It seems that everyone is a foodie these days, spending every meal taking photos for Instagram or searching out that must-have ingredient or the newest kitchen gadget.
Get your friends and family what they really want this holiday season: food. Whether you're looking for affordable treats that will satisfy the most discerning of snackers or elegant gifts to impress even the pickiest palate, here are 12 unique (and edible) gift ideas that are sure to wow everyone on your list — all for about $40 or less.
Check out all 12 gift ideas below.
1. The perfect little pocket dessert
Mamie's Pies Ice Cream & Pocket Pie Combo
Mamie's Pies, which have been featured as one of Oprah's favorite things, sells individual pocket pies in a variety of flavors. What could be better than your own personal pie? Pie and ice cream, of course!
This bundle comes with single-serving ice cream from family-owned Snoqualmie Ice Cream and your choice of pocket pie flavors, including apple, cherry, peach, pumpkin, strawberry and wild Maine blueberry.
2. A dark, sumptuous chocolate treat
Whether it's for the friend who has everything or the mother-in-law you want to impress, you can't go wrong with this San Francisco-based chocolatier collection of hand-crafted chocolate truffles. This dark chocolate collection includes unique flavors such as lemon verbena, tarragon grapefruit and cardamom nougat.
If you buy these in advance, store the chocolates in a cool, dry place (not the refrigerator) for up to two weeks. (They do contain milk and soy and have been made using equipment that has been in contact with eggs, gluten, peanuts and tree nuts.)
3. A cook's secret short cut
That's Tasty organic stir-in herb purées
Give the cook in your life a little break with herb purées from That's Tasty. These 2.8-ounce tubes take the work out of prepping your favorite fresh herbs and seasonings — and they cut down on food waste, with each bottle lasting up to two months in the refrigerator once opened and up to two years unopened in your pantry.
The purées come in a wide range of flavors: lemongrass, banana pepper, basil, cilantro, dill, garlic, ginger, habanero, Italian herbs, jalapeño, parsley, spicy arissa and sun-dried tomato. You can pick these up at grocery retailers such as Whole Foods, Kroger, Sprouts, Wegman's and some Trade Joe's locations.
4. Your new go-to condiment
Bachan's Japanese Barbecue Sauce
With the richness found in the best teriyaki sauces and the smokiness of American BBQ classics, Bachan's will quickly become the go-to staple for marinades and adding a little extra flavor to your food. Created by Justin Grill based off his Bachan's (aka Granny's) recipe, this small-batch sauce is bold without the cloying sweetness you find in some BBQ varieties. It's also non-GMO and organic.
5. The essential holiday staple
The Original Williams-Sonoma Peppermint Bark
Price: starting at $22.46
There are dozens of brands and varieties of peppermint bark on the market these days, but Williams-Sonoma's classic version stands as the ultimate testament to what this holiday sweet should be.
This peppermint bark has a good balance of dark Guittard chocolate, topped with a minty white chocolate layer and then finished with a "snowfall of peppermint candy piece," according to the company. Williams-Sonoma sells the bark in one- and two-pound tins.
6. A standout salt
Chardonnay Oak Smoked Sea Salt
Salt may sound like a boring gift on the surface, but for those who delight in artisan varieties, this is sure to please. This premium sea salt from SaltWorks is cold smoked in oak wine barrels that have been used to age Chardonnay wine, giving the flakes a unique and complex flavor.
The 5-ounce boutique glass jar topped with an American black walnut wood lid makes this an elegant gift that's both edible and aesthetically pleasing.
7. A delightfully spicy snack
Blue Diamond's Fiery Ghost Pepper Almonds & Tart Cherry
This is a great gift for that friend who loves to indulge in a mid-afternoon snack session. Blue Diamond rolled out a new line of gourmet almonds paired with fruit, making these 5-ounce bags perfectly sized for stockings. The Fiery Ghost Pepper Almonds & Tart Cherry flavor has just the right amount of spice to satisfy anyone's craving.
You can find this snack mix at drugstores and retailers nationwide, including at Walmart and online at Amazon.
8. Portable, pour-over coffee
Vietnamese Pour-Over Coffee Kit
This is a winning gift for that coffee-obsessive in your life. The Grommet is selling a Vietnamese pour-over coffee kit that makes it simple to create that perfect cup from anywhere.
Your friends and family will no longer have to schlep their coffee into work with this kit, which includes biodegradable filters with built-in hooks that fit most coffee mugs. Once you have the filter set up, the kit provides a single-serving of organic, ground Vietnamese coffee and a small pouch of sweetened condensed milk to taste. Simply add water and enjoy. The Grommet sells the kit in two flavors: classic and lavender.
9. A grill-master starter pack
Penzeys Mini Grill & Broil gift box set
Penzeys is a Midwest institution that offers a wide-range of essential herbs and spices, as well as custom blends that are sure to become family favorites. This grill and broil kit includes four of the company's blends: Cajun seasoning, BBQ 3000, Penzeys seasoned salt and a Southern-style seasoning Galena Street rub. Each jar contains about a ¼ cup of seasoning, and the kit provides recipes and tips on how to use each blend.
10. A satisfying and guilt-free snack
These non-GMO apple chips will satisfy those who like a bit of sweetness and a little crunch. Bare touts these chips as a simple, on-the-go snack, made with just apples that have been baked to that optimal level of crispiness.
Plus, this is a good treat for those on your gift list who may need to watch their cholesterol or sodium intake.
11. A sweet essence to elevate your baking
Once you try this 100% pure vanilla from Hawaii, you'll never go back to the cheap, imitation stuff. No, seriously, this is the secret weapon your friends who love to bake will be raving about for months to come. Grown from vanilla beans harvested on the Hamakua Coast of the Big Island, this extract will elevate anything it's used in, from cakes to cookies to a hot buttered vanilla rum.
12. A bubbly refresher
BOS sparkling unsweetened iced teas
Price: $22.49 for a 12-pack
Add a little sparkle to your friends' holidays this year. Sparkling teas that is. This gift may not be diamonds, but it's definitely tastier. BOS has rolled out a line of canned beverages that combine sparkling water with organic rooibos in a variety of unique flavors, including white peach and elderflower and blueberry and jasmine. Plus, these beverages are caffeine-free and have zero sugar. The cans are pretty cute, too.
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