Gifts from the Oven
Homemade treats like decorated cookies and homemade loaves of bread spread holiday cheer among friends and family.
Oatmeal-Caramel Cream Pies
Make over an old-fashioned childhood favorite with a surprising salty-sweet caramel filling. A quick tip: refrigerate the pies before packing away to keep the filling firm. You don’t want the buttercream oozing out before you make it to the party or give it as a gift!
Buttery and sweet with a hint of spice, these favorite cinnamon-sugar cookies, otherwise known as "snickerdoodles," are right for any occasion.
Orange Sugar Cookies With Orange-Cream Cheese Frosting
Orange zest lends a delicate floral, citrus flavor to this delightfully crisp and light shortbread cookies. Finished with a vibrant orange and cream cheese frosting, they’re the perfect treat to deliver a taste of sunshine on a chilly winter day.
Gingerbread Gift Boxes
Delight neighbors and coworkers with edible gingerbread boxes this year. Fill boxes with candy (gumdrops, miniature candy canes and hard candies work well) and place lids on top. Wrap in cellophane and tie with a ribbon.
Chewy Molasses Cookies
Perfectly spiced and wonderfully tender, these molasses cookies are a staff favorite. To mail, wrap small stacks together using plastic wrap. Nestle the stacks in a box with plenty of padding, or stack in a wide-mouth canning jar with crumpled parchment or wax paper. Place the jar in a box with padding for mailing overnight.
Lemon Cheesecake Bars with Gingersnap Crust
Fresh ginger in the cookie crust really kicks up the flavor.
Miso-Sesame Skillet Blondies
You won’t find a faster, easier dessert that guarantees satisfaction than the classic blondie; however, introducing not-so-classic flavor boosters like saltily-sweet miso and toasty sesame seriously raises this cookie bar’s cool factor. Miso paste is a wonderfully versatile ingredient that can be used to enhance both savory and sweet dishes. For this recipe, be sure to grab white miso (as opposed to yellow or red) as this variety—commonly referred to as “sweet” or “mellow” miso—delivers a more subtle flavor than other common types of miso that have been fermented for a longer period of time. Miso delivers a distinct punch of umami-backed sweetness that, when coupled with butter and brown sugar, intensifies the decadence level of a dessert like these blondies as no other ingredient can. Add delicately warming and nutty notes from a dash of sesame oil in the batter plus a toasty topping of sesame seeds (which provide for both a delightful crunch and an eye-catching aesthetic), and you’ve got one wow-worthy treat. We opted for a blend of white and black sesame seeds to create a fun visual, but feel free to stick with one or the other if you only have one type on hand. If you would prefer, these blondies can also be prepared in an 8-x8-inch metal baking pan instead of a cast-iron skillet—you may simply need to adjust your bake time slightly. Serve warm wedges with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and we guarantee, you’ll never question whether or not blondies have more fun again.
Cranberry Breakfast Pastries
A little less hassle in the morning is a great gift.
Fudgy Chocolate-Peppermint Cookies
When a soft, fudgy cookie meets crunchy candy cane shards, it's a match made in heaven.
Chocolate-Zucchini Loaf Cake
Zucchini squash is available year-round and is the secret to keeping this cake moist.
Stacked Snowman Cookies
Kids will love helping to frost and deliver these stackable snowman cookies!
Tender almond cake surrounds a raspberry filling in this playful riff on classic linzer torte.
Semolina Almond Orange Cake
You can bake this cake in four mini loaves. Reduce bake time to 30 to 35 minutes, checking for doneness with a wooden pick.
Perfect Chocolate Bundt Cake
Intensely chocolatey and incredibly moist, this is truly the perfect chocolate bundt cake—and undoubtedly, a chocolate lover’s dream. The cake’s rich chocolate flavor is enhanced with the addition of coffee in the batter and coffee liqueur in the glaze. Be sure to coat the inside of your bundt pan with either shortening plus a thin layer of flour or baking spray (which is nonstick cooking spray that contains flour) in order to ensure that your cake comes out clean and easy.
Hazelnut Nutella Sandwich Cookies
These double chocolate cookies get extra richness from nutella spread and chopped hazelnuts. You can use this basic chocolate cookie recipe in a number of variations that are all ideal for holiday giving.
