Looking for the best products to gift — and to get — this holiday season? Check out Underscored’s Holiday Guide here.
A lot of people have discovered a love for cooking and baking at home over the past few years, and a lot of people just love eating unique, gourmet treats and they always have. Well, for all of those people in your life, we’ve got the perfect cooking, baking and just plain old eating gifts to delight them this holiday season — think Japanese snacks, fondue sets, fancy salts and so much more. Hungry yet?
Best gifts for cooks
Cuisinart Electric Fondue Set ($79.95, originally $145; surlatable.com)
Who doesn’t love dipping bread, fruit and other delicious things in cheese, chocolate and broth? We promise your family and friends who cook do, and this electric fondue set makes enjoying delicious sweet or savory fondue as easy as flipping a switch — no candles, chafing dishes or pre-cooking required.
Brightland The Festive Capsule ($170, originally $178; brightland.com)
We’ve made no secret of our love of Brightland products — they really are that good — and this holiday gift package includes all of the bestsellers. They’ll get the Alive and Awake olive oils, two raw vinegars, two jars of small-batch honey, a spout for the oils and a mini whisk.
Chinese Soup Dumpling Kit ($60; uncommongoods.com)
The perfect gift for your favorite cook who loves to challenge themselves in the kitchen (unless they grew up making them with their nǎi nai), this kit has everything they’ll need to make perfect soup dumplings — a steamer, parchment paper rounds, dumpling dough roller, wooden spatula and recipes.
Le Creuset Sauteuse ($179.96, originally $299.95; surlatable.com)
If you want to make your favorite home cook really feel the holiday spirit this season, splash out for hand-finished sand-cast enamel-coated cookware from Le Creuset. This Dutch oven is perfect for stews, casseroles, soups and even brownies!
Saltverk Gift Box ($44.99; amazon.com)
The more adventurous cooks on your shopping list will love this mix of all-natural, sustainable, unrefined, flavored Icelandic salts. The salts are made with geothermal energy, leaving zero carbon footprint — and did we mention they enhance just about every meal?
Mike’s Hot Honey ($9.99; amazon.com)
We first tried Mike’s as a condiment for pizza in Brooklyn (shout-out to Paulie Gee’s!) and we’ve been hooked ever since. Spicy and sweet, this elevated honey is the perfect way to elevate so many dishes. Drizzle it on pizza, yogurt, cheese, sandwiches — the possibilities are endless.
Molecular Gastronomy Kit (starting at $49; uncommongoods.com)
If they’re into experimenting, this kit will let them turn their kitchen into a food laboratory. It teaches how to transform liquids, like honey, into jelly-like cubes, jellify chopped produce into flavor-packed beads, or even morph melted chocolate into a delicate powder or spaghetti-like strands.
Friend of a Farmer House Brunch Kit for 2 ($49; goldbelly.com)
Send them a delightful brunch kit for two they can whip up themselves with amazing ingredients and mixes from famed brunch spot Friend of a Farmer. They’ll get buttermilk pancake mix, homemade cornbread, apple chutney, bacon and just-baked granola.
Cast-Iron Garlic Roaster ($25; uncommongoods.com)
Roasted garlic adds so much flavor when thrown in soups, tossed with veggies, even spread on bread, and this darling little roaster gets the roast just right. They can use it in the oven or on the grill. It even comes with a silicone tool that helps squeeze each golden clove out of its husk without burning fingers.
Best gifts for bakers
Ruggable Dress Stewart Tartan Rug ($109; ruggable.com)
Baking (and cooking) can involve a lot of standing, but can also be so messy! That’s why we love giving your favorite baker this machine-washable rug with a cushioned pad, so they can stand comfortably in the kitchen and clean up any spills easily. Check out our review of Ruggable here.
Nila Nicholas Make Your Own Hot Chocolate Bombs Kit ($48; uncommongoods.com)
Hot cocoa aficionados know that hot chocolate bombs take mugs of sweet goodness to the next level, and what could be more fun than creating their own versions at home? The kit includes ingredients, instructions and silicone molds — everything they’ll need to make a half-dozen of those theatrical sweet treats. They’ll find milk chocolate for the shell, cocoa powder and mini marshmallows for the filling, and white chocolate for a delicious final drizzle.
