got homemade garlic bread seasoning in cute glass jars. I really wish I’d taken a picture of these. I got the jars from Penzeys and it’s what I use to store all of my spices.

One box got a bag of Magic Reindeer Food. We do this every year and Brianna runs out in the morning to see if the reindeer ate or not. I included this link because it’s got cute printable tags, but if you make it, make sure you include glitter! When you sprinkle it out for the “reindeer” the glitter adds that magic touch.

Last, one box got candied lemon peels. It was my first time making these, and I specifically made them because the recipient likes lemon drop martinis. They were easy to make and the added side benefit was the lemon simple syrup that results at the end. I really wanted to send that in the box as well, but had nothing to ship it in that I believed would arrive safely and without leaking. The recipe includes printable gift tags with suggested uses. Adorable!

Everything had cute personal labels that I glued on the plastic containers used for packing. Each thing got its own container–it’s important not to mix more than one or two things in one container or they “contaminate” each other with the flavors. I got and/or found for later use, baking gift labels at these sites:

Betty Crocker

Everybody Likes Sandwiches (these are the main ones I used)

Domino Sugar (link to tags at bottom of page)

The very last thing in my homemade holiday gifts was a batch of pralines. My husband really likes pralines and you can’t buy them around here. I used a recipe from DamGoodSweet: Desserts to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth, New Orleans Style and it turned out well, but I have two other recipes I’d like to try and I’ll post the results here in the future.

Did anyone else do any homemade holiday gifting? I’d love some new ideas for next year!

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