Food Network Staffers' Favorite Holiday Food Gifts

See our list of incredible edible gifts to buy this season, from silky Nova smoked lox to buttery, crunchy toffee covered in dark chocolate.
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Russ & Daughters Chocolate Babka, $11

“When I go home over the holidays, I wouldn’t dream of getting on the plane without packing a chocolate babka (or two) from Russ & Daughters in my carry-on. Who am I kidding – my family wouldn’t let me off the plane without it. Densely woven with chocolate, it’s a true taste of New York that’s easy to transport across state lines. And if you don’t live in New York City like I do, that’s where shipping comes in.” — Allison Milam, Associate Editor

Blackberry Farm Nut & Grain Mix, $28

 “A few years ago, I was fortunate enough to visit Blackberry Farm — a food lover’s paradise nestled in the foothills of Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains. Every year since, I’ve wished for a return trip, and while Santa hasn’t delivered on that yet, I love gifting and receiving products from the farm’s online shop. The toasty, extra-nutty granola is my favorite. A two-pound batch comes in an attractive glass jar that makes it feel even more special — and it’s perfect for storing flour or sugar once your granola runs out. Trust me, that will happen quickly.” — Sara Levine, Senior Managing Editor

Acme Nova-Lox Sliced Salmon, $32

“Smoked salmon is very old-school, but it’s the perfect holiday house gift when you’re visiting family or friends out of town. It’s an easy hors d’oeuvre your hosts can serve with cocktails. (Toast, butter, lemon and you’re done.) Or, they can put it out in the morning with the breakfast spread. And if they’re already stocked up for guests? The fish will keep for extra-special scrambled eggs on New Year’s morning. I like the salmon from Acme Smoked Fish in Brooklyn, but any hand-cut variety from a real appetizing store or good market will be appreciated.” — Lygeia Grace, Director, Culinary Editorial

Crème Macarons — Prices Vary

"Those who know me know that I can be pretty evangelical about French macarons — they have to be chewy, they must not crumble, and they need to feel like pillows of unfathomable magic in your mouth. The cupcake craze may have come and gone, but macarons will always have, for me at least, a sort of mysticism about them, maybe because my clumsy hands couldn’t ever possibly conjure up such beautiful, unearthly specimens. For this reason, too, they make the perfect gift. I always bring home a box of Chef Kim Haines’ Crème Macarons; my mom loves eating them in the morning with a cup of coffee (I suppose it makes her feel like a princess or something). Crème only does custom-made macarons, though, so you have to place an order by email." — Eric Kim, Programming Coordinator

Chocolate-Chocolate Croissants — Set of 15, $40

“These delicious double-chocolate croissants arrive at your door frozen, which means you can keep them on hand in the freezer for special holiday breakfasts… or frigid winter days when you don’t want to leave the house. Let them rise overnight and bake them off in the morning. They come out of the oven flaky and ooey-gooey, and make your whole house smell amazing. And best of all, you don’t have to get out of your PJs for a still-warm croissant, which is an amazing gift to give or receive!” — Betsey Brownfield, Senior Digital Editor

Olympia Provisions European Charcuterie Sampler, $40

“I come from a family of carnivores, so our holiday meal won’t start until we’ve had enough time to pick over the charcuterie platter. I like to give whoever’s hosting a few new salamis to serve before the meal — or, better yet, to savor solo after the guests have gone home. Olympia Provisions offers a truly awesome European Sampler, which includes four different cured meats from Greek, Spain, Italy and France. My favorite is the Chorizo Rioja — a spicy, smoky, Spanish-style salami with hints of paprika and oregano.” — Emily Lee, Digital Content Producer

Gingerbread House Mug Topper, $12

“Mug toppers are my go-to affordable gift for holiday party hosts and grab bags. It’s something so unexpected (and adorable) that even the person who has everything will be thrilled to receive one. This one from Williams-Sonoma is made using a traditional gingerbread recipe and royal icing. Gift it paired with a holiday mug and a hot-cocoa packet.” — T.K. Brady, Online Editor, Food Network Magazine

Stonehouse Olive Oil, $12—$175

“Preparing a holiday meal is guaranteed to deplete the host’s pantry — olive oil, salt and pepper, condiments and other accoutrements will be in low supply by the time the guests pack up and head home. I like to help replenish my host’s pantry with elevated versions of cooking staples — like finishing olive oil or Maldonado salt. And I don’t think you can ever go wrong with homemade jam or pickles.” — Heather Ramsdell, Editorial Director

Amish Popcorn Gift Set, $30

“This holiday season I am gifting an Amish Country Popcorn Kernel Library from Williams-Sonoma to my in-laws. The popcorn kernels are really colorful, so I’ll get points for presentation, and it’s not more candy, so I’m keeping everyone healthy. I’ll round out the present with some local Amagansett Sea Salt (who doesn’t love salty popcorn?) and wrap it all up in a Large Popcorn Bowl from Crate and Barrel. This will pair perfectly with their DVD stocking stuffer, so we can all sit around the TV together and enjoy my father-in-law’s favorite holiday movie, It’s a Wonderful Life.” — Cameron Curtis, Editor-in-Chief, Snapchat Discover,

Laurie & Sons Toffee, $24

"My favorite hostess gift (and holiday gift!) is Laurie & Sons toffee — it's super-high-quality chocolate-covered toffee with really interesting flavors. The sea salt-and-Tellicherry is my favorite, but the licorice flavor is really good too. Plus, it's made in New York, and I always like to bring local gifts with me when I’m traveling." — Michelle Buffardi, Site Director

Bushwick Kitchen Threes Knees Spicy Trio Gift Set, $50

"The 'make-everything-spicy' trend might give some people pause, but this smartly curated set (spicy honey, spicy maple syrup and an inventive gochujang-Sriracha) will entice even the skeptics to experment with condiments. They can get started with the included recipe book of clever serving suggestions — like pouring the syrup over chicken and waffles, mixing the gochujang into macaroni and cheese, and (my personal favorite) drizzling the honey over pizza. Plus, the elegant packaging makes the bottles display-worthy in any kitchen." — Lauren Piro, Digital Editor

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Holiday Gift Guide