Unless you want to spring for express shipping, it’s getting a little close to Christmas to do any more online shopping for the holidays. You’re going to have to look a little closer to home for gift ideas for your favorite foodies. Fortunately, there are lots of great gifts that you don’t need to order way in advance.
A gift card to a favorite cooking store, like Williams Sonoma, is easy to pick up and easy to give – and it is something that allows your giftee to pick up something that they can really use in their kitchen.
Along similar lines, you can also give the gift of a cooking class to your favorite foodie. You don’t need to book this in advance, just make up a nice card with a “certificate” promising the class. Look up a couple of schools in your area – Sur La Table has excellent classes nationwide, but you’ll really have to look and see what’s available near where you live – to pick out a class. Alternatively, you can contact a private chef for an in-home cooking class for you, friends and family that can be a very affordable option and get you exactly the kind of class you want.
Take a trip to a local, gourmet grocery store and make up a gourmet gift basket. Sure, you can order these from all kinds of specialty retailers, but it is less expensive and more satisfying to pick out fruits, candies and things on your own and pack them up. This also gives you the option to really customize your gift. A basket for a baker might include vanilla extract, specialty sugars, cookie cutters and chocolate chips. A basket for a cook might include exotic salts, spicy rubs for meats, gourmet herbs and spices or a meat thermometer.
The best last minute gift is going to be a big plate of homemade goodies. Head to a local store where you can pick up an inexpensive holiday bowl or plate, then fill it up with treats of your choosing. Candied nuts are easy to make and are a perfect gift for a party, where they can be shared by everyone there. I like to do a package of homemade marshmallows with some hot chocolate mix. Christmas Cookies are also a great option, but really any of your favorite cookie or brownie recipes (Red Velvet Brownies, anyone?) will be enjoyed and appreciated.