50 Gift Jars

Whip up a tasty homemade gift for all the food lovers in your life. 

Category:
Christmas
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1. Vanilla Spiced Nuts Toss 3 cups mixed nuts with 1/2 cup each pepitas and sunflower seeds. Whisk 1 egg white with 1/3 cup maple syrup, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 1/2 teaspoons each pumpkin pie spice, kosher salt and vanilla extract, the seeds from 1 vanilla bean and 1/2 teaspoon cayenne. Pour over the nut mixture; toss. Spread on a silicone mat–lined baking sheet; bake at 325 degrees F, stirring once, until golden, 40 minutes. Let cool. Makes 4 cups.

2. Za'atar Pistachios Toss 2 cups pistachios (in shells) with 2 teaspoons each olive oil and za'atar (Middle Eastern spice blend), a pinch of cayenne and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Spread on a baking sheet; bake at 300 degrees F until toasted, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool. Makes 2 cups.

3. Rosemary–Olive Oil Crackers Whisk 1 1/2 cups flour, 1 tablespoon each chopped rosemary, chives and sesame seeds and 1 teaspoon each baking powder, kosher salt and cracked pepper. Stir in 1/2 cup water and 1/4 cup olive oil. Knead until smooth on a floured surface; halve. Roll out until very thin (1/16 inch). Cut into 2-inch squares. Bake on parchment-lined baking sheets at 400 degrees F until golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool. Makes 48.

4. Truffle Crackers Make Rosemary–Olive Oil Crackers (No. 3), using only 1/2 teaspoon salt and omitting the pepper. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon truffle salt before baking.

5. Spicy Roasted Peppers Halve and seed 6 bell peppers (assorted colors); toss with 6 smashed garlic cloves, 3 tablespoons olive oil, 3 oregano sprigs and 1/4 teaspoon each red pepper flakes and kosher salt on a baking sheet. Roast at 425 degrees F until charred, 35 minutes. Let cool, then peel. Slice and layer in jars; cover with olive oil. Refrigerate up to 2 weeks. Makes 3 cups.

6. Spicy Marinated Olives Combine 1 pound pitted mixed olives, 1/2 cup olive oil, the zest of 1 lemon (in wide strips), 4 crumbled dried chiles de arbol, 4 bay leaves, 4 thyme sprigs, 1 teaspoon crushed coriander seeds and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Refrigerate at least 4 hours and up to 1 week. Makes 4 cups.

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7. Pickled Winter Vegetables Bring 1 cup each cider vinegar and water, 1/4 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons kosher salt, 1 teaspoon each peppercorns, coriander seeds and mustard seeds and 1/4 teaspoon turmeric to a boil. Pour over 3 cups sliced winter vegetables (such as beets and turnips). Let cool. Refrigerate at least 1 day and up to 2 weeks. Makes 4 cups.

8. Pickled Fennel Make Pickled Winter Vegetables (No. 7), omitting the turmeric and replacing the vegetables with sliced fennel; add 1/2 cup chopped dill and 1 sliced red jalapeno.

9. Marinated Feta Cube 4 ounces good-quality feta and place in a small jar. Top with 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon each red pepper flakes and dried mint, 3 wide strips lemon zest and 1 mint sprig. Refrigerate up to 5 days. Makes 1 cup.

10. Blue Cheese Spread Beat 8 ounces each Cambozola cheese (rind removed) and cream cheese, 1/2 cup each sour cream and chopped walnuts, 1 tablespoon honey and a pinch each of cayenne and salt with a mixer. Transfer to jars and top with more walnuts. Refrigerate up to 5 days. Makes 2 cups.