22 Food Gifts You Can Make in a Jiffy (Even if You've Only Got an Hour!)

February 13, 2017

If you’re eschewing the more commercial aspects of the holiday season, or you just love making, food gifts are always a good idea.

Here are 22 to make for any holiday gifting—and which to embark on depending on how much time you've got on your hands: an hour or less (below), an afternoon, or a whole day.

If you’ve got an hour (or less!)

Salt, sugar, and spice blends

Sweet or savory, these sugar and spice blends are quick, easy, and endlessly customizable based on your tastes (or what you’ve already got in your pantry).

Spicy sauce

Simply assemble, blend, and enjoy this peppery Sriracha-esque sauce on everything.

Infused honey

Okay, so technically this honey takes about two weeks to infuse. But! You can still make it in under an hour, then simply add “ready to eat on [date two weeks from now]” on your gift tag.

Curry powder

If sugar or salt blends aren’t going to cut it, mix up a unique curry powder.

Cookies & Cream Bark

Two ingredients. Not just for Halloween!


The best recipes aren’t recipes. The best tapenade is gifted tapenade.

if you've got an afternoon

Mario Batali's grandma's biscotti

You know it's going to be good.

Spicy, chocolate-covered tortilla chips (!)

An unexpectedly perfect spicy-sweet-crunchy combo.


Pro tip: Save a little money by skipping the orange flower water, and by juicing your own pomegranates.


A little bit of an intense process, but fun in a science-meets-magic way.

Italian grape jam

Two words: ONE ingredient. Five more words: Syrupy, dense, and sugar-free!

Fennel seed crackers

Pair them with a cheese (or the tapenade above!) for the perfect host gift.


Do not be intimidated by the fancy name (it’s pronounced “druh-ZHAYS”). These are seriously snackable sweet treats that are best shared freshly-made.

Bitters sugar cubes

The perfect finishing touch for Champagne cocktails. Just in time for toasting in the New Year!

Peanut butter cups

Try using dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate; sprinkle the tops with a little sea salt or cayenne; or make them vegan by using dairy-free chocolate, vegan sugar, and, instead of butter, coconut oil.

if you've got a day or so

Fresh mozzarella

Can you imagine pulling apart a hunk of still-warm mozzarella?!... Sadly I have to, because no one has ever gifted me amazing homemade cheese.

Fresh farfalle

There is nothing more comforting than pasta. And for farfalle, no pasta-making machine required!

Chocolate caramels

Chocolate + caramel = the best of both dessert worlds.

Peppermint chocolate bark

A holiday classic. The multiple chocolate layers are worth the wait.


Another holiday classic—with suggestions for various booze + sweetener pairings. Try ‘em all.

Homemade Cheez-its

A favorite childhood afternoon snack. (Speaking of, kids might enjoy helping to cut the dough or poking a hole in each square.)

Homemade oreos

Another childhood favorite—with an optional bourbon-licious adult upgrade.

What are your favorite, last-minute, DIY food gifts? Take to the comments.

This article originally appeared on December 22, 2016. We're re-running it now because, uh, Valentine's Day is tomorrow and perhaps you just haven't gotten around to getting a gift yet?

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Cheri Sullivan
    Cheri Sullivan
  • Douglas McNeill
    Douglas McNeill
  • luvcookbooks
stereotypical oldest child


Cheri S. November 15, 2022
Chocolate covered pretzels decorated with seasonal sprinkles or drizzled white chocolate.
Douglas M. December 22, 2016
Jezebel Sauce
10 oz jar apple jelly
10 oz jar pineapple preserves
3 T dry mustard
1 1/2 tsp black pepper (cracked is good)
1/3 cup prepared horseradish
Mix all and serve over cream cheese with crackers, with meat, on burgers...
luvcookbooks December 22, 2016
Home made cheezits are cute and much more delicious than the real thing.