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Cut baguette in half horizontally. Cut bread into strips 3-1/2-inches long by 1-inch wide (or a length that will fit into gift container); set aside. In a 12-inch skillet melt butter or margarine. Stir in basil and garlic powder. Add half the crouton sticks, stirring until coated with butter mixture. Arrange crouton sticks in a single layer in a shallow baking pan. Repeat with remaining crouton sticks.
Bake, uncovered, in a 300°F oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until crouton sticks are dry and crisp, turning once. Cool completely. Store, tightly covered, at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.