Reprinted with permission from EDIBLE DIY by Lucy Baker, Running Press, 2012. / Steve Legato
Thanks to sites such as Etsy and Pinterest, handmade and homemade are more popular than ever. In fact, making your own gifts can save you time and money, says Lucy Baker, author of Edible DIY: Simple, Giftable Recipes to Savor and Share.
Even with limited ingredients and cooking experience, you can make edible gifts with gourmet flair. “People are always more impressed if you give them a jar of jam you made yourself, and it’s way cheaper to make it yourself,” Baker says. Ingredients can cost only $15 and make five to eight jars of jam.
Plan ahead to concoct a variety of gifts to have at the ready. When raspberries are in season, make a batch of Raspberry-Lime Liqueur, which can be stored for a year and handed out at parties along the way, she suggests.
Recipes such as Sweet and Spicy Walnuts or Lemony Sweet Tea Vodka, a homemade infused liquor, aren’t as intimidating to create as they sound, she adds.
“People think it’s going to be really hard and time-consuming, and they’re going to buy a lot of ingredients, which is really not the case,” she says.
“A lot of recipes in the book are really easy but have a lot of “wow” factor, so people can’t believe you made it yourself but the secret is it’s really easy,” Baker says.
Even if your gift is a simple cookie recipe, original packaging can add a personal touch.
“Be creative with old takeout containers,” Baker says. “ Things like ribbons, buttons and dried flowers are great for decorating.”
Her tip when deciding what to bring as an edible gift? Think about what the host of a party has planned, and make sure your gift will complement, not outshine, their menu.