Photo: Sam Kaplan

Some dishes fall out of fashion for good reason (we're looking at you, aspic), but others are too tasty to be forgotten. We asked some of our favorite culinary experts to take the essence of a few vintage treats—the chewy candied zest of fruitcake, the tang and crunch of the nut-coated cheese ball—and create edible gifts worthy of becoming new classics.

Photo: Sam Kaplan

Retro: Party Mix
Redo: Potato Chip Snack Blend

Combine breakfast cereal, nuts and pretzels; douse with butter and hot sauce; and add a dash of seasoning. Sound familiar? That concoction became so popular, it went all the way to supermarket shelves. Now Rachel Yang—co-chef and co-owner of Joule, Revel and Trove in Seattle—gives it a sophisticated spin, with potato chips, cashews and dried seaweed.

Get the recipe: Potato Chip Snack Blend
candied orange and ginger cookies

Photo: Sam Kaplan

Retro: Fruitcake
Redo: Candied Orange and Ginger Cookies

The humble fruitcake has long been the butt of jokes, but the decadent combo of nuts and sweet fruit is still seriously delicious. In his new cookbook, Payard Cookies, François Payard blends candied orange peel and ginger with almond flour for a chewy two-bite (and gluten-free) cookie that will make the F word suitable for polite company.

Get the recipe: Candied Orange and Ginger Cookies

Photo: Sam Kaplan

Retro: Maraschino Cherries
Redo: Bourbon Cherries

As a kid, you went crazy for the neon-bright maraschino. Consider bourbon-soaked cherries a grown-up substitute. Created by Maggie Battista, author of the cookbook Food Gift Love, they'll be bliss to any dessert or cocktail lover.

Get the recipe: Bourbon Cherries

Photo: Sam Kaplan

Retro: Cheese Ball
Redo: Creamy Goat Cheese Terrine with Harissa and Pumpkin Seeds

The traditional cheese ball—with sharp cheddar, tangy cream cheese and a dash of Worcestershire—is pretty enticing. But Sara Foster, author of Foster's Market Favorites, ups the ante with goat cheese, spicy harissa and sweet orange marmalade—and layers the ingredients in a loaf pan. The perfect hostess gift.

Get the recipe: Creamy Goat Cheese Terrine with Harissa and Pumpkin Seeds

Photo: Sam Kaplan

Retro: Popcorn Ball
Redo: Chai-Coconut Popcorn Treats

The giant, sticky popcorn ball gets a worldly update from Jami Curl, founder of Portland, Oregon, sweetshop Quin. Her version shrinks the spheres down to a more manageable two-inch diameter and mixes in fresh-brewed chai tea and three forms of coconut—oil, milk and flakes—for a complex, nuanced treat with Indian flavors.

Get the recipe: Chai-Coconut Popcorn Treats

Photo: Sam Kaplan

Retro: Wassail
Redo: Spiced Sherry Punch

Hot mulled grog is really old-school, harking back to Merrie Olde England. For a timely new version, try a sherry-based brew from mixologists Jack McGarry and Sean Muldoon, coauthors of The Dead Rabbit Drinks Manual. To present it in the holiday spirit, they suggests cooking up a bottle of spiced simple syrup and gifting it with bottles of sherry and whiskey. Together, they make a potent punch that'll get the party started.

Get the recipe: Spiced Sherry Punch