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80 Food Gift Ideas for Holidays, Parties and More

Who doesn't love a homemade treat? These food gift ideas are perfect for whipping up in big batches. Stir some of these up as a thank you to your gal pals, a holiday treat for friends or a gift for your new neighbors.

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Susie's Hot Mustard

My husband enjoys spreading this bold, robust mustard on anything that needs an extra "bite" of flavor. —Susie Gibson, Alta Loma, California
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Gentleman's Whiskey Bacon Jam

You can slather this smoky bacon jam on pretty much anything. It lasts only a week in the fridge, so I freeze small amounts for a quick snack with crackers. —Colleen Delawder, Herndon, Virginia
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Dr Pepper BBQ Sauce

My family is stationed in Italy with my husband, Lieutenant William Robert Blackman. William grew up in Memphis, Tennessee, and I’m from Texas, so the dish that spells "home" for us is a good ol' barbecue. I have my own recipe for barbecue sauce that we like to pour all over sliced brisket. Eating it reminds us of weekend barbecues with our families. —Tina Blackman, Naples, Italy
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Carrot Cake Jam

For a change of pace from berry jams, try this unique option. Spread on a bagel with cream cheese, it tastes almost as good as real carrot cake! —Rachelle Stratton, Rock Springs, Wyoming
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Candied Pecans

I pack these easy candied pecans in jars tied with pretty ribbon for family and friends. My granddaughter gave some to a doctor at the hospital where she works, and he said they were too good to be true! —Opal Turner, Hughes Springs, Texas
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Buttery Herb Christmas Tree

Your guests will adore this pull-apart treat shaped like a festive evergreen. Each roll is tender, flaky and flavored with a homemade herb butter, sure to make mouths water. If you like, add decorations to the tree using seasonings or veggies. —Kathryn Pollock, Tropic, Utah
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Fruitcake Christmas Cookies

As holiday gifts, these rich fruit-and nut-filled cookies are pretty and practical. These are great make ahead Christmas cookies —the taste actually gets better over time! —Julia Funkhouser, Carson, Iowa
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Olive Oil Dip

Combine a blend of herbs to create this mouthwatering mix. Plumping the herbs in water before stirring into olive oil enhances the flavor. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Gumdrop Fudge

Making candy is one of my favorite things to do during the holidays. This sweet white fudge is as easy to put together as it is beautiful to serve. —Jennifer Short, Omaha, Nebraska
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Homemade Irish Cream

Add some creamy goodness to your cup of joe with a splash of this alcohol-free version of the Irish favorite. —Marcia Severson, Hallock, Minnesota
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Holiday Reindeer Cookies

Gather 'round the tree on Christmas Eve and feast on these adorable reindeer cookies. If you listen closely, you might heard reindeer hoofs on the roof! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Chocolate-Dipped Beverage Spoons

These make a cute gift when wrapped individually in cellophane, tied with colorful ribbon and displayed in a Christmas mug. To set the chocolate quickly, chill dipped spoons in the freezer. —Marcy Boswell, Menifee, California
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Chive Biscuit Ornaments

Ring in the holiday season with these tender bell-shaped bites. They used cookie cutters and whole chive "hangers" to form the warm and appetizing ornaments, which get a slight kick from red pepper flakes. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Hot Buttered Cider Mix

Put the butter base for this beverage in a decorative jar and attach a copy of the recipe for a great gift from your kitchen. You can omit the brandy for a kid-friendly version. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Mint Chocolate Bark

After sampling peppermint bark from an upscale store, I thought, "I can make that!" Using four ingredients, I came up with a simple version that won over my friends and family. —Patti Maurer, Wise, Virginia
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Orange Pear Jam

Full of fruity flavor, this delightful jam is a great toast topper. Delores Ward of Decatur, Indiana came up with the recipe when a neighbor gave her an armload of pears. "Everyone really likes it," says Delores.
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Gingerbread-Spiced Syrup

Here's a wonderful treat for the season. Stir a tablespoon into coffee, tea or cider; drizzle it over pancakes, hot cereal or yogurt; or use it as a glaze for chicken or pork chops. —Darlene Brenden, Salem, Oregon
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Ornament Popcorn Balls

These gooey-sweet treats are great for dressing up the tree with a little more than the classic popcorn string. And they're yummier and fun for the family, too. — Deirdre Cox, Kansas City, Missouri
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Spicy Pickled Garlic

Here's a delicious condiment for the garlic lover on your list. You'll be pleasantly surprised how pickling mellows out the garlic, making it a tasty sandwich topper. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Aloha Brittle

A vacation to Hawaii inspired me to create this mouthwatering brittle. Coconuts, macadamia nuts and pecans make my tropical-tasting recipe deliciously different.
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Apple Brandy

