By Vanessa Greaves
March 25, 2015

Handmade from the heart.

If you really want to give a gift from the heart, handmade beats store-bought every time. And one of the most popular types of handmade gifts are the ones you make in your own kitchen.

Credit: Sergey Nazarov/Getty Images

Homemade food gifts don't have to be pricey or fancy; in fact, they can be downright inexpensive. That cost savings is especially useful if you have a long list of recipients. You can buy the ingredients and the packaging supplies in bulk, set up a kitchen production line, and bang out dozens of food gifts at once. And when your family and friends receive a homemade gift from your kitchen, they'll definitely feel that extra wrapping of care and consideration that a store-bought gift just can't match.

Here are some of our most popular handmade food gifts, suitable for just about everyone on your list.

For Cookie Cravers

Home-baked cookies (and even rolls of frozen cookie dough) top the list of favorite homemade food gifts. They can be easy and low-cost to make, endlessly customizable, and who doesn't love cookies? You can package baked and cooled cookies in cello bags, gift boxes, or simply on a decorative plate. You can even mail cookies to loved ones far away.

Credit: Laurie

Christmas cookies to bake and share:

For the Cozy Crowd: Hot Drink Mixes

Attractive jars of cocoa mix, hot tea, and coffee drinks, tied with colorful ribbon, are easy to make in bulk; be sure to include instruction for how much liquid to add to how much drink mix. If you want to take it to the next level, include a mug, marshmallows, candy canes for stirrers, or whatever else would go with the drink mix.

Credit: My Hot Southern Mess

More drink mixes to give:

For Bakers: Cookie and Brownie Mixes in a Jar

For the most attractive presentation, layer the dry ingredients in a one-quart wide-mouth canning jar so each layer has a distinct color and texture. Unless your recipe has a different suggestion, the bottom layer should be the ingredient with the finest texture — usually the flour — and the top layer can be the largest ingredients, such as chips, raisins, and nuts. Include the recipe and baking directions on the label or gift tag.

Credit: Mackenzie Schieck

More cookie mixes and brownie mixes to give:

For Sweet Tooths: Homemade Candy

You don't have to be a Willy Wonka to make some of the easier recipes in our candy recipe collection. For tips, check out How to Make Perfect Candy.

Easy homemade candies to give:

For Comfort Food Fans: Soup Mix in a Jar

Soup mix in a jar will have them thinking warm thoughts about you when they cook up a satisfying pot of soup on cold winter nights.

Credit: 612jasonw

More soup mixes to give:

For Sandwich and Salad Masters: Condiments and Infused Vinegars

Homemade condiments such as mustard and ketchup can keep for 2 to 3 weeks in the fridge, or 6 months in the freezer. Flavored vinegars will keep for six months or more so you can get started on them when herbs are fresh and plentiful, and they'll still be great come gift-giving season.

Credit: lutzflcat

More condiments and infused vinegars to give:

For Flavor Fanatics: Salts, Rubs, Spice Mixes, and Seasonings

When you're short on time, simple seasoning mixes come together very quickly and are a snap to package.

Credit: France C

More rubs, salts, spice mixes, and seasonings to give:

For Mixologists: Homemade Liqueurs

You're not exactly running a still here, but you are infusing alcohol with flavor for big-batch give-aways.

Credit: moaa

More homemade liqueurs to give:

For DIY Homesteaders: Jams, Jellies, Pickles, and Preserves

If you're new to home canning, read this guide to home canning before you get started. You can also opt for freezer jams and quick refrigerator pickles that don't require hot water canning. Just be sure to include a tag that tells your recipient to keep the gift refrigerated and to use it up within 2 months.

Credit: FoodFan

More jams, jellys, and preserves to give:

For Pet Lovers: Homemade Dog and Cat Treats

Collect cookie cutters in dog-friendly shapes—bones, fire hydrants, dog houses, squirrels, shoes—to prepare these treats. Present the biscuits in a fancy jar, a decorative tin with animals on it, or in a cute pet food dish. Wrap with colored cellophane and tie with a ribbon. Tail-wagging and purring guaranteed!

Credit: SamanthaU

More homemade pet treats to give:

Browse our entire collection of food gift recipes.

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