Holiday Gift Guide

  • Two weeks until Christmas!

    I’m big on planning ahead. I enjoy being prepared and having backup game plans at all times. That being said, I finished up my Christmas shopping last week. I cannot handle the crowds at malls, so I tend to do all my holiday shopping online. I’m just waiting for all the packages to make their way to my front door so I can start gift wrapping! (My favorite part! Asides from the actual gift-giving.)

    Today, I’ve put together three holiday gift guides for you: one for the snack lover, another for the baker, and last for the mixologist. They’re a collection of everything I have personally tried. You can rest assured that they’re great gifts! Best of all, they can all be purchased online in the comfort of your pajamas.

    Snack Lovers Gift Guide

    1. Japanese Kit Kat :: When I studied abroad in Tokyo, I collected over 50 different Kit Kat flavors. They’re so fun and tasty.
    2. Garrett Popcorn :: I love popcorn and Garrett makes the best! Try the popular Garrett Mix. It’s a combo of sweet caramel and savory cheese popcorn. It may sound strange, but it’s super good. During the brief winter I lived in Chicago, I ate Garrett ALL THE TIME.
    3. Mast Brothers :: One of my favorite chocolate companies. Their chocolates are so pure. It will please any chocolate connoisseur.
    4. Three Jerks Jerky :: I learned about this brand from Shark Tank. I’m a Shark Tank addict. I’m one of those people that immediately buy products that are mentioned on the show. Three Jerks Jerky is made with filet mignon (yeah, it’s fancy!). I bought several packs for family.
    5. Sugarfina :: Champagne bears. Robin’s egg caramels. Cuba libre gummies. I want them all. I love their candies so much that I used their “Will you be my bridesmaid?” bento boxes to pop the question to my dearest friends. They all said yes (because of the champagne bears).
    6. See’s Candy :: An oldie, but definitely a goodie. Give me a box of See’s Candy Nuts and Chews and I’ll smile ear to ear. After all these years, their chocolates remain consistent and delicious.
    7. Ovenly Old Salties (Bacon Fat Roasted Old Bay Peanuts): Bacon fat peanuts. I repeat, bacon fat peanuts! Enough said.
    8. Graeter’s Ice Cream ::  Graeter’s Ice Cream is insane because they produce small batch (2-1/2 gallon) ice cream using the traditional French Pot process. Plus, all the ice cream is hand packed. (A real live person hand packs the ice cream!) Last summer, I visited my best friend in Cincinnati and she introduced to me the tastiest, creamiest ice cream ever. I fell in love with Graeter’s immediately. Luckily they deliver and they’re also available at Krogers/Ralphs.
    9. Levain Bakery Assorted Cookie Gift Box :: In my opinion, the BEST cookies in the whole wide world. Every time I visit NYC, I have to order a bunch of Levain cookies. Luckily, they deliver. Alex once surprised me with a cookie gift box. I nearly fainted.
    10. Pipcorn :: Another company I learned about through Shark Tank. I’ve already said how much I love popcorn. Pipcorn is MINI popcorn. Mini always wins.
    11. My M&M’s: Did you know that you can customize M&M’s? True story. You can pick out your colors, print out special dates or messages, and even print your face on an M&M.
    12. Fran’s Chocolates Salted Caramels :: Hands down the best butter caramel and salted caramels I’ve ever tasted. Stumbled upon one of their shops during a trip to Seattle. I’ve been buying them every Christmas ever since.

    Gift Guide: For the Budding Mixologist

    1. The Drunken Botanist :: My best friend gave me this book a few years ago and I absolutely love it. This book teaches you all about the history the herbs, flowers, and fruits in relation to alcohol and cocktails. Asides from drink recipes, this book also teaches your a thing or two about gardening. Win-win.
    2. Boston Shaker and Ice Bucket :: Every mixologist needs a shaker, whether it’s for actual cocktail shaking or used for stirring. An ice bucket because some beverages just taste better chilled.
    3. St. Germain Liqueur :: Flavored with elderflower, St. Germain is sweet and fragrant. I always have a bottle in my bar cart. It’s fantastic when splashed in some chilled champagne, or even better when used in a sangria, like this Lychee Sangria.
    4. Fee Brothers Bitters :: A dash of bitters make a world of a difference. Try enjoying an Old Fashioned without it. Fee Brothers makes a variety of bitters. You’re sure to find one for your perfect cocktail.
    5. Highball and Double Old Fashioned Glasses :: While you could totally drink champagne out of a coffee mug, it’s better in a champagne coupe. Same goes for other beverages. It’s like trying to peel a carrot using a fork. Better use the correct glass for the corresponding beverage.
    6. Carry On Cocktail Kit :: I’ve seen these all over the internet and I WANT, I want! I love to travel, but hate being on the plane. Cocktails help, a lot. Instead of the usual blah cocktails served on board, might as well travel in style with your own craft cocktail kit.
    7. Craft Cocktails :: Pack with large beautiful photographs and easy to follow recipes, I find this book super inspiring. It makes me want to invite a few friends over for a low key cocktail soiree.
    8. Bourbon of the Month Subscription :: A bottle of bourbon every month in the mail? Yes, that sounds pretty awesome to me.
    9. Death & Co. :: From the best cocktail bar EVER is this big book filled with everything you ever wanted to know about alcohol and spirits. Not only does it provide you with excellent craft cocktail recipes, it’s filled beautifully written essays and gorgeous photography.

