Homemade gifts from the kitchen are always appreciated but it's easy to overlook how important the packaging is. The more thought you put into wrapping them up right, both for presentation and protection of the precious made-with-love contents inside - the more impressive your gifts will be.
If food gift giving is something you do every year, start collecting biscuit and cookie tins, pretty boxes and scraps of fabric and ribbons, or look for sales at your local craft and kitchen stores to pick up materials for creative gift wrapping. And follow our tips below to wrap up your treats!
Homemade chocolate bark looks spectacular in cardboard take-out boxes or gift boxes with a wire handle. Line the inside with coloured tissue paper and separate your bark with layers of parchment paper. Close the box and if it's one with a wire handle, tie a ribbon made from fabric scraps for a beautiful display.
Try it out with any of these delicious recipes:
Treats like truffles and rum balls are classic festive offerings and with their uniform shape and size, they look especially beautiful when presented in small candy or cupcake liners - the more festive, the better. Place them in a single layer inside a gift box or recycled cookie tin and secure the lid with ribbon. Try it out with these decadent recipes:
Skip the paper plate tented with aluminum foil and give your cookies in a box instead. Look for pretty boxes at craft or party-planning stores where they often come in various shapes and colours. Line the bottom of the box with a layer of parchment or wax paper to avoid buttery cookies from seeping through.
If your cookies are iced, lay them in a single layer so they don't rub against each other. If your cookies can be stacked, line them up in vertical lines starting from the back of the box to the front, gently overlapping the edges for a bake-shop look. You want the cookies to fit snugly inside the box so they don't jostle around and break.
Larger, customized cookies like the Gingerbread People can be wrapped individually in a cellophane bag. Just make sure the icing is completely dry first before packaging.
Here are our favourite cookies for giving this season:
- Gingerbread People
- Slice-and-Bake Shortbread
- Spiced Chocolate Shortbread Pyramids
- Pignoli Cookies
Candy is a fun thing to give because it usually lasts longer than baked goods and is something the receiver can set out on their own coffee table for guests to dip into anytime. Because of this, you want an attractive container that also keeps the candy fresh. For hand-wrapped candies like our Saltwater Taffy look for clear glass jars with the wire snap lids and rubberized air-tight seal at kitchen supply stores. They've got a nice, rustic look and your wrapped candy will look lovely inside.
Another way to gift homemade candy is to line a tin box with coloured tissue paper and then add another lining of parchment or wax paper for your candy to sit on without sticking. Secure the lid with decorative ribbon.
Sweeten someone's day with any of these tested-till-perfect candy recipes.
When giving out homemade spiced nuts, opt for clear mason jars which are inexpensive and make a nice statement as they allow your homemade treats to remain visible. Look for the jars at houseware and kitchen stores, or other places that carry canning supplies. A good size is the 500 mL variety which can easily be transported for a party offering.
You can decorate the top with a large cupcake liner (we like the extra-colourful ones). Scribble your message on the bottom of the liner and centre it on top of the jar lid, with your message facing up. Gather the sides around the neck of the jar and secure with a ribbon that can be curled with scissors for an added touch. Fabric scraps can be used in place of the cupcake liners. Just cut them in a circle twice as wide as the jar lid and secure the edges with ribbon.
Spice up the season with any of these addictive treats:
And for an extra-special gift for do-it-yourself foodies, mix up the dry ingredients for muffins or biscuits and gift them along with the recipe. All they have to do is add the wet ingredients for an easy, fresh batch of biscuits on Christmas morning.
Our Cranberry Pistachio Biscuits are perfect for this and they come with a template label you can print out and attach to the gift.