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Hostess Gifts – Homemade and Heartfelt
hostess gift

‘Tis the season for holiday parties! Chances are you’ve been invited (or will be invited) to some sort of holiday get-together. While hostess gifts aren’t necessarily mandatory, it is always nice to show your appreciation to someone for sharing their home with you.

With other holiday shopping for your ever-growing Christmas list, it makes sense to go homemade with hostess gifts. Not only does it keep your budget in check, a homemade gift is a unique way to show your gratitude.

Making a homemade gift is easier than you might think! All you need is a kitchen, a few supplies from the craft store and a touch of creativity. Here are some ideas that I have used in the past:

A common, but still appreciated, gift is packaged bread. You can bake multiple loaves at once in the oven in mini disposable aluminum loaf pans, then package them in colored cellophane wrap or any kind of decorative food wrap. Tie it up with some pretty ribbon and, voila, you have a tasty gift anyone would love. Of course, you can use any quick bread recipe, but I like to make Cranberry Praline Quick Bread. It’s great for the holiday season and tastes amazing. Plus, it looks pretty with its festive colors!
recipe

Who doesn’t love a cup of hot chocolate on a cold winter day? To me, it’s the best way to unwind after a day out in the cold. Picking up a cute mug at any discount store only costs a few dollars, and you can fill it with individual packets of hot cocoa and biscotti. A simple, yet delicious, recipe for biscotti is Candy Cane Biscotti, a festive and a perfect complement to hot chocolate!
recipe

Candies are standard fare this time of year, and chocolate is a universally loved flavor. Try making a batch of truffles for your host or hostess, put them in a decorative box, and you’ll have a gift that is sure to impress. Crème De Menthe Truffles melt in your mouth and have a delicious seasonal flavor.
recipe

Another classic holiday treat you’re bound to have at some point this season is spiced nuts. I’ve found that a cute way to give spiced nuts as a gift is to package them in small gift boxes, or put them in Mason jars for a rustic look. Orange Espresso Spiced Nuts are a grown-up, gourmet version and are pretty addictive, if I do say so myself.
recipe

Caramel sauce and apples is one of those pairs that goes together like PB&J. Of course, you can use caramel sauce on almost anything, not just apples, and it’s so easy to make! Caramel Silk In a Jar is a great hostess gift, and one batch makes up to eight jars, which means there will be some left for you to enjoy, as well. Plus, the jar it’s stored in makes for great gift presentation.
recipe

I saved my personal favorite for last on the list. Last holiday season I wrote a blog about one of my go-to holiday recipes- Chunky Caramel Popcorn. If you read that blog, you’ll get some additional great ideas about packaging and gift giving.
recipe

I hope this will arm you with some ideas for that perfect hostess gift. Giving any of these homemade favors will guarantee you an invite to the next holiday party!

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• Comments •

The truffles look so delicious, I can't wait to try them. All the recipes and ideas are always good. I have not yet found one that did not turn out great!

Posted Nov 22 2011 by Debbie

The truffles look yummy! I was wondering how long you could make them before you gave them as gifts? I usually make microwave peanut brittle, which I can make a couple of weeks before and quick breads, but the breads I make a day or two before giving and sometimes I don't have enough time.

Posted Nov 17 2011 by Cecile L.
author_photo
Test Kitchen Comment
From:

Mallory

Hi Cecile, these truffles can be made up to 2 weeks in advance- just store them refrigerated in a container with tight-fitting lid . Happy Holidays!
Posted November 18, 2011

Mallory-
I am quite impressed with the above ideas....I am going to make the truffles. Thanks for the inspiring me to attempt to make someting "sweet." By the way, did you make all of the food used for these beautiful pics??

Posted Nov 16 2011 by Yvonne
author_photo
Test Kitchen Comment
From:

Mallory

Thanks, Yvonne. The truffles are delicious, let me know if you decide to make them, I would love to hear what you think! I can't take credit for the food in the pictures, but I have made them before and they turn out as beautiful as they are in the pictures. Happy baking!
Posted November 17, 2011

Mallory - you food looks so pretty. Makes we want to get in the kitchen and start Christmas baking...but I know it won't happen. So I will just live vicariously through your blog! Your new neighbors will be happy to have you in the neighborhood.

Posted Nov 16 2011 by Jane
author_photo
Test Kitchen Comment
From:

Mallory

Thanks, Jane! Most of the recipes are pretty quick and easy, so go ahead and give them a try this season! Glad you enjoyed the blog.
Posted November 17, 2011

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