The days are dwindling down to a precious few, and you still have shopping and decorating and partying to do. But your heart is set on presenting your BFF and best beau with something delicious and home-made. If you don’t have a grandmother whose pound cake wins prizes at the county fair, turn to renowned Southern cooks for help. These goodies are available if you hurry.


Salted Vanilla Goat Milk Caramels
No one says these caramels have to be reserved strictly to fill up stockings. Sneak a few—or a lot—out for yourself before you hand them out to your nearest and dearest by the dozens.
Fox Point Farm, Rockford, AL

Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies
Robert Armstrong makes good use of his grandmother’s recipes to bake up crisp, chocolate chip pecan cookies that give new meaning to the word addictive. These are bite-sized treats, and they also come in butterscotch oatmeal.
G Mommas Cookies, Selma, AL

Seven-Layer Cake
This yellow cake filled and topped with rich caramel icing brings decadence to towering new heights. No way Santa’s going to leave a crumb of this behind. But if he springs to his sleigh in such haste that he overlooks his slice, this beautiful cake freezes like a dream.
Caroline’s Cakes, Spartanburg, SC/Annapolis, MD

Classic Shortbread
No wonder Classic Shortbread is the best seller at Willa’s bakery. These handmade cookies are the perfect Christmas treat, and they are made from the same 41-year-old recipe her family has treasured for years. Dare to venture on to one of the other 16 Southern flavors and try Butter Pecan, Tupelo Honey or Tennessee Whiskey.
Willa’s Shortbread, Tennessee

Her daughter carries on the tradition set by Iva Jean, who sold this confection every year at her church holiday bazaar in Waxhaw, North Carolina. Daughter Debra pours rich, creamy fudge into 8-oz. and 10-oz. tins that make great stocking stuffers.
Iva Jean’s Fudge, Waxhall, N.C.

Each bag holds six individually-wrapped, mini pralines made with Washington County, Georgia pecans and no preservatives.
Loose Sugar Bakery, Sandersville, Ga.

There are more goodies to tempt even the most strong-willed dieter. Hats off to Garden and Gun for compiling a mouth-watering Mail-Order Southern Holiday Food gift guide that you can find here.