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 6, 2022

I come from a family of many amazing 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 holiday favorites. We look forward to making them as a family and deciding who will receive our gifts! 

Here are four of my favorite holiday edible homemade gift recipes. They are all super easy to prepare — and fun to make as a family! 

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 little gift for anyone on your list. Happy holidays!

 estefaniavizcaino via Canva

Grandma Schrock's Hot Cocoa Mix

This looks really cute in a canning jar with a ribbon tied around the lid...just attach the directions on how to make cocoa below, and you have an instant gift!


  • 16 ozs. instant cocoa mix
  • 8 qts. dry milk powder
  • 3 oz. powdered non-dairy creamer
  • 16 ozs. powdered sugar


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

To make cocoa: Put 1/4 c. of hot cocoa mix in mug and add 1 cup of hot water. Stir until blended and add some marshmallows. Then enjoy! 

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The Best Ever Party Mix

This recipe is very 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
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic salt


  1. Melt butter, oil, salt, & garlic salt in sauce pan. 
  2. Mix together remaining ingredients in 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. 

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Aunt Virginia's Soft Caramels

These will melt in your mouth!


  • 2 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 sticks of butter
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 15 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • Dash of salt
  • Waxed paper, cut into 3" squares


  1. Melt butter in a heavy saucepan. 
  2. Add sugar, and corn syrup and salt; mix well. 
  3. Gradually add sweetened condensed milk and stir constantly. 
  4. Stir and cook over med. heat to firm ball stage (244-248 degrees 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 waxed paper square and twist ends.

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Aunt Zara's Caramel Corn

This caramel corn will melt in your mouth and will be the best you've ever tasted!


  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 sticks of butter
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 6-8 qts. 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 parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake at 250 for 1 hr. Stir 3-4 times throughout baking. 
  5. Once done, let cool and then store in an air-tight container. 

Brigette Schroeder is the publisher of Macaroni KID Yorkville - Geneva - St. Charles, Ill.