It wasn't so long ago that edible holiday gifts meant hitting up Harry and David, Swiss Colony, and Hickory Farms. Not that there's anything wrong with a Tower of Treats. And who doesn’t appreciate a fine, Smoked Cheddar? But gourmands, mixologists, and people who know what’s what are sure to invite you back if they’re presented with a little something that shows you know them, and know they have good taste. This roundup of a dozen delights will please just about any host, including the most important one — you.
One thing everyone needs the morning after? A strong cup of joe. This super sampler from an old-school Brooklyn roaster gives a shout-out to some of the borough’s most iconic neighborhoods. It’s perfect to bring to a New Year’s day brunch — along with enough Tylenol to go around.
The Brownstone Collection Special, $32.99, D’Amico Coffee Roasters
For the Lisa Vanderpump in your life, these bubbly bon bons are as divine today as they were in the ’80s —just ask Alexis Carrington.
Champagne Truffle Box, $48.50, Teuscher Beverly Hills
Chocolate-Dipped Salted Caramels
Sure, everyone is “crafting” salted caramels now, but Fran’s been at it for over 30 years — and it shows.
Gray and Smoked Salt Caramels, $30.00, Fran’s Chocolates
Bourbon Bacon Caramel Corn
Hitting the treat trifecta, this boozy, sweet and salty snack is simply sublime.
Bourbon Bacon Caramel Corn, $12.00, Liddabit Sweets
BBQ Sauce Trio
Sure to bring up any grill-master’s game, this inventive trio — Chipotle Bourbon, Thai Chili Tamarind, and Habanero Pineapple — also works magic as marinades, cocktail boosters, and more.
Hak’s Mix and Match BBQ Sampler, $18.00, Hak’s BBQ
Here’s the thing no one tells you about panettone — it makes the richest, most fabulous French toast. Give it to your weekend host and insist on making breakfast!
Panettone Milano Classico, $40.00, Dean and Deluca
Petite Savory Cookies
Because Carla Hall is one of our fave Top Chef finalists, and these bite-size tidbits couldn’t be cuter, that’s why.
Carla Hall Petite Cookies Savory Collection, $12.50, Carla Hall
Craft Cocktail Mixers
This collection of organic mixers (Ginger Bee, Spiced Old Fashioned, Lavender Bloom, and Sriracha Margarita) comes with easy-to-follow recipes, just in case the mixologist in your midst helps himself to a few too many.
The Party Pack, $40.00, Cocktail Crate
Brownies and Blondies
Between the name and that little face, these treats have enough going for them. Luckily, they’re fudgy and fantastic too.
Tin of Big Witch Favs, $39.00, Fat Witch Bakery
This nutty, sweet and all-around perfect granola is so addictive, your recipients will curse you for getting them hooked.
Organic Granola, $7.95, Le Pain Quotidien
Red Rooibos Tea
Rich in antioxidants and touted for its calming properties, a soothing cup of this South African, caffeine-free tea is the perfect prescription for the stressed out holiday host.
Red Rooibos Tea, $22.00, MissTea
Rosé Vinegar 2011
Produced by one of the Hamptons’ most lauded vineyards, this bright and bracing rosé vinegar gives winter salads a splash of much-needed summer sunshine.
Rosé Vinegar 2011, $20.00, Mouth.com