4 Homemade Holiday Treats That Make Great Gifts

Perfectly delicious gifts for everyone on your list

By Brigette Schroeder, publisher of Macaroni KID Yorkville - Geneva - St. Charles, Ill. December 12, 2022

I come from a family of excellent cooks — aunts, uncles, and cousins through many generations. We have several family-favorite recipes that make great homemade edible holiday gifts for neighbors, teachers, and friends. 

Now I am teaching my girls to make these family favorites. They are all super easy to prepare — and fun to make together!

These homemade items can be wrapped up in festive boxes or put in canning jars with a little ribbon, a note, and a copy of the recipe, and you have the perfect gift for anyone on your list.

Here are four of my favorite holiday edible homemade gift recipes. Happy holidays!

Grandma Schrock's Hot Cocoa Mix

This looks cute in a canning jar with a ribbon tied around the lid. Attach the directions for making the cocoa, and you have an instant gift!


  • 16 ounces of instant cocoa mix
  • 8 quarts dry milk powder
  • 3 ounces powdered non-dairy creamer
  • 16 ounces powdered sugar


  1. Mix all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. 
  2. Store in an air-tight container. Makes 1 gallon of dry mix (or 64 cups).

To make cocoa: Put ¼ cup of hot cocoa mix in a mug and add 1 cup of hot water. Stir until blended, and top with marshmallows. Then enjoy! 

 estefaniavizcaino via Canva

The Best Ever Party Mix

This recipe is easy to double and even triple!


  • 1 cup Rice Chex
  • 1 cup Wheat Chex
  • 1 cup broken pretzel sticks
  • 1 cup Cheerios
  • 1 cup Corn Chex
  • 1 cup peanuts
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¼ cup oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic salt


  1. Melt butter, oil, salt, and garlic salt in a saucepan. 
  2. Mix together the remaining ingredients in a large bowl. 
  3. Pour butter mixture over dry ingredients and mix well. 
  4. Pour mix onto foil lined cookie sheet and bake at 325 for 20 mins., stirring occasionally. 
  5. Once done, place on layers of paper towels to drain and cool. Store in an air-tight container. 

 MSPhotographic via Canva

Aunt Virginia's Soft Caramels

These will melt in your mouth!


  • 2½ cups brown sugar
  • 2 sticks of butter
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 can (15-ounce) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Dash of salt
  • Waxed paper, cut into 3" squares


  1. Melt butter in a heavy saucepan. 
  2. Add sugar, corn syrup, and salt; mix well. 
  3. Gradually add sweetened condensed milk and stir constantly. 
  4. Stir and cook over medium heat to firm ball stage (244-248˚F on a candy thermometer). 
  5. Remove from heat and add vanilla. 
  6. Pour into a buttered 9x9 pan. 
  7. Let cool completely, and then cut into squares. 
  8. Wrap each caramel in a waxed paper square and twist the ends.

 zia_shusha via Canva

Aunt Zara's Caramel Corn

This caramel corn will be the best you've ever tasted!


  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 sticks of butter
  • ½ cup light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 6-8 quarts plain popped popcorn 


  1. Bring brown sugar, butter, corn syrup, and salt to a boil; continue boiling for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. 
  2. Add vanilla and baking soda. Stir after each addition. 
  3. Pour over popcorn and stir until well-coated. 
  4. Pour popcorn on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake at 250˚F for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes. 
  5. Once done, let cool and then store in an air-tight container. 

Mizina via Canva