Thanksgiving hostess gifts

Considering your girlfriend's 80-year-old grandma spent all day peeling potatoes and baking pumpkin pies, you'd better not show up to supper empty handed. While flowers are always a classy hostess gift, here are five great, locally made, edible options. Your hosts can serve them, send them home as favors for guests--or keep 'em for themselves.

5. Thanksgiving cupcakes from Sweets Bakeshop Forget the whole holiday pie thing. The St. Paul shop is offering a special Thanksgiving package with two cupcakes each of the following flavors: Very Vanilla, Black and White, Sweet Stuffing, Sweet Potato, Cranberry Orange, and Pumpkin Pie at $30/regular dozen or $15/mini dozen. Must pre-order by noon tomorrow (Tuesday) for pick-up on Wednesday 11/24. Alternately, you could do a gift box of Fall Spice macarons ($1.50 a pop).

4. Fall chocolates from Chocolate Celeste and B.T. McElrath Chocolate is always a crowd-pleaser, and several local chocolatiers have great seasonal options. Check out Hot Dish's face-off between pumpkin truffles from Chocolat Céleste and sweet potato pavé from B.T. McElrath--and these cute, turkey-imprinted chocolate apple gobblers from Céleste.

3. Alexis Bailly Ratafia spiced dessert wine The Ratafia is a fortified red wine infused with oranges, herbs, and spices--Minnesota's version of Sweden's glugg. This can be served as an after dinner drink to help ease the turkey digestion process.

2. Prairie Organic Vodka Maybe your hosts and their guests hit the sauce a little harder? Try this Minnesota-made spirit as a post-meal sipper or Bloody Mary spiker for Friday's breakfast.

1. Cooks of Crocus Hill or Kitchen Window gift certificates Did grandma burn the turkey? Or try to chop the cranberries for her Jell-O salad with knife whose wooden handle disintegrated after two many dishwasher cycles? Gift certificates are good for both cooking classes and kitchen equipment.

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