I spend a lot of time developing recipes for the many fruits and vegetables we grow on our farm. In this creation, apple liquor is enhanced with spices for a delightful drink.—Deanna Seippel, Lancaster, Wisconsin
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Bananas Foster Crunch Mix

Bananas Foster is one of my favorite desserts. So I thought that a crunchy, snackable version would be a hit. It is heated in the microwave and takes just a few minutes to make. —David Dahlman, Chatsworth, California
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Beer and Pretzel Caramels

Beer and pretzels are a natural combination—mix them with smooth caramel and you have an awesome candy. The guys will go wild over these crunchy, chunky chews. —Jenni Sharp, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Candy Cane Hot Cocoa Mix

We make batches of this minty, malted milk-flavored hot chocolate to give as gifts. Be prepared—friends will return the jars for refills! —Sara Tatham, Plymouth, New Hampshire
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Chicago-Style Hot Giardiniera

I've been living in Chicago for the last 12 years and have grown to love the spicy giardiniera served at restaurants. So I developed my own to use at home. We love it on everything from eggs to sandwiches and even pizza! —Andrea Quiroz, Chicago, Illinois
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Chocolate Snowballs

This is my favorite Christmas cookie recipe. The cookies remind me of the snowballs I packed as a child during many cold Wisconsin winters. —Dee Derezinski, Waukesha, Wisconsin
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Christmas Cheese Balls

Christmas at our house just wouldn't be complete without these rich cheese balls. Friends and family ask for them every year-and I can make three gifts from just one recipe. —Margie Cadwell, Eastman, Georgia
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Christmas Cranberries

Christmas Cranberries

Bourbon adds bite to this holiday standby, packed in a small heavy-duty glass storage container with a tight-fitting lid. Wrap in a vintage tea towel or cloth napkin, cinch with ribbon and adorn with small ornaments. —Becky Jo Smith, Kettle Falls, Washington
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Christmas Jam

I have a passion for cooking, and I can probably thank my grandmother for it. She was a marvelous cook who could really stretch a food dollar. —Jo Talvacchia, Lanoka Harbor, New Jersey
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Cranberry Honey Butter

If you are traveling to a friend's or loved one's for the holidays, bring them something even better than a bottle of wine—this easy to whip up treat! —Arisa Cupp, Sherwood, Oregon
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Delicious Chocolate Sauce

Dressing up a dish of ice cream is especially easy with this sauce. It mixes together in a matter of minutes! The sauce serves another purpose, too. One batch yields so much, I have plenty extra to pour into pint jars and give out as gifts. —Dorothy Anderson, Ottawa, Kansas
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Double Chocolate Walnut Fudge

Anyone who's fond of chocolate will like this smooth, nutty fudge twice as much. I enjoy making several batches when Christmas rolls around. It doesn't last long at our house during the December festivities! —Florence Hasty, Louisiana, Missouri
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Favorite Bread & Butter Pickles

I made these pickles while growing up and love them because you can eat them with just about anything. Now, both of my children love these pickles, too. I think you'll enjoy them as much as we do! —Linda Weger, Robinson, Illinois
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Fresh Herb Butter

I love impressing dinner guests with flavored butter. I mix up a big batch and then freeze it so when company comes, this special spread is ready to go. Cut them in different shapes for a little fun. —Pam Duncan, Summers, Arkansas
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Garlic Lemon Butter

This tangy flavored butter offers a nice change from plain butter and gives a refreshing new taste to an ear of corn. When I serve this on the side during fresh corn season, the same question always gets asked—"What's in the butter that makes it so delicious?" —Margie Wampler, Butler, Pennsylvania
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Holiday Salsa

When we offer this cream-cheesy salsa of fresh cranberries, cilantro and a little jalapeno kick, everyone hovers around the serving dish until it’s scraped clean. —Shelly Pattison, Lubbock, Texas
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Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

I like using pretty mini muffin liners and topping these homemade peanut butter cups with colored sprinkles to coordinate with the holiday we're celebrating. People can't believe how simple it is to make this irresistible candy with gooey peanut butter centers. This is how to make homemade peanut butter cups. —LaVonne Hegland, St. Michael, Minnesota
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Mexican Mocha Mix

This mix of coffee and cocoa is a wonderful alternative to traditional hot chocolate. —Maria Regakis, Somerville, Massachusetts
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Pancakes from the Pantry

Need a gift for the breakfast lover on your list? Fix a batch of this pleasing pancake mix—it'll serve up plenty of smiles. Don't forget to attach the recipe for making the pancakes! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Peach Raspberry Jam

"Back when my children were young, I put up about 100 jars of jams and jellies each summer, including this freezer version," notes Mrs. Donn White form Wooster, Ohio. "Although I don't make that many now, I do stir up a batch to give to neighbors at Christmastime."
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Ranch Dressing and Dip Mix

