Gift Guide 2015: Some for Gifting, Some for Eating
Delicious goods for everyone on your list
Delysia Chocolatier's Nicole Patel built her reputation on being the first local chocolatier to create truffles using Texas wines and Texas spirits, and those collections make great gifts. That same creative spirit shows in her holiday collections, which include irresistible chocolate barks (in eggnog, gingerbread, s'mores, cranberry pistachio, and peppermint flavors, $7.50-30), molded chocolates ($10-35), and truffle collections ($20-27) with trademark innovative flavors like hot cocoa, Champagne, or cigar. 2000 Windy Terrace Ste. 2-C, 512/413-4701; www.delysia.com. – Virginia B. Wood
Catherine Stiles, wife of Stiles Switch's Shane Stiles, has added a hint of smoke to her personal Bloody Mary mix ($14.95), and the result is a rich tomato base layered with flavors – smoky, salty, and spicy all at the same time. It's the perfect partner for a Tito's Bloody Mary and renders a kickass michelada when paired with tequila and beer. The craft cocktail maven on your list will wonder how they ever lived without it. Available at www.coteriemarket.com. – V.B.W.
In a Pickle
The dedicated home canner on your list will absolutely love the "Yeah, I pickled that" screenprinted aprons ($26.50) from Hip Girl's Guide guru Kate Payne in a variety of attractive colors. Throw in a package of screenprinted cotton kitchen towels ($12) with the same design as a stocking stuffer. www.katepayne.net. – V.B.W.
One For the Books
A landmark work, The Jemima Code: Two Centuries of African American Cookbooks comprehensively chronicles the contributions of black cooks to the American culinary lexicon over the past 200 years, and will make a treasured gift to the culinary historian on your list. Former Austinite Toni Tipton-Martin's years of research and her large cookbook collection give standing and respect to generations of cooks who have largely gone unsung. Signed copies ($45) available at BookPeople, 603 N. Lamar, 512/472-5050. – V.B.W.
Aaron Franklin's generous book with Jordan Mackay, Franklin Barbecue: A Meat-Smoking Manifesto, detailing the secrets to barbecue success, has been heaped with praise since it debuted last spring, and it's a likely shoo-in for the annual cookbook award nominations coming up after the first of the year. Anyone with barbecue aspirations can put this useful book to work charting their course. Available at BookPeople ($29.99). – V.B.W.
Baby, It's Cold Inside
The holidays in Austin rarely get that cold, but you can still get frosty with Lick's five-pack of holiday pints ($65). Each box comes packed with seasonal favorites like plum jam and gin cake, spiked eggnog, and peppermint bark. Need something to eat it with? Throw in a cheery ice cream bowl ($18) from Lick's collaboration with Mockingbird Domestics and a hand-carved spoon from Fourth Edition Design ($14-24). www.squareup.com/market/ lick-honest-ice-creams. – Brandon Watson
Treat Yo' Self
Why just go out to eat at the Salt Lick when you can have a private cooking lesson ($1,500, limited to one) from owner and pitmaster Scott Roberts himself, followed by a private dinner and wine tasting on the Salt Lick Cellars patio? If that's too rich for your blood, try out one of the less exclusive packages – ranging from a barbecue prep box with sauce and dry rub ($90) or a package that's all about the ribs ($120). www.saltlickbbq.com/categories/holiday-specials. – B.W.
Olive You a Lot
Not that we have done this ourselves, but we have heard that the olive oils from Texas Hill Country Olive Company can be drunk straight out of the bottle. Send one of their gift sets ($49-110) to your favorite food obsessive along with your favorite recipe for bread. Then show up at their house a few weeks later. Some gifts keep on giving. – B.W.