Handmade gifts are among the best kinds -- especially when they’re edible. 

If you’re in need of a little inspiration, browse these 11 DIY gift categories to find the perfect idea for the food lover in your life. Most of these recipes are easy to make, affordable, and can be packaged and personalized beautifully. (Don’t forget to include storage instructions on the label.)

This year, why not skip the mall and head into the kitchen?

1. Baked Goods 

Recipe: Stollen

Stollen Photo: iStockphoto

"In old New York at Christmastime, bakeries sold stacks of paper-wrapped and beribboned stollen, the beloved German holiday bread," says Sarabeth Levine.

Also try: Cookies, Chocolate-Cherry Fruitcake, Lenox Almond Biscotti or Savory Fennel Parmesan Biscotti (bundle them with sparkling wine), Cheese Straws or Pennsylvania Dutch Hard Pretzels.

2.  Candy and Sweets

Recipe: Buttermints

Buttermints Photo: Rachel Been

"Get multiple colors out of a single batch and mix and match as you please," say Liz Gutman and Jen King. "Just remember to squirrel away a couple for yourself as a little after-dinner-at-home treat."

Also try: Turkish DelightNougatLynne's Homemade MarshmallowsChocolate-Coconut Almond BitesThe Dorie Bar, Buckeyes, Bittersweet Chocolate Truffles Maison or Seriously Good Improvisational Chocolates.

3.  Drinks and Drink Mixes

Recipe: Limoncello

limoncello Photo: Gifts from the Kitchen

"This after-dinner drink is like a little ray of boozy citrus sunshine at the end of a heavy meal," says Annie Rigg. "If you’re lucky enough to find some lemons with stems and leaves attached, these would make a very beautiful label or gift tag."

Also try: Blueberry Cinnamon, Sweet-Pepper Surprise, In Praise of Fraise, or make your own drink mixes for chai tea or Mexican Hot Chocolate.

4. Fruit 

Recipe: Candied Lemon Peel

lemon peel Photo: ffolas / iStock / Thinkstock

"Who knew making candied peel was so easy, and frankly satisfying! They are quite beautiful when finished and a great gift to bring to a favorite hostess, so make extra," says Lynne Rossetto Kasper.

Also try: Candied Grapefruit, Lynne's Brandied Fruit, Dried Apricots in Cardamom Syrup or Preserved Lemons.

5. Jam and Marmalade 

Recipe: Pear Jam with Rosemary and Pine

jam Photo: iStock

"Pear goes naturally with herbs, and the combination of pear and rosemary is particularly delicious," says Rachel Saunders. "Pinecone bud syrup has a dark chestnut color and wintry pine flavor."

Also try: Peach Jam, Lynne's Slow and Easy Savory Onion JamLemon and Pink Grapefruit Marmalade, or Early Girl Tomato Marmalade.

6. Cereal

Recipe: Maple Granola

maple granola Photo: The Hippie Triathlete / Flickr

Tim Herd's recipe is perfect for breakfast lovers and snackers.

Also try: Cornflake Crunch.

7. Nuts 

Recipe: Tapas Bar Roasted Almonds

almonds Photo: Sally Schneider / improvisedlife.com

"In addition to bundling them with bottles of bone-dry Manzanilla sherry as gifts, I often serve the combination when friends drop by for cocktails," says Sally Schneider.

Also try: Candied Walnuts, Brown Sugar Almonds or Chile Peanuts.

8. Pickles 

Recipe: Sichuan-Inspired Pickled Vegetables

pickled vegs Photo: Ellen Silverman

"You will love what happens to radishes and carrots in this pickle -- one turns a sheer sunset pink while the other practically pulsates orange," say Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift.

Also try: Fast Japanese Pickles, Pickled Red Onions with Cilantro or Sunshine Sour Pickles.

9. Infused Oil

Recipe: Lemon Scented Olive Oil

olive oil Photo: Hemera

Sally Schneider says: "This oil makes a much-appreciated gift packed into clean bottles. (You can recycle pretty oil or vinegar bottles, soaking off the labels…or buy bottles.)"

10. Spreads and Sauces

Recipe: Homemade Nutella

nutella Photo: Alex Farnum

"For some people, Nutella -- a smooth chocolate-hazelnut spread found in the peanut butter aisle in most supermarkets -- is a nostalgic childhood treat," says Christie Matheson.

Also try: Saffron Tomato Sauce, Sweet-Tart BBQ Sauce, Beer and Caraway Mustard or Regular Ol' Tomato Ketchup (but Better).

11. Salts and Spice Blends

Recipe: Fragrant Tuscan Herb Salt

salt Photo: Maria Robledo

"The herb salt makes a great gift," says Sally Schneider. "If you want to make a lot of herb salt, I suggest doing it in batches, rather than all at once, to retain the right texture."

Also try: Roasted Sichuan Pepper and Salt, Lynne’s Global Spice BlendCrossover & West Indies Spice Blends, or create your own.

Jennifer Russell
Jennifer Russell is a founding producer at The Splendid Table. Before coming to radio, she made historical and arts and cultural programming for public television. She claims to have come out of the womb a food lover -- when other girls played house, she played restaurateur. Follow her comings and goings on Twitter: @jenejentweets.