Dec. 12, 2011 at 9:38 AM ET
From salty snacks to decadent desserts, we have the answer for the best edible treats for gift giving. Woman's Day magazine's Elizabeth Mayhew has scoured the country for the tastiest items around, perfect for shipping to friends and family (or as a great little gift for yourself).
Crown Maple Syrup from Dutchess County New York
12-oz bottles: $17.95-$19.95
Crown Maple Petite Trio in gift box: $19.95
These are certified organic, 100% pure maple syrups from Crown Maple Farm, a sustainably-managed farm in the Hudson River Valley. The syrups come in three varieties: Light amber, featuring flavors of roasted nuts, salted caramel and brown butter; Medium amber, featuring aromas of gingerbread roasted chestnut, toffee and ground coffee and dark amber, which has aromas of coffee, chocolate, brown sugar and toasted almond.
Cranberry Island Kitchen Whoopie Pies, $35.95 for 12
These whoopee pies are made by women in the Cranberry Island Kitchen, off the coast of Maine. You can customize your whoopies and choose from a variety of pie shapes, such as mussels, scallops, gingerbread men, pumpkins and acorns. Then mix and match with your choice of 11 fillings, including rich chocolate, cointreau and fresh orange zest, champagne or espresso chocolate chip. They’re hand-made the old fashioned with all-natural ingredients and they’re only around 200 calories each!
Kayak Cookies Salty Oats Cookies, $14 for 6
These “subtly sweet, curiously salty” cookies are made entirely by hand in Cape Cod, Mass., with as many local ingredients as possible, including organic New England eggs.They are available in three flavors: original, oatmeal raisin and chocolate oatmeal.
$42.95 for two 2-pound gift bags (each contains about 20 links)
These are Southern-style smoked sausage links made from special cuts of pure, fresh pork and contain no fillers of any kind. The unique, farm-fresh flavor of these links comes from a secret blend of natural sage, red and black peppers with a pinch of sugar and salt. They’re slowly smoked over smoldering hickory wood to bring out the remarkable down-home taste.
Route 11 Dill Pickle Potato Chips, $22 for 1.5-lb tin of chips.
Route 11, celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, prides itself on its “unhurried potatoes”—they’re cooked in small batches in a sustainable factory in Virginia, using superior ingredients. There are 8 varieties of chips to choose from, including Dill Pickle, Mama Zuma’s Revenge, Chesapeake Crab and Sweet Potato, and gifts can be sent in classic tins, either 1.5 or 3-pound sizes.
Cobbie’s Barbecue Sauce (proceeds go toward charity)
$8.95 per bottle, $22.95 with basting brush, $36.95 for gift box with apron
Cobbie’s Sauce is an all-natural, vinegar-based barbecue sauce that’s perfect for seafood, meat, pork and chicken. It starts out slightly sweet then punches it up with a kick of spice! A portion of proceeds from sales of Cobbie’s Sauce will be shared with the Shepherd Center, the nation’s largest nonprofit hospital devoted to research, medical care, rehab and advocacy for people with spinal cord injury and disease, brain injury and other neuromuscular problems.
Loveless Café Smokehouse Special Gift Pack, $32.95 and bacon sampler, $38.95
The Loveless Bacon Sampler, crafted in Tennessee, includes a full pound each of their four signature country-smoked artisan bacon: Country Smoked Bacon, Cajun Smoked Bacon, Smoked Peppered Bacon and Smoked Jalapeno Bacon.
Dr. Bob (a.k.a. Robert Small, a professor at Cal Poly University) created Dr. Bob’s Handcrafted Ice Creams in 1999 with the purpose of producing the richest and most intensely flavored ice creams available. Each small batch is hand-mixed and hand-packed and flavors include: Flavors in Tahitian Vanilla, Scharffen Berger Really Dark Chocolate, Caramel (Dulce de Leche), Scharffen Berger Black Raspberry Chip, Cappuccino Crunch and Brown Sugar Pecan.
Schiltz Smoked Goose, $45.50-$66.50 depending on weight of goose
Perfect for a delicious entrée, a unique kind of hors d’oeurve, or even sliced for sandwiches, this hickory-smoked goose arrives whole from South Dakota, fully-cooked, ready to carve and can be served at room temperature or slightly warmed.
Best of the Midwest Gift Collection, $69.99: This gift set highlights Midwestern culinary masterpieces, showcasing carefully-selected artisan cheeses, handmade crackers and small-batch honey from Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota.
Great American Ladies of Cheese Gift Medley, $44.99: It’s a little known fact that many of the forerunners of the American artisan cheese movement were women. Each cheese featured in this gift medley is a masterpiece of a talented contemporary female cheesemaker.
Standing 9 to 10 inches high, this pie contains a minimum of 18 hand-peeled, hand-sliced apples, layered in a homemade pie crust which is baked and topped with a caramel pecan topping. Made in Missouri, it arrives frozen and ready to bake with instructions included.
Lord Nut Levington Rebel Mary Peanuts, $5.49 for 8-oz tin.
These gourmet peanuts from Texas kick it up a notch—they have the spicy hot flavors of a Bloody Mary, including lemon, celery and pepper. And they even ship for free!
Hot Damn, Tamales, $18-$24 for a dozen.
Hot Damn, Tamales! are from Fort Worth, Texas. You can choose from a wide variety of options, including vegetarian and vegan choices, but the most popular tamale is the wild mushroom and Texan goat cheese variety. The tamales are made without lard and most varieties are gluten-free. They also have chocolate tamales available for dessert!
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