The French Pantry Artisan Bread-Making Set ($29.99; amazon.com)
For the person who keeps saying they want to bake bread like everyone did in quarantine, here’s the final nudge they need to get cooking. This kit comes with a proofing basket, a baguette couche, a scoring tool and more.
Rendall Co. Kenwood Bistro Apron ($65; rendallco.com)
Who among us hasn’t been covered in flour after baking just about anything? If your favorite amateur cake-maker is constantly ruining their clothes with flour, butter and eggs, this bistro apron will keep them protected and chic. This apron’s deep patch pockets can hold a dishtowel, your phone or even that folded magazine with your new recipe, and it’s available in three colorways.
Caraway Bakeware Set ($395, originally $495; caraway.com)
Does your favorite baker have stacks of dinged-up pans? Upgrade their whole life with this comprehensive set from Caraway that has everything they need — baking sheets, pans, cooling racks, storage and more. And it’s all non-toxic and available in five chic colorways.
Cuisinart Power Advantage Plus 9-Speed Handheld Mixer ($79.95, originally $145; surlatable.com)
Stand mixers are overrated and take up a lot of space. For a home baker with a smaller space, our pick for the best hand mixer of 2021 scored top marks across the board for function — easily mixing, whisking, beating and kneading — as well as ease of use and storage.
Best gifts for foodies
Fox & the Knife Pasta Dinner Gift Basket ($129; goldbelly.com)
Top Chef fan fave and James Beard Award-winning chef Karen Akunowicz has been creating incredible pasta dishes at her enoteca Fox & the Knife since 2019, and your fave foodie can cook up a meal (three meals, honestly) from the restaurant at home with this kit that includes bucatini, creste de gallo, rich wild boar bolognese and spicy, prosciutto-kicked amatriciana. Don’t skip the harissa marinated olives, trust us.
Harry & David Classic Epicurean Charcuterie and Cheese Collection ($179.99; harryanddavid.com)
If you want to really spoil your favorite foodie this holiday season, go big with this luxe box from Harry & David that’s packed with meats and cheeses like Creminelli Fine Meats Casalingo salami and Sartori BellaVitano Tennessee Whiskey cheese, as well as tasty preserves, olives and nuts to complement the spread, which they can display on the included acacia wood tray.
Bachan’s The Original Japanese Barbecue Sauce ($13.59; amazon.com)
The perfect gift for the condiment- and umami-obsessed foodie, this barbecue sauce is made in small batches in the US, with non-GMO and preservative-free ingredients and BPA-free packaging. This vegan sauce enhances pizza, bowls, eggs and more.
Alta Ramen-Themed Non-Slip Chopsticks and Rest, Set of 5 ($60; bokksu.com)
Whether they order fancy takeout or make their own chopstick-friendly eats at home, this set of five pairs of chopsticks come with the most adorable ramen-topping-themed rests.
Bokksu Gift Classic Subscription (starting at $39.95; bokksu.com)
If your foodie friend enjoys sampling snacks and candy from around the globe, this is the gift for them. This editor-favorite subscription box comes jam-packed with all things sour, sweet and savory from Japan.
Summer Shack Lobster Pot Pie, 2-Pack ($149; goldbelly.com)
The best way to eat lobster during the cold months? In this classic pot pie from Boston favorite Summer Shack. They’ll get two hearty pies with potatoes, carrots, dry sherry, heavy cream, green peas, shallots, garlic, thyme and, of course, fresh lobster meat, all packed into a soft buttery puff pastry.
Thrive Market Subscription ($59.95 for one year; thrivemarket.com)
Health-conscious types love this “Costco of healthy eating.” The direct-to-consumer subscription site offers deals on everything organic, from handwash to steaks to popcorn.
Harry & David Holiday Belgian Chocolate Gift Box ($99.99; harryanddavid.com)
We all know that one person with a sweet tooth that doesn’t quit, and for them we present the biggest box of chocolate we could find. It’s filled with a whopping two pounds of chocolate treats such as chocolate-covered cream sandwich cookies decorated with red- and green-tinted white chocolate drizzle, milk chocolate-covered almonds and so much more.