This versatile recipe converts easily into a creamy dip or smooth dressing. It's delicious served with fresh veggies or drizzled over greens. —Carolyn Zimmerman, Fairbury, Illinois
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Rosemary-Lemon Sea Salt

Making flavored sea salt is so easy. Mix in grated lemon peel and minced rosemary for a delicious way to enhance chicken, fish and salads. —Shelley Holman, Scottsdale, Arizona
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Three-Herb Popcorn

Try this seasoned treat for a tasty twist on plain popcorn. Mixed nuts add crunch and flavor but are optional. The next time you have cream soup or chili, sprinkle a small handful over individual servings. —Flo Burtnett, Gage, Oklahoma
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Turtle Snack Mix

A decadent turtle sundae I had at a restaurant inspired this sweet-salty snack mix. Just try to stop at one handful! —Priscilla Yee, Concord, CA
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Vanilla Coffee Creamer

Flavored coffee creamer drives my husband nuts. Even so, I still make this classic vanilla one all the time. It’s better (and cheaper) than store-bought—and I know exactly what’s in it! —Shauna Sever, San Francisco, California
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Shortbread

I live in Missouri, but many family recipes come from New Zealand where I was born. My parents moved there when I was a year old, so I have a "Down Under" heritage. This easy shortbread recipe brings back warm memories of my childhood, and I'm going to make sure they're passed on to the next generation in my family…no matter where they live! —Allen Swenson, Camdenton, Missouri
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Spiced Almond Cookies

These cookies are my all-time favorite! The recipe has won ribbons at fairs and applause from family and guests alike. One of the reasons I like it is that I can make the dough and freeze it. Then, when I need another batch of cookies, I take a "log" out of the freezer, thaw it and make fresh cookies in minutes. —Wanda Daily, Milwaukie, Oregon
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Potato Chip Crunchies

When my family comes home, I like having treats ready for them. No matter what's on the cookie tray, these are always the first to vanish. —Dorothy Buiter, Worth, Illinois
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Mushroom Corn Muffins with Chive Butter

In this unexpected combination, thyme and mushrooms tucked into a fine-textured cornbread muffin are enhanced with a smear of homemade chive butter. —Lorraine Caland, Shuniah, Ontario
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Chocolate Orange Checkerboard Cookies

I use these for gifts during the holidays because I like the elegant flavor combination of chocolate and orange. The shortbread texture melts in your mouth, and the walnuts add a nice crunch.—Sandy Paige, Ramstein Air Base, Germany
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Pretzel Bark Candy

I usually make this pretzel candy as a gift, but it's also fun to share at office parties. The recipe makes a big batch and stores well. —Betty Claycomb, Alverton, Pennsylvania
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Family-Favorite Cinnamon Candy

I have fond memories of standing at my grandmother's stove with my mom and my aunts, helping to make this cherished recipe. Now I share the tradition with my kids. —Wendy Hagan, Oak Grove, Louisiana
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Coconut Rum Balls

My mom has made rum balls for as long as I can remember. They look beautiful on a dessert spread and can be packaged in a decorative tin as a gift. I swapped coconut rum for the traditional rum and added shredded coconut. —Jana Walker, Macomb, Michigan
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Hazelnut Dream Cookies

I sampled these goodies at a Bible study and knew from the first bite that I had to have the recipe. To my surprise, the rich cookies require just four ingredients. —Julie Peterson, Crofton, Maryland
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Toni's Tropical Biscotti

My second mom had a hankering for biscotti with pistachios and dried papaya. Since she's a fabulous cook, I gave it a whirl. The result was sensational!—Bonnie Hauschild, Wellington, Florida
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Almond Tea Bread

My aunt brought her tea bread recipe with her from Scotland, and enjoying a fresh-baked loaf has become a family tradition during the holidays. Each slice is loaded with red cherries. —Kathleen Showers, Briggsdale, Colorado
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Saltine Toffee Bark

These salty-sweet treasures make delightful gifts, and their flavor is simply irresistible. The bark is like brittle, but better. Get ready for a new family favorite! —Laura Cox, Brewster, Massachusetts
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Chocolate-Dipped Pretzel Rods

Kids of all ages enjoy making and eating these fun treats. The decorated pretzels are a pretty gift in a cellophane bag or a glass jar. —Kay Waters, Benld, Illinois
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Homemade Vanilla Extract

Homemade vanilla is fun to give in decorative bottles with attractive labels. Share it with special friends who like to cook or bake. —Becky Jo Smith, Kettle Falls, Washington
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Chocolate Peanut Butter Candy

With only three ingredients, these chocolate-swirl treats take just moments to whip up! If you have little ones visiting for the holidays, have them help you with the stirring. —Holly Demers, Abbotsford, British Columbia
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Spiced Almond Brittle

