* GIFT GUIDE || 8 AMAZING FOOD GIFTS (UNDER $60)
Every year for Christmas during my childhood, my dad would receive hundreds of holidays gifts from his patients—almost always food: tins of handmade peanut brittle, lush boxes of freshly-baked pies, and cello-wrapped baskets brimming with crackers, cookies, sparkling wine and cheeses galore. It was one of the perks of being a family doctor. For my siblings and I, it was one of the perks of being his kid—those sweet December days when the atrium (where we ate breakfast and dinner every day) ran over with an endless parade of sweets.
I tend to still love food gifts for the holidays—handmade or even carefully curated purchased ones; boxes of perfectly ripe pears and tins of caramel popcorn still harken Christmas to me. They speak of love and —even if not perfectly matched to individual taste—thoughtfulness. Maybe you don’t have time to bake this season; I hear you. That’s where this guide comes in. These Eight Practically Handmade goodies can make their way to the homes of your dear ones in just one click. They’re worth every penny.
WILLIAMS SONOMA || NATIONWIDE + ONLINE (top three images)
You don’t need to go all the way to San Francisco to experience the perfection of a Le Marais pastry—Williams Sonoma will send it right to your door. I’m a big fan of the pastry sampler—12 handmade, frozen and ready-to-bake pastries made with butter, 12-layer dough that you can pop into the oven any time the mood strikes for Parisian-standard results at home ($59.95) It’s not flashy, but a frozen pasta sampler ($39.95) with three fresh-frozen pastas—(angel hair, Tagliatelle and Parparadelle) is a total win, for almost anyone. This is the thing to give to your teacher, the busy working mama, your single neighbor. Who doesn’t want to come home on the first Monday between (or after) holidays to a plate of hot pasta? If you’re buying this in-store, be sure to pick up the ready-to-bake chocolate croissants for holiday guests to keep on hand at home (you will be an absolute hero). Finally, don’t miss this luxe boxed upgrade on the single-serve Ramen Noodle dinner; buy 10 of them ($5 each) for the college kid in your life to take back to campus with them after the holidays.
SWEET DOUGH || ANTHROPOLOGIE (above)
File these perfectly-packed, expertly shaped pre-made doughs under “I thought of that—but never did it.” (Sigh). Sweet doughs expertly curated cookie collection (all handmade in Brooklyn) would be appropriate for almost anyone —unless they are vegan or gluten or sugar-free. The Gorgeous pack of four includes Snickerdoodle (above, left), Chocolate Hazelnut (above, right), Oatmeal Current and classic Chocolate Chip Cookies—with huge chunks of chocolate that yield oozy, instagram-worthy puddles of chocolate in every bite. ($53 for two to four boxes, depending on the collection).
ROSS + DAUGHTERS || NYC + ONLINE (above)
Ross and Daughters, the iconic NYC fixture that has been serving the best bagels and lox to New Yorkers for the last 104 years, does many things well—but especially this killer Babka. Go ahead and send this ($14) beauty to everyone on your list, including you. For the savory-only set, send the Gaspe Nova Smoked Salmon instead ($44), or go for broke with the whole New York Brunch, $140 worth of New York City experience delivered to your favorite family’s doorstep.
BAKED || NYC + ONLINE
Baked’s Dark Cocoa and Sea Salt Hazelnut Spread wins in both the good packaging and great flavor categories. Conceived in Brooklyn and made in Belgium, with deep cocoa tones and tons of hazelnuts, this winner deserves to be spread on all your favorite toasts (croissants, bagels, a seedy whole-grain-bread…). And, at less than ten-dollars a jar ($8.99), you can tuck one into every empty stocking this year.
TERRAIN || PENNSYLVANIA, CONNECTICUT + ONLINE (above)
Lest we forget that not ALL the people on the nice list like sweets, consider this Bloody Mary Mix —fresh and zingy and deeply dilly—a go-to for the brunch-at-home types and anyone who considers a splash of Vodka before noon fair game ($16). Wrap two jars up with your favorite pickles and fancy skewers for serving.
**This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.** All images belong to individual brands. Please do not pin or post without proper credit. **