The holidays are drawing near, and you might be left scrambling for heartfelt gift ideas in the 11th hour. This year, give the gifts that will feed people’s souls–we’ve got a round-up of sauces and baked goods that can be easily made in bulk and wrapped up to give to anyone on your list. Because who needs to buy yet another sweater or scented candle when you have the option to *personally* make sure that your friends and family never eat another mediocre bowl of homemade noodles ever again?
Here are our suggestions for last-minute food gifts to have under the tree.
Homemade Chili Oil
A jar of our Homemade Chili Oil is pure, festive, red, spicy goodness. It’s sure to please your snobbiest of foodie friends or anyone who loves a good takeout order of fried rice and dumplings now and again. Plus, it’s something you’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere in a store. Make a big batch, split them among mason jars, and tie them up with golden bows. Done!
Homemade Chiu Chow Oil
If you’re looking for a bit of variety, try gifting this Homemade Chiu Chow Sauce. Garlic lovers will rejoice, and what can better say “Happy Holidays” than a delicious jar of spicy, umami, chili garlic goodness? Skip the Sriracha keychain stocking stuffer, and go for this.
Homemade XO Sauce
Okay so maybe you’ve already tipped off everyone in your life about the game-changer that is homemade chili oils. Time to go for the true wow factor. Homemade XO Sauce, made with luscious seafood and preserved Chinese ham is the surest way to even the coldest grinch hearts or anyone who insists that they really “don’t have anything they want” this year–we’re talking in-laws, grandparents, that hard-to-buy-for sister, bffl’s, someone you owe a favor, and coworkers thou hath scorned. This sauce has their name on it.
Homemade Spring Rolls
Okay, I know what you’re thinking. How does this make any sense? The real value behind giving someone a batch of Homemade Spring Rolls is preparing them, freezing them before frying, and then giving them out in cellophane bags, festooned with ribbons, complete with card and cooking instructions for any snowy day, when you just need to eat fried food. If that’s not love and holiday spirit, I don’t know what is.
See Homemade Spring Rolls. Dumplings are a labor of love, and giving someone a big bag of these, whether they be Vegetable Dumplings, or our classic Pork and Chive Dumplings, or our old stand by, The Only Dumpling Recipe You’ll Ever Need. Bonus “good” points from Santa for making those homemade wrappers!
Olive Oil Pecan Rum Cake
This Olive Oil Pecan Rum Cake is one of my all-time favorite holiday desserts. It’s got the perfect moist, dense crumb with just a hint of boozy flavor, the richness of the olive oil, and a delightful crunch from the pecans. Make it, serve it on a platter (bonus part 2 of the gift if you buy one the recipient can use in the future!), and say Merry Christmas, ya filthy animal.
Chinese Walnut Cookies
Skip your old holiday cookie stand-bys and go for these buttery Chinese Walnut Cookies. Trust us, your friends and family probably wouldn’t mind a change of pace from the cookies that you make every single year.
Matcha Bacon Sugar Cookies
Matcha Bacon Sugar Cookies are the ultimate festive yet original holiday cookie–perfectly chewy sugar cookies spread with matcha icing and crispy bits of bacon sprinkled over the top. Smokey, salty, spiced, sweet, and delicious. Make the most of holiday excess before those New Year’s resolutions kick in!
Chock Full o’Nuts Chocolate Chip Cookies
These may look like very ordinary chocolate chip cookies, but they are in fact a delightfully decadent way to show you care–Chock Full o’ Nuts Chocolate Chip Cookies contain not one but three kinds of nuts: pistachios, chocolate-covered almonds, and pecans, plus gooey, molten chocolate chunks. Get thee to thy ovens and make these in bulk.
Red Bean Bread
While pantries are bursting with loaves of Pannetone bread, break with tradition and give the gift of a delicious loaf of swirled Red Bean Bread. Soft, sweet, and pretty to boot, perfect with a cup of coffee on Christmas day.
“Brussels” Chocolate Sandwich Cookies
If you know someone who’s an unabashed fan of that Pepperidge Farm classic––Brussles, make this easy, decadent Brussels copycat recipe. Stacking these up in bags with some hot cocoa mix and candy canes? A perfect holiday present.