Like a party favor! Our last holiday entertaining tip for the iPad app! Contribute yours.
little baggies of caramels. caramel is ALWAYS fun to me!
Why not make your own Pistaccio fudge
I like spice rubs - like a North African or a chimichurri - you can make several batches at once and pop them in cute little jars.
this would be especially nice if it reflected your dinner theme!
home made Chocolate bark
I was going to add this, so will second Panfusine's suggestion. It's nice because you can add toppings for the season - dried cranberries and pecans, caramelized ginger and dried pear, etc.
A take home hot toddy kit...an inexpensive ($1 store) glass irish coffee mug, with a homemade hot chocolate mix and homemade marshmellow and one of those mini "airline" sized bottles of Bailey's Irish Cream...or a dried apple cider/mulled cider spice blend with a Buttershots schnapps mini...or your favorite coffee (decaf!) combo. Wrap it up in a clear cellophane bag and tie with ribbon.
Chocolate, Caramel, Maple Syrup or White Choclate coated popcorn or seasoned popcorn such as Butter & Old Bay or Garlic & Thyme.
Make your own flavored oyster crackers or croutons - perfect for soup & stew season
A jar of apple butter. You can make it in the microwave. Really!
Homemade marshmallows - http://www.food52.com/recipes...
Homemade mustard - http://www.sunset.com/food-wine/homemade-mustard-recipes-00418000071159/
Candied citrus peel - orange half-dipped in dark chocolate; lemon half-dipped in white chocolate
I have to add another vote for caramels!
Also brittle or toffee.
Sugar or gingerbread cookies (these keep well) cut out in shapes that are holiday appropriate (eg. a dreidel, christmas tree, holly sprig, snow man, etc.) and decorated with white lemony icing and lightly sprinkled with edible silver sparkles or glitter.
My pimento cheese packed in the tiny mason jars. Huge hit!
Gumdrops: These are always fun for something sweet! Inexpensive.
My Pan de Higo, which I posted last week, can be made in muffin tins (partially filled) and then wrapped in cellophane bags. It's different, packs a flavor punch, and is a great addition to any after-dinner cheese platter. The Pan de Higo is sweet, it's true, but not sugar-sweet. I'll be posting a recipe this weekend for a "Plum Pudding Pan de Higo," with more detailed instructions and photos on adapting for gift giving. ;o)
Homemade pancake mix with recipe card for pancakes and a bottle of maple syrup packaged nicely in a basket.
Mini loaves of cranberry bread. Or make them in a mini muffin tin and give each guest a little baggie of 5-6.
Remember less lean times when restaurants would give you pastry and chocolates to take home at the end of the meal? I love nancy Silverton's Pastries of La Brea Bakery and in my dreams would send guests home with pastries from her book for the next morning's breakfast.