2013 Holiday Gift List: Top 10 Homemade Food Presents

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Photo by kelly.sikkema
Give your local friends a package of homemade cookies to spread holiday cheer.
Now that you have mailed everything to friends and family afar (or at least, you should have if you want it to arrive by Christmas), it's time to spread some holiday cheer to your local friends and family.

Each year, my mom and I make food gifts to give to our neighbors and bring to work. To us, it's one of the best ways to say "Merry Christmas" to our friends and family. Who doesn't love getting a gift of food?

Here are ten of the best homemade food gifts you can easily make and package to deliver to your friends, family, co-workers and neighbors.

10. Cookies

It's the easiest -- and quite possibly one of the most beloved -- holiday food gifts. Make a variety of cookies ... classic sugar, chocolate chip and gingerbread are three great ones. Package them in a holiday-themed container or a clear cookie jar for your recipients to re-use.

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Photo by slettvet
Biscotti and coffee go hand-in-hand.
9. Biscotti with coffee or tea

Biscotti and coffee (or tea) go hand in hand, so why not pair the two together for a nice homemade food gift? Bake a batch or two of biscotti, such as pistachio, cranberry, chocolate or vanilla bean, wrap a few cookies in a clear plastic bag, and tie the top with a festive ribbon. Pair the biscotti with a bag of your favorite coffee (or a seasonal blend), or with fresh tea. If you're feeling really generous, add a coffee mug to the gift.

8. Marshmallows with Hot Chocolate

For a sweeter gift, make homemade marshmallows and pair them with a hot cocoa mix. Homemade marshmallows do take a lot of work and require a candy thermometer, so if you love making candy at home this gift is right up your alley. Make the hot cocoa mix by combining sugar, cocoa powder and salt. Place an instruction tag on the jar so your recipient will know how to prepare it -- one cup of milk combined with two tablespoons of cocoa mix.

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