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Giving The Gift Of Food: Making Your Own Gift Baskets

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gift basket

gift basket

Chances are that if you are already living off the grid, you have a respectable stockpile of baking ingredients on hand at all times. This makes it easy to put together the ultimate gift for the food lovers in your life. A gift basket full of baked goods can help add a special touch to nearly any occasion. You can customize your goods to correspond to any birthday or even major holidays such as Christmas. A baked gift basket can even make a great anniversary gift if you love to bake together. This type of gift is affordable, thoughtful, and sure to thrill anyone who receives it.

Personalizing Cookies For A Homemade Snack

Set aside a few hours to decorate and package your homemade baked gifts. Try a giant cookie or two in your recipient’s favorite flavors. If you are baking for someone who loves variety, try baking a few different kinds of cookies. Make sure you add your own special touch when decorating, on both the cookies themselves and on the wrapping that you use to package them. A great idea is to use inexpensive CD sleeves from a craft or tech store and decorate the blank side, holding down the sleeve opening with a personalized sticker. To save time, get started on decorating the sleeve packages while the cookies are in the oven.

Add Cake To Your Gift Basket

You can also add cake to your gift basket, either baked in small squares as petite fours or cut into slices and repackaged. Add any sprinkles, coconut, chocolate shavings, nuts, or other textured toppings for an extra-special touch.  Place slices in an inexpensive box that you make from scratch. Templates for cake boxes can be found on the Internet and are easy enough to make with materials lying around the house. Dress your boxes up with colorful yarn or twine and add tiny baking charms to the outside. You can also wrap your cakes in foil paper and add colorful scrapbook stickers in any theme.

Other Options For Gifted Goodies

You should never feel obliged to stop with cakes and cookies. There are dozens of other delicious baked goods and even candies that you can make from scratch for your gift basket. Some people just enjoy receiving baked goods and candies. Whoopie pies are a hit with anyone who loves the soft texture of cake and the hands-on excitement of a cookie. The best part is that whoopie pies can come in varieties to match any occasion, from a colorful strawberry milk pie to a warm Christmas pumpkin spice flavor. Reserve some of the filling and thin it out into an icing. Use it to stick nonpareils and rainbow sprinkles to the top for some colorful flair, or decorate with  sugar and crushed almonds as a gift to a crunchy granola lover.

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If you prefer to add candies to sweeten up your gift basket, go ahead with some classic favorites and wrap them in cellophane, then decorate with hand-cut paper tags that you design yourself. Candy apples are wonderfully simple to make and go wonderfully in a fall gift basket with some homemade popcorn balls. You can decorate both of them simply with a warm mix of cinnamon and sugar before the candy coating dries. The best part is that both candy apples and popcorn balls require the same basic ingredients: just corn syrup, sugar, and some patience. You can add a decadent texture to your popcorn balls easily by substituting melted marshmallows for the sweeter ingredients. Another great choice is caramels, which you can leave basic or add flavors such as maple or spiced apple cider.

Adding Your Own Baking Kits

To build the perfect basket for the happy baker in your life, add a baking kit complete with instructions. This can be much simpler than it sounds if you just use a glass mason jar that is both tasteful and functional. The glass sides make it possible to see the ingredients through it. This can look especially attractive if you take the time to layer the ingredients. If you prefer not to layer, you can gather ingredients, measure them out as the recipe specifies, and place them in plastic baggies. Next, place the baggies into a jar on top of each other. Attach the recipe card to the jar lid and wrap it in a pretty bow or some simple twine. For an extra touch, add your favorite toppings for cookies, cake, or any other recipe you use.

Giving Personal Favorites As Recipe Cards

Giving the gift of special recipes, family recipes, and just plain old favorites can be both personal and unique. You can even kick it up a notch by decorating your recipe index cards with sketches or stickers. Scrapbook kits are a great idea to add a special touch. You can print or write out the recipes you wish to share. Also, add photos, decorations, stickers or other components from the scrap-booking kit to create a theme for your recipient. When you have all the cards done, hole-punch them at one corner and tie them together with some decorative ribbon so that they stay in one place. Place them front-and-center in your basket, showing your recipient that you are excited to share every part of your baking adventures with them, not just the finished product.


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