Whether your giftee is an experimental home cook or eats out every night of the week, these treats and tools will help them up their cooking and snacking game. Gift wisely and maybe you’ll even score an invitation to dinner.
Home Cook Hacks
Amp up the umami in grilled cheese, meatloaf or hummus with this spicier, more cosmopolitan alternative to ketchup. This Korean condiment is sriracha’s cooler cousin and a great stocking stuffer. Chung Jung One’s version is gluten-free, vegan, and corn syrup-free. – Gochujang Korean Chili Sauce, $11.96 on Amazon
Gibsons was the first restaurant in the country to be awarded its own USDA Prime Beef Certification, and this is the special salt they use on their famous steaks. It's just as good on scrambled eggs, popcorn and potatoes too. – Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse Seasoning Salt, $8.90 on Amazon
Here’s something by Dolce & Gabbana that you can actually spill pasta sauce on. Pastificio Di Martino makes more than 120 shapes of pasta in the southern Italian city of Gragnano. This custom-designed tin includes a few to play with, along with an apron and recipe cards. – Di Martino Dolce & Gabbana Pasta & Apron Tin Box Set, $160 at Neiman Marcus
Every month, the creative geniuses at Salt & Straw come up with five new seasonal flavors and this month they’re bringing fruitcake, gingerbread and peppermint chocolate to sweet new heights. There’s even cinnamon coconut eggnog for vegans. – Holiday Pints, $65 at Salt & Straw
San Francisco’s top bean-to-bar chocolate maker debuts hot chocolate mix for the first time this season, so you can recreate the rich sipping chocolates served at all Dandelion Chocolate cafes. Just add milk. – Hot Chocolate Mix, $18 at Dandelion
These hand-piped and hand-painted confections are almost too cute to eat. But then you bite their hazelnut heads off because you can’t resist the sweet temptation. Chocolate Penguins ($34) or Chocolate Snowmen, $34-$40) at L.A. Burdick
You might not be able to get your foodie friend a reservation at Noma (or a flight to Copenhagen), but they can try to recreate a few of the ingredients from the internationally renowned Nordic kitchen with Chef René Redzepi's new book. – The Noma Guide to Fermentation, $24 on Amazon
Chicagoland baker Ellen King of Hewn Bakery teaches bakers of all skill levels an array of new techniques for working with heritage grains and artisan flour, with step-by-step photos and mouthwatering shots of buckwheat honey madelines, heritage dark chocolate brownies and feta-dill brioche rolls. – Heritage Baking, $19.46 on Amazon
Sample all four flavors of Cocorau’s raw, organic superfood cacao bites handcrafted in New York. All gluten, soy, sugar, dairy, and GMO free so even the strictest diet can enjoy something sweet. A new CBD holiday set should be available soon too. – Cacao Power Bites, $21 at Cocorau
Level up your cooking game with fresh sprigs of sage, rosemary and thyme always at your fingertips. Keep these adorable pots on any sunny windowsill – they’re the perfect size even for a studio apartment. – GivingPlants Herb Trio, $56.97 on Amazon
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