12/06/2014 08:58 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

9 Easy Recipes for Homemade Holiday Gifts

Jennifer Segal

Homemade treats make wonderful holiday gifts -- and wouldn't you rather spend time in your kitchen than brave the crowds at the mall?

1. Homemade Granola


Packed in a jar or pretty tin, homemade granola makes the perfect edible gift. This version, inspired by the granola served The Inn at Occidental in Sonoma County, CA, is packed with crispy clusters of old-fashioned oats, nuts, seeds, dried fruits, toasted coconut, honey and wheat germ. GET THE RECIPE

2. Cranberry Nut Bread


Sweet, orange-scented and chock-full of cranberries and walnuts, this bread is perfect for the holidays. It also freezes well, so you can make several loaves and defrost as the season goes along. GET THE RECIPE

3. Sweet, Spicy & Salty Candied Pecans


My husband calls these candied pecans "crack nuts" because they're madly addictive. They're perfect to keep around the house over the holidays or give as gifts. The best part? You only need four simple ingredients to make them -- and if you start right now, you'll be done in 15 minutes. GET THE RECIPE

4. Double Chocolate Biscotti


Biscotti are twice-baked, oblong shaped cookies made intentionally dry and crunchy -- and these are made with a double dose of chocolate. When you dunk them in coffee or tea, they soften, becoming rich, fudgy and decadent. They keep well for days, which makes them perfect for gift giving. GET THE RECIPE

5. Union Square Café Bar Nuts


Sweet, salty, spicy, and rosemary-infused, these nuts make the perfect hostess gift. I suggest making a double batch so you can keep some for yourself. But don't say I didn't warn you: they are highly addictive! GET THE RECIPE

6. Chocolate-Dipped Coconut Macaroons


Chewy and moist on the inside, crispy and golden on the outside, these coconut macaroons are delicious plain but even more irresistible dipped in chocolate. They stay moist for up to a week, so they are ideal for holiday gift giving. GET THE RECIPE

7. Rum Cake


A homemade bundt cake makes a lovely holiday gift -- especially when it is soaked in butter and rum! This recipe is a from-scratch version of the famous doctored-up Duncan Hines rum cake that my grandmother used to make. GET THE RECIPE

8. Chocolate Chip Mandel Bread


Mandel bread is a traditional Jewish cookie similar to biscotti. The difference is that it's made with more oil or butter, so the resulting cookie is a bit richer and softer. You don't need to dip it in coffee or tea to enjoy it -- it's delicious all on it's own! GET THE RECIPE

9. Spiced Pumpkin Bread


This is an old family recipe that's been passed down through the generations. I still remember baking the loaves with my mom and carting them off to every neighborhood potluck and holiday party. It's easy -- just a bit of mixing and stirring and, in about an hour, you'll have a house smelling of sweet autumn spices and two scrumptious, pumpkiny loaves. GET THE RECIPE