• Spice cookies (pfeffernüsse) (China Squirrel)Source: China Squirrel
Spread the festive cheer straight into the hearts (and hands) of those you love the most.
By
Bron Maxabella

1 Dec 2021 - 11:18 AM  UPDATED 1 Dec 2021 - 11:22 AM

Give the gift of food this Christmas and you'll go straight to the top of the nice list. Plus, you'll probably get a little taste of whatever you're gifting. Friends and family are lovely like that.

Here are our present suggestions for all the important people in your life. There's a treat you can make them yourself, or a few suggestions for delicious food gifts from small businesses we love and admire.

Gift perfection for your mum 

No one works harder for their festive gift all year than your mum. She's usually the giver of gifts, which can make her super hard to buy for. But, no matter what you end up with, she'll tell you she loves it almost as much as she loves you. 

A gift to make: German jam cookies

These delicate bickies are jammy and buttery, so they're basically full of all the good stuff. Just like your mum.

Gifts to buy:

Your new favourite tea is millions of years old
Gulbarn Tea is an Indigenous-owned, wild-harvested native tea company brewed from ancient wisdom and perpetually young hearts.

Tasty gifts for your dad

Is it just us, or are fathers especially hard to buy for? They never seem to want anything - no, wait, they like stuff, but it tends to be electronic in nature and exorbitant in price. But one thing a dad could never refuse is a chocolate treat you baked yourself.

A gift to make: Fudgy chocolate and cherry brownies

These brownies are Fudgy, chocolatey and just a little bit dense. Just like your dad. (Kidding!)

Gifts to buy:

Everything you need to know about Australian-grown coffee
The local coffee farming industry is thriving. In fact, from the Byron Hinterland to the Atherton Tablelands, it's bean an effort to keep up with demand.

Sweet gifts for your grandparents

If you're among the lucky ones, you get to see your grandparents on the regular. However, this year of all years has seen many of us separated from our eldest and dearest. Remind them how much they're missed with a thoughtful gift this year.

A gift to make: Fruit mince pies

Mince pies are traditional, tasty and they travel well through the post if needed. Maybe save one for your own postie?

Gifts to buy:

Loving gifts for your partner

So important to get this one right, because chances are this gift is just as much for you as it is for them. Well, that's love, right?

A gift to make: Şekerpare

Semolina domes

For reasons which we daren't go into here...

Gifts to buy:

Fun gifts for the kids

Kids are wonderfully easy to buy for, but making something yourself is so special. If you can't find the time to whip up the dominoes, feel free to go for the 'bought' options. You'll be tempted to buy one of each for yourself as well.

A gift to make: Malted milk domino biscuits

A treat and a game in one. We know what we'll be doing on Christmas eve.

Gifts to buy:

Cool gifts for the teens

Teens say they only want cold, hard cash for Christmas, but they'll be mighty glad you went the food option instead.

A gift to make: Homemade chocolate freckles

Even your teen will raise a smile when they're eating these rainbow-covered treats.

Gifts to buy:

Appreciable gifts for your siblings

Sibling relationships at Christmas are so often fraught, but not this year. This year you're going to bond over biscuits.

A gift to make: Traditional gingerbread people

Best made together on Christmas eve, or whenever you can spare a moment. Even if it's via Zoom.

Gifts to buy:

 

Meet the Indigenous Australian putting boab beer on your must-drink list
He's never touched a drink in his life, yet an Indigenous entrepreneur has crafted a “delicious” beer using nuts from local trees.

Thoughtful gifts for your bestie

If you're anything like us, you wouldn't have made it through the past year (or two) without your best friend. It's hard to say thank you enough for all the positive pick-me-ups and kind you-got-this gestures, but we'll give it a go.

A gift to make: Spiced chocolate martini

Chocolate plus martini equals one very happy friend.

Gifts to buy:

Much-needed gifts for the teacher

Oh, what a year our teachers have had. Depending on the rules around gift-giving at your kid's school, we feel they deserve something extra-special this year.

A gift to make: Salty caramel and Brazil nut popcorn clusters 

When sweet meets savoury you know you've got yourself a good teacher. The same is true for popcorn.

Gifts to buy:

Worthy gifts for your postie

The only people who have worked harder than teachers this year are posties and delivery people. So, surprise them with a thank you gift they've truly earned.

A gift to make: Lemon curd

Lemon curd

Everyone deserves a mouth-puckering dollop of this good stuff.

Gifts to buy:

Feels like home: Cooking semur chicken means your relationship is serious
Mabu Mabu's Nornie Bero says in the Torres Strait, making this dish for your loved one means they'll stay with you.

Unexpected gifts for yourself

The only person who can reliably spoil you this Christmas is you.

A gift to make: Pfeffernüsse

Bite-sized gingerbread-ish mouthfuls with a crisp outside and a soft, gooey inside. It's all of us in a biscuit.

Gifts to buy:

Gift giver
Besan burfi

This is a South Asian treat, perfect little bite-sized sweets that remind me of toasted maple fudge - that's my Canadian description of it!

Menorcan nougat (cuscussó)

Nougat was brought to Menorca by the Moors, and is now a traditional Christmas sweet on the island.

Lemon marmalade (melmelada de llimona)

This lemon marmalade is a perfect spread or filling for any number of pastries you might indulge in. Serve it with freshly baked croissants, ensaïmadas or just simply with butter on toast.

Dulce de leche flower cookies (bizcotela vestida)

These are my 'dressed up' version of a cookie I learned to make in Mocorito, with crunchy sugar covering them and sticky caramel inside. My favourite cookie of all time!

Milk chocolate honey truffles

If there were ever a food product that required high security, these truffles are it! Although the recipe yields forty truffles, don’t be surprised if they don’t last beyond one sitting. Truffles make excellent gifts too – if you can bear to part with them!

Caramel roasted chocolate macadamias

These irresistible macadamia nuts are roasted, drenched in sugar syrup and caramelised, then double-dipped in melted chocolate. 

Ginger biscuits

When you remove the white sugar from these guys the texture changes, but I hope Nanna would still recognise them. If it’s any indication that they’re tasty, my youngest son can’t get enough of them.

Fig paste (pasta me syko)

This fig-leaf wrapped parcel is screaming for a cheese platter. 

White chocolate bark

Make a pretty edible gift for friends and family with the fragrant flavours of the Middle East. Package into cellophane bags or small white boxes, sprinkle with some more rose petals and tie with ribbon and  flower.

Spiced maple nuts and seeds

This recipe takes inspiration from cold winter nights in Sweden, where friends gather for drinks and warm spiced nuts by the fire. But these aromatic spiced nuts are just as popular any time of year!