The After-Dinner Kit: The After-Dinner Kit: Start with an exceptional red vermouth—this one is a favorite of food editor Christine Albano -- and then round out the gift with foods that complement its flavors: citrusy butter cookies, candied blood-orange peels, hazelnut honey, and a special variety of California pear. Complete it with a paring knife and wooden tray (handy for your host long after the last pear has been sliced).
Scented sugar adds a subtle perfume and flavor to coffee, fruit desserts, and baked goods. Layer granulated sugar with aromatic edibles like scented geranium leaves, rose petals, orange and lemon peel (first set out for a day to dry), or vanilla beans. Mix small batches, and let them sit for a few days in tightly sealed jars while the scents infuse the sugar. One jar or a trio serves makes an unusual present for whomever you think could use a little sweetness.