Lemon Verbena-Walnut Loaf Cake
With its bright citrus flavor, lemon verbena adds that "little something extra" to this moist, nutty loaf. Pair it with a box of your favorite tea for a charming holiday gift.
Recipe: Lemon Verbena-Walnut Loaf Cake
Honey-Baked Chunky Granola
Keep granola on hand during the hectic holidays. It makes a great portable snack with lots of healthy ingredients and is also good served with yogurt, over ice cream, or in a bowl of milk.
Recipe: Honey-Baked Chunky Granola
Glazed Lemon Cookies
These tangy and crisp little cookies are a favorite gift for teachers or coworkers. Package them in a nut or coffee tin wiped clean with a damp towel. Wrap the tin in butcher paper or tie a bow with extra-wide ribbon to hide any glue remnants on the tin.
Recipe: Glazed Lemon Cookies
Pistachio Pastry Twist
The flavor possibilities for these puff-pastry twists are endless! Use the suggested filling of cinnamon, cardamom, and pistachios, or invent your own fillings and seasonings. Nibble these with tea or coffee or package in a pretty vase or cellophane bag and give to friends.
Recipe: Pistachio Pastry Twist
Chocolate-Raspberry Petits Fours
Start with prebaked mini brownies and pourable milk chocolate frosting to cut way back on the prep time of these adorable little cakes. Place each cake in a candy cup or cupcake liner to keep from sticking, arrange in a gift box, and seal with the lid and a ribbon. The petits fours are also easy pick-up desserts to serve at a brunch or holiday party.
Recipe: Chocolate-Raspberry Petits Fours
Peppermint Layer Cookies
Peppermint-flavored holiday cookies dipped in white chocolate and sprinkled with peppermints are the ideal gift to show someone that you took the time to make them something special. These cookies have a beautiful presentation so serve them at a cookie swap or give them to someone you love.
Recipe: Peppermint Layer Cookies
At less than 50 calories each, these fragrant Italian cookies are a sophisticated choice for anyone watching their waistline. Include them in a gift basket with a pound of Italian-roast coffee beans.
Dark Chocolate-Dipped Anise Biscotti
Present this deliciously grown-up treat in a festive glass cookie jar. An airtight seal will help keep the biscotti fresh for up to a week.
These spicy cheese wafers are a tasty and easier twist on the traditional cheese straw. For less spice, decrease the amount of red pepper. Press a toasted pecan into the center of each cookie for a decorative and delicious touch.
Recipe: Cheddar Cookies
Noel Pound Cake Loaf
Move over, fruitcake. This moist, sour cream-enriched beauty will banish any memories of leaden loaves, so wrap it in colorful cellophane and give with confidence.
Recipe: Noel Pound Cake Loaf
Christmas Sugar Wafers with Vanilla Icing
Say "Happy Holidays" with a batch of decorated sugar cookies. For maximum visual impact, package these pretty vanilla-scented shapes in clear plastic bags tied with coordinating ribbons.
Sour Cream Raspberry Swirl Loaf
Revealing a jewel-red ribbon of raspberry jam when sliced, this tasty stunner will have friends begging for the recipe. This cake freezes well for up to two months, so keep it in mind when baking make-ahead treats.
Recipe: Sour Cream Raspberry Swirl Loaf
Sugared Vanilla Cookies
Keep logs of this classic sugar cookie dough in the freezer to simplify holiday baking. At a moment's notice, just roll in sprinkles and slice for a cheery wintertime gift.
Recipe: Sugared Vanilla Cookies
Bourbon-Cream Cheese Brownies
A little splash of bourbon adds another depth of flavor to these rich cream cheese brownies. And because brownies are sturdy bar cookies, they are a great choice for packaging as a gift.
Double Chocolate Chip Cookies with Bourbon Ganache
Delight your friends with these chocolate chip sandwich cookies filled with a creamy chocolate filling that’s flavored with bourbon.
In the South, no holiday dessert buffet is complete without these tasty little no-cook cookies, so they will always be a much-welcomed gift.
Instead of being sliced into rounds or rectangles, this shortbread is baked in one large rectangle, then topped with chocolate and a sugary pecan mixture, then broken into pieces.
Package this sweet and crunch granola in decorate boxes or jars and attach a tag with serving suggestions.
Cranberry-Pecan Cheese Wafers
These savory cheese wafers are more festive with the addition of sweetened dried cranberries and make a lovely gift packaged with a bottle of wine.