If you’re heading to a last-minute holiday party or a visit with friends and neighbours this week, bringing along a hostess gift is always appreciated. A bottle of wine is standard, but it’s nice to bring along a batch of baked goods, especially this time of year. There are plenty of little treats that you can whip up to spread a little holiday joy. Here are some ideas to get you started: 

 

Rosemary Raisin Pecan Crisps 

These crisp crackers resemble a certain high-end crisp popular with cheese lovers — but they’re quite easy to make on your own. The trick is to bake them as a loaf, slice them, and then bake them again. This version is studded with rosemary, raisins and chopped pecans but you can use other herbs, dried fruit, seeds and nuts. Package them with a soft cheese and you’ve got yourself a great gift.  

 

Biscotti 

Another double baked treat, crisp biscotti don’t go stale as quickly as regular cookies, making them a great gift idea. Dress them up with your choice of fixin’s or dip them in chocolate. They’re a perfect match for coffee or a cup of hot chocolate — throw in a festive mug or a package of cocoa mix to round out the gift.  

 

Shortbread 

The recipe linked here is for a brown sugar shortbread studded with fruit — but any variety of shortbread makes for a great gift. Thicker Scottish or Jewish shortbread are better for packing and gifting than delicate whipped shortbread.  

 

Pumpkin Spice Snaps 

Something gingery is in order this time of year and adding a twist of pumpkin spice makes these cookies perfectly on trend.  

 

Peanut Butter Balls 

Not so much baked as “put together” these easy-to-make candies are a nostalgic holiday treat. Dipped in chocolate, they’re deliciously rich and make for a great gift.  

 

Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix 

If you’re concerned that your gift recipient may have more cookies than they can handle in their pantry, try putting together a bag or jar of pre-mixed dry cookie ingredients. The recipient can add wet ingredients and bake them up at their own convenience.  

 

Homemade Marshmallows 

If you haven’t tried homemade marshmallows, you’re in for a treat. So much more fluffy and delicious than the store-bought kind, they’re a bit fussy to make, but make for a thoughtful (and very sweet) gift. Pair them with graham crackers and small bars of chocolate for a homemade s’mores kit.  

 

Gingerbread Ornaments 

Not all baked goods are primarily for eating — bake up some gingerbread tree ornaments to hand out as you make your way through your Christmas party circuit.  

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