Homemade holiday gifts are often the most memorable, especially when they're edible.
These homemade food gifts are easy to make, store and transport because each is jarred or bottled. Wrapping can be as easy as tying on a simple ribbon or gift tag.
Or use our "make it a kit" options for a full-blown culinary-inspired holiday package that anyone will enjoy.
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Caramel dessert sauce
Suzy Q's Soda Fountain & Grill in Mansfield gave us the recipe for this light and creamy caramel sauce, which would make a perfect gift for neighbors. Wow them by delivering it along with a carton of vanilla gelato or even poundcake from a local bakery. They will appreciate the gesture and adore your creativity.
Make it a kit: Package the sauce in a basket with spoons and dessert dishes, a tub of ice cream, a jar of cherries, bananas, crushed walnuts, and a can of whipped cream for a fun, banana split-making kit the whole family will enjoy.
Recipe: Makes 1 quart
4 cups sugar
½ cup water
1 quart heavy cream
Juice of half a lemon
Pinch of salt
1. Combine sugar and water in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Let simmer for about 15 minutes until mixture turns golden brown and bubbles begin to appear. Do not stir.
2. Gradually stir in cream. Sugar crystals will begin to appear. Let simmer until crystals dissolve, about 5 minutes.
3. Whisk in lemon juice and salt. Pour into gift jars while warm and let cool before sealing lids to avoid condensation buildup. Store in refrigerator.
Nutritional information per 2-tablespoon serving: 200 calories, 11 grams fat, 26 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram protein, 41 milligrams cholesterol, 16 milligrams sodium, trace dietary fiber, 48 percent of calories from fat.
— Suzy Q's Soda Fountain & Grill, 1831 E. Broad St., Mansfield, 817-539-8800; suzyqssodafountain.com
Tomato, basil & mozzarella bruschetta
Your foodie friends will love receiving this authentic Sicilian bruschetta and will be impressed with your culinary efforts. Brix Pizza & Wine Bar shared its recipe, which provides a festive mixture of cherry tomatoes, fresh basil and mozzarella. Pair the bruschetta with a fresh baguette wrapped in a holiday kitchen towel.
Make it a kit: Add a package of fresh or dried pasta, a jar of your favorite gourmet tomato sauce and a bottle of Italian wine for a ready-made dinner for two.
Recipe: Makes about 2 cups
1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
¾ cup cherry mozzarella, quartered
½ cup black olives, sliced
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
1. Place cherry tomatoes in a bowl and sprinkle with salt. Let sit for one hour, draining every 15 minutes. 2. Add mozzarella and olives to drained tomatoes. Add olive oil, additional salt (if desired), pepper and basil and mix well. Keep refrigerated.
Nutritional information per 2-tablespoon serving: 35 calories, 3 grams fat, 1 gram carbohydrates, 1 gram protein, 5 milligrams cholesterol, 193 milligrams sodium, trace dietary fiber, 73 percent of calories from fat.
— Brix Pizza & Wine Bar, 2747 S. Hulen St., Fort Worth, 817-924-2749, and 101 S. Oak St., Roanoke, 817-890-4280; www.brixpizzeria.com
Making mulled wine is an easy way to create a thoughtful, homemade gift while filling your home with the sweet smells of the holiday season. But what kind of wine is best to use? We went to Chris Keel, owner of Put a Cork in It, who recommended choosing a nice red that's not too expensive, such as Murphy-Goode Cabernet Sauvignon.
Make it a kit: Instead of mulling the wine yourself, package a bottle of wine with a lemon, cinnamon sticks bundled with ribbon and an orange studded with whole cloves. Don't forget to include the recipe. For a finishing touch, include two sturdy glasses to help the giftees toast the season.
Recipe: Makes 36 ounces
1½ cups boiling water
½ cup granulated sugar
½ lemon, sliced
Zest of 1 orange
3 cinnamon sticks
3 whole cloves
Pinch of nutmeg
1 bottle Murphy-Goode Cabernet Sauvignon
1. Mix all ingredients except wine. Stir until the sugar dissolves.
2. Add wine and bring mixture to a simmer. Let simmer for 20 minutes. Do not boil. Strain and let cool before pouring into gift bottles.
Nutritional information per 4-ounce serving: 132 calories, trace fat, 17 grams carbohydrates, trace protein, no cholesterol, 70 milligrams sodium, 3 grams dietary fiber, 2 percent of calories from fat.
— Put a Cork in It, 2972 Park Hill Drive, Fort Worth, 817-924-2675; www.putacorkinitwine.com
Roasted tomato salsa
Making your own salsa and pairing it with chips is an easy way to cross those last few folks off your list who are simply impossible to buy for. Carlos Rodriguez of Salsa Fuego shared his flavorful recipe with us. It features roasted tomatoes, lime and fresh cilantro. Blue corn chips would add a creative touch.
Make it a kit: Add margarita glasses, a bottle of fresh margarita mix, a few small limes and a bottle of premium tequila for a patio party in a basket.
Recipe: Makes about 1½ quarts
2½ pounds fresh, ripe tomatoes
½ of a large onion
1½ cloves garlic
1 ounce ground cumin
1 ounce paprika
1 tablespoon kosher salt
Juice of half a lime
1/8 cup fresh cilantro
1. Preheat oven broiler. Place tomatoes on a baking sheet under broiler and roast until they begin to blister, about 4 to 6 minutes.
2. Place tomatoes and remaining ingredients in a blender and puree to desired thickness.
Nutritional information per 2-tablespoon serving: 9 calories, trace fat, 2 grams carbohydrates, trace protein, no cholesterol, 121 milligrams sodium, trace dietary fiber, 5 percent of calories from fat.
— Salsa Fuego, 3520 Alta Mere Drive, Fort Worth, 817-560-7888; salsafuegofw.net