10 Nearly Homemade Holiday Gifts You Can Get at the Grocery Store

Don't call them last-minute gifts. These are well-considered and fun. (They're just easy.)

Woman cutting cookie dough in kitchen
Photo: Emilija Manevska/Getty Images

Check everyone off your gift list without leaving the grocery store. These food gifts are super-easy to put together with clever store-bought shortcuts (no marathon baking days or batter-covered kitchens here).

Many of these ideas also include an interactive element so loved ones can make their own holiday memories together. Look for jars, boxes, and treat bags online or at craft stores to package your goodies. Include gift tags with instructions for using.

1. DIY Cookie Decorating Kit

Gift a fun activity in addition to a sweet treat with these decorate-your-own kits. Stack store-bought sugar cookies (about eight per kit) and place in resealable bags. Divide red and green frosting, sprinkles, and candies in sandwich bags and tie with twist ties. Place in cardboard craft boxes, and tie with ribbon.

2. Rice Cereal Treat Kit

No baking (or sticky messes) with these kits. Place 1 1/4 cups crispy rice cereal and 1 cup mini marshmallows in separate mason jars or paper treat bags. Top with a paper cupcake liner filled with candy-coated chocolates.

To make, follow the directions in this Marshmallow Treats recipe, adding to a loaf pan instead of a 13x9-inch pan. Fold in the candies or sprinkle on top.

3. Hot Cocoa Sticks

Create hot chocolate memories with these cute pops. Combine 1 (14 oz) can condensed milk and 1 1/2 cups heavy cream in a pot, and bring to a simmer.

Stir in 1 (12 oz) bag semi-sweet chocolate chips and 2 (4 oz) bars unsweetened chocolate until melted.

Remove from heat, and let cool slightly.

Line 2 ice cube trays with plastic wrap, then add chocolate mixture. Cover with foil and stick a candy cane or ice pop stick in the center of each cube. Freeze until hardened.

To make, stir into a cup of hot milk.

4. Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Pancake Mix

Gift this mix for Christmas morning or any weekend this winter. Follow this recipe for Pumpkin Pie Spice I.

Place 1 cup buttermilk pancake mix in separate mason jars. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice to each and ½ cup mini chocolate chips and stir to combine.

To make, combine pancake mix with ⅔ cup water, then cook in a greased skillet over medium-low.

5. Homemade Ranch Popcorn Kit

Make movie nights even better with the gift of hot gourmet popcorn. Follow this recipe for homemade Dry Buttermilk Ranch Mix.

Place 2 tablespoons of the mix in separate sandwich bags and tie. Place 3 tablespoons of unpopped popcorn kernels in separate clear gift bags, and add seasoning bags.

To make, pop popcorn in 1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil, and toss with seasoning mix.

6. Dipped and Sprinkled Cookies

Skip the oven entirely with these three-ingredient cookies. Partially dip Dutch cocoa, gingersnap, or chocolate sandwich cookies in melted white chocolate, sprinkle with crushed peppermints, and let set. Gift in cellophane bags or cookie boxes or tins.

7. Snack or Granola Mix

No holiday is complete without a great snack mix. Layer ingredients like mini pretzels, Cheddar crackers, cereal, and candy in jars or clear treat bags.

You could also make a granola mix with layers of oats, dried fruit, nuts, and seeds. Include instructions for how to season, bake, and store. Use this Reindeer Food or Almond Crunch Granola for inspiration.

8. Slow Cooker Potpourri

Loved ones will love you even more for making their homes smell amazing. Place a few dried orange slices, a cinnamon stick, 4 or 5 whole cloves, a couple handfuls of fresh cranberries, and a couple fresh rosemary sprigs in jars or paper bags and seal.

To make, fill a slow cooker halfway with water, add the potpourri mix, and cook, uncovered, on low for 3 to 4 hours, adding more water as needed.

9. Fancy Hot Chocolate Sauce

Dressed up chocolate sauce feels so special yet couldn't be easier. Give this Hot Fudge Sauce II a grown-up spin with a shot of whiskey or rum.

You could also add half a teaspoon of cayenne for kick, or half a teaspoon of peppermint oil for peppermint chocolate sauce. Spoon into small jars with instructions to gently warm on the stove.

10. Cookie and Cutter

Gift the cutter with the cookie so loved ones can bake their own. Cut shapes from store-bought cookie dough with several holiday cutters and bake.

While the cookies are still warm, add the cookie cutters back to each cookie, using it to trim off excess. Cool completely.

Place the cookies with their cutters in small, clear treat bags and tie with ribbon.

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