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Best Handmade Gifts

America's finest food artisans have begun teaching their crafts to ardent amateurs. F&W presents their best recipes for handmade gifts, plus other amazing presents to complete the package.

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Best Handmade Gifts: Spice Jam Gift Basket

Best Handmade Gifts: Spice Jam
© Antonis Achilleos

From Blue Chair Fruit; Oakland, CA

Rachel Saunders is a true obsessive: She experimented with jam-making for nearly 10 years before launching Blue Chair Fruit. She now leads a Jam Making 101 class in her factory's production kitchen. $195 per class; bluechairfruit.com.

Recipe: Pear Jam with Green Cardamom

Presentation: Weck makes classic canning jars and this rounded shape. $14 for 6; weckcanning.com. Ramekin with gold rim by Lenox. $33; replacements.com. Porcelain spoons depict each season; this one is winter. $95 for 4; baileydoesntbark.com.

Buy It Instead: $12 for 6 oz.; bluechairfruit.com
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Slideshow  Complete this Gift Basket: Cheese, Serving Platter & More


Best Handmade Gifts: Crackers Gift Basket

Best Handmade Gifts: Oat-and-Cheddar Crackers
© Antonis Achilleos

From Ginna Haravon of Salted Caramel, Chicago

Haravon shares her sweet-savory fixation at her online store, Salted Caramel (it sells snacks like bourbon-bacon caramel corn), and during classes at Flavour cooking school just outside Chicago.

Recipe: Oat-and-Cheddar Crackers

Presentation: Merry Little Something paper. $4.50 per sheet; whimsypress.com.

Slideshow  Complete this Gift Basket: Cocktail Snacks, Playful Glasses & More


Best Handmade Gifts: Kimchi Gift Basket

Best Handmade Gifts: Spicy Cabbage, Carrot and Daikon Kimchi
© Antonis Achilleos

From Happy Girl Kitchen; Pacific Grove, CA

During a year in Norway, Todd and Jordan Champagne of Happy Girl Kitchen became experts at preserving foods like pickles. Now, they demystify these methods in seasonal workshops.

Recipe: Spicy Cabbage, Carrot and Daikon Kimchi

Presentation: The Vibe jar has an airtight lid. From $3.50; thecontainerstore.com. Mini tongs are perfect for chunky kimchi. $5 for 2; cutleryandmore.com.

Buy It Instead: Available in daikon or Napa cabbage, all-natural Mother In Law's Kimchi is fantastic in traditional Korean dishes. Add it to eggs or soup for a spicy, tangy, garlicky flavor boost. $20 for 2 16 oz. jars; milkimchi.com.

Slideshow  Complete this Gift Basket: Ceramic Knife, Bold Bowls & More


Best Handmade Gifts: Candy Gift Basket

Best Handmade Gifts: Peanut-Butter-and-Jelly Cups
© Antonis Achilleos

From Liddabit Sweets; Brooklyn, NY

Jen King and Liz Gutman of Liddabit Sweets make versions of classic candy bars (their Snacker is a Snickers-esque combo of peanuts, caramel and nougat) and teach at the Brooklyn Kitchen. From $65 per class; thebrooklynkitchen.com.

Recipe: Peanut-Butter-and-Jelly Cups

Presentation: Paper wrappers from New York Cake. $3; nycake.com.

Buy It Instead: From $6.50; liddabitsweets.com
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Slideshow  Complete this Gift Basket: Serving Pieces, Almond Brittle & More


Best Handmade Gifts: Vanilla Extract Gift Basket

Best Handmade Gifts: Vanilla Extract
© Antonis Achilleos

Rachael Narins and Suzanne Griswold, the founders of L.A.–based Chicks with Knives, run a supper club, cater parties and lead classes in what they call "lost arts," like making vanilla extract. From $95 per class; chickswithknives.com.

Recipe: Vanilla Extract

Presentation: Glass bottle with cork top. $3.50; thecontainerstore.com. Stained-wood tag. $7.50; olivemannashop.com.

Slideshow  Complete this Gift Basket: Mexican Vanilla Beans, Nonstick Bakeware & More

Video: How to Make Vanilla


Published December 2010
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