I like sending homemade goodies to family and friends. When I couldn’t decide between brittle and spiced nuts, I combined the two into one treat. One batch fills up about six gift tins.—Leslie Dixon, Boise, Idaho
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Double-Drizzled Biscotti

Semisweet and white chocolate drizzles give these biscotti a pretty look. The baking time is shorter than for some biscotti, so they're a little softer. —Cheryl Ludemann, Boonville, New York
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Ginger & Maple Macadamia Nut Cookies

This spiced cookie has a real kick of ginger, similar to traditional German lebkuchen. If you don’t have crystallized ginger, use colored sprinkles. —Thomas Faglon, Somerset, New Jersey
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Mackinac Fudge

When I got married, a woman at my parents’ church gave me this version of a popular Michigan treat. I sometimes pipe a bit of frosting onto each piece for decoration during the holidays. —Kristen Ekhoff, Akron, Indiana
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Hearty Pasta Soup Mix

Warm up loved ones on frosty winter nights with a gift of this hearty, stick-to-the-ribs soup mix. Packed in pretty glass jars, it looks just as good as it tastes! Be sure to include preparation instructions and a list of additional ingredients needed with your gift card. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Apple Pie Jam

Although I've been canning for years, I've never found a good apple pie jam recipe, so I created this one. My husband of 41 years and I love this jam so much because it tastes just like apple pie…without the crust! —Audrey Godell, Stanton, Michigan
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Quick & Easy Chocolate Sauce

Mom made this chocolate sauce recipe to drizzle on cake, and we like it over ice cream, too. —Janice Miller, Creston, Iowa
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Rich Pistachio Brittle

Here's a fun twist on traditional brittle. Pistachios not only add wonderful taste to the rich, buttery candy, but delicious texture. —Valonda Seward, Coarsegold, California
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Creamy Caramels

I discovered this caramel recipe in a local newspaper years ago and have made these soft buttery caramels ever since. I make them for Christmas, picnics and charity auctions—and they are so much better than store-bought caramels. Once people have a taste, they ask for the recipe. —Marcie Wolfe, Williamsburg, Virginia
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Peanut Butter Snowballs

This recipe for peanut butter ball cookies is a nice change from the typical milk chocolate and peanut butter combination. I once prepared them for a bake sale at my granddaughter's school, and I've also put them in gift boxes to share with neighbors at Christmas. —Wanda Regula, Birmingham, Michigan
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Easy Peanut Butter Fudge

My sister shared the recipe for this unbelievably easy peanut butter fudge with marshmallow cream. I prefer using creamy peanut butter for this mouthwatering dessert, but the chunky style works just as well. —Mary Jane Rummel, Linglestown, Pennsylvania
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Oatmeal Chip Cookie Mix

I like to give a jar of this oatmeal cookie mix, along with a cookie sheet, for a bridal shower or housewarming gift. —Joan Airey, Rivers, Manitoba
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Chocolate Mint Candy

I never made candy before until I tried this recipe. Now I make it every holiday. —Kendra Pedersen, Battle Ground, Washington
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Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins

I bake a lot of different muffins, but this is the recipe I use the most. Their small size makes them difficult to resist! —Joanne Shew Chuk, St. Benedict, Saskatchewan
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Caramel Heavenlies

Before I cut these bars into triangles, I usually trim the edges so all the cookies look the same. My husband and daughter love that part since they get to eat the scraps. —Dawn Burns, Lake St. Louis, Missouri
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Sand Art Brownies

A jar of this attractive layered mix produces a yummy batch of fudgy brownies that are dressed up with chocolate chips and M&M’s. If you need a quick gift for a neighbor or teacher, this is a delicious solution. —Joan Hohwald, Lodi, New York
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Lemon-Thyme Tea Bread

I received this recipe as part of a gift, along with a lemon thyme plant and a fresh loaf of this pound cake-like bread. Everyone who tries it asks for the recipe. —Jeannette Mango, Parkesburg, Pennsylvania
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Bacon Breadsticks

Nothing is easier then these delicious breadsticks. They are perfect for breakfast or as a side to a hot bowl of soup or stew.—Gail Sykora, Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin
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Cranberry Walnut Biscotti

A chocolate drizzle lends a little sweetness to biscotti loaded with walnuts and dried cranberries. Before your family has a chance to eat them all, wrap some up to give as gifts!—Joan Duckworth, Lee's Summit, Missouri
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Caramel Corn

For years I've taken this snack to our church retreat in two containers—one for each night—so it doesn't all disappear the first night. Other church members tell us that if we can't attend, we should just send the caramel corn. —Nancy Breen, Canastota, New York

Lisa Kaminski
Lisa is an editor at Taste of Home where she gets to embrace her passion for baking. She pours this love of all things sweet (and sometimes savory) into Bakeable, Taste of Home's baking club. At home, you'll find her working on embroidery and other crafts.

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