Edible Christmas Gifts

What to give the person who has it all? Or who really doesn’t want another thing to dust around? Food, of course! It’s a wonderful gift to show someone you care without adding to the clutter that might be piling up in their house.

Homemade Peppernuts

Food gifts can be anything from fancy schmancy coffee beans, to decadent chocolate, to homemade bread or jam, or to what we decided to make this year: peppernuts!

Rolling Homemade Peppernuts

We already made peppernuts once in Paraguay so we knew we had access to the ingredients and that Paraguayans really like them. It takes some time since each cookie is so small, but turn up some Christmas music, sip some hot cocoa and enjoy the process! It’s easy and worth it.

Making Homemade Peppernuts

We wrapped baggies of peppernuts in colorful tissue paper and tied on handwritten notes. Now it’s time to pass them out to our new friends here in Paraguay to spread a little Christmas joy!

Homemade Christmas Gifts - Peppernuts


Recipe from the First Mennonite Church Cookbook (adapted slightly)


1 cup butter
4 cups brown sugar
4 eggs
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons hot water
6 2/3 cups flour
1 teaspoon anise oil (or 3 tablespoons anise seed for those in Paraguay)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 3/4 teaspoon baking powder


1. Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and beat well.

2. Dissolve baking soda in hot water. Add to mixture.

3. Add flour, spices, and baking powder.

4. Make into long thin rolls by rolling between hands. Chill for 10 minutes to make cutting easier.

5. Slice less than 1/4″ thick. Bake on cookie sheets at 375F/190C for 8 to 10 minutes.

6. Store in tight containers.


  • Store the long thin rolls in the fridge or freezer while peppernuts are baking. Cutting is so quick and easy when the dough is cold and firm.
  • Yields 1.5 gallons.
  • Will keep for several months if well hidden! Freezes well.

What food or food gifts are you making this Christmas?


6 thoughts on “Edible Christmas Gifts

  1. We’ve got peanut butter no-bakes, chocolate treats, and ambrosia cookies, as well as some great homebrew this year! We just exchange food gifts with the adults we see over the holidays. Normally, I also throw in some home-roasted coffee beans, but it didn’t happen soon enough this year. Maybe it will be a New Year’s gift…

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