    Guide Guide for Bakers + Cake Makers

    1. GIR Get It Right Spatulas :: My favorite spatulas. The only spatulas I keep in the kitchen. They come in a rainbow of different colors and sizes. They’re super durable, heat resistant up to 550 degrees F, and pretty much the best spatula I’ve ever used. Asides from spatulas, GIR also makes lids, scrapers, and spoons. Are you sold yet?
    2. 10 Piece Glass Nesting Bowl Set :: This set has a bowl for every task you might need in the kitchen. I have a set and I’ve listed another set in my wedding registry because I really like it.
    3. Revolving Cake Stand :: When you get really serious about cake making, a revolving cake stand (cake turntable) becomes a must. It makes cake frosting a breeze. This one by Ateco is heavy-duty. I’ve had mine for 8 years. I use it all the time and it still looks brand new.
    4. Baking Illustrated :: Quite possibly my favorite baking cookbook. I love all things from Cook’s Illustrated/America’s Test Kitchen. Naturally, I would highly recommend everything they produce. They spend so much time testing and perfecting recipes. Plus, I love the explanations behind why each recipe works. (They recently released a new baking book, but I haven’t used it yet.)
    5. Food 52 Baking :: This is another cookbook that I think every baker should have. It has all the essential recipes you would ever need.
    6. Momofuku Milk Bar :: Whenever I’m in a baking slump, I turn to Christina Tosi. She is the pasty chef genius behind Momofuku Milk Bar (compost cookies, crack pie!, cereal milk soft serve, etc). This cookbook is full of inspiring flavors and techniques.
    7. PieBox :: When you’ve spent all that time making your dough from scratch and patiently waited for the cooked pie to cool, you definitely want to keep it safe during transport. Asides from the pie box, they also make ones for cakes and cupcakes to ensure all your baked goods make it to their destination in one piece.
    8. Piping Tips Set :: Tried of fondant? Yeah, me too. I like cakes decorated with buttercream. This piping tip set has a variety of shapes and sizes for all your cake/cupcake decorating needs.
    9. Stackable Wire Racks :: Ever bake so many cookies/cakes/cupcakes and make a giant mess in the kitchen, leaving you with little counter space to cool your baked goods? Yes, happens to me all time. These stackable wire racks come in really handy during the holiday baking season. Plus, they fold flat, making them easy to store after use.
    10. Kitchen Food Scale :: When you get serious about bread baking (or any baking for that matter), a kitchen scale is a must. For precise and consist results, it’s better to weight out your ingredients.
    11. AHeirloom Cutting Board :: I love my AHeirloom cake stand, and I recently found out about their cutting boards. They have a lot of fun ones like this one shaped like California.
    12. Doughnut Cutter :: Making doughnuts at home is fun and rewarding! This handy doughnut cutter makes the job a whole lot easier. You can also use them to punch out cookie dough.
    13. Donna Hay :: Donna Hay is the reason I am a food blogger. She’s like the Martha Stewart of Australia, but better. I love her magazines, cookbooks, and styling. I can’t thumb through her magazines without feeling inspired, reenergized, or hungry).
    14. Rodelle Vanilla :: Vanilla is the backbone of so many sweet recipes. From chocolate chip cookies to yellow cake to creme brulee, vanilla makes everything taste better. And obviously, high quality vanilla makes all the difference.

    Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. These are products I genuinely love.  However, there are some affiliate links within this post.

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    Comments

    Jennifer @ Kirbie's Cravings

    I love this guide! I got so many great ideas from it. I also am obsessed with Shark Tank and buy so many products after watching the show. I actually tried to find the Pipcorn after it aired but couldn’t. So glad it’s available online!

      Maryanne Cabrera

      Thanks Jennifer! Glad it was helpful! Shark Tank is the BEST. I wish I had an idea for a product so I could apply for the show :)

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