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.
Best Handmade Gifts: Spice Jam Gift Basket
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.
Best Handmade Gifts: Crackers Gift Basket
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.
Best Handmade Gifts: Kimchi Gift Basket
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.
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.
Best Handmade Gifts: Candy Gift Basket
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.
Best Handmade Gifts: Vanilla Extract Gift Basket
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
Video: How to Make Vanilla