Giving Cookies as Holiday Gifts

December 2nd, 2009 by Nancy Siler

Have you ever given cookies as a gift at the holidays? Based on a recent poll we conducted, almost 90% of those surveyed are planning on giving cookies as a gift this year. It is easy to see why. People enjoy receiving cookies because it says “I thought of you and took the time to bake for you”, and giving cookies helps you make the most of your holiday gift-giving budget.

Creative Holiday Cookie PackagingWhen selecting which cookies to make, I usually select a recipe that inspires me such as virtually any one in the Wilton Cookie Exchange book. If shipping cookies, I choose a denser recipe that will travel well. The Triple Chocolate Biscotti, Hazelnut Biscotti, or White Chocolate Oatmeal Pistachio Cookies are examples of good travelers while the Holiday Meringue Stars look pretty and festive but are prone to breakage. Pack cookies in popcorn, food safe tissue paper or crushed parchment paper to cushion the trip.

The best way to ship decorated cookies is have the decorations baked into or onto the cookie such as adding icing color to the dough when mixing, adding sugars prior to baking, or piping thinned dough with a round or star tip on the cut-out sugar cookie and then baking it for a two-dimensional look.

If you’re not shipping, then your recipe choices are wide open. Preparing a chocolate chunk pecan cookie and dipping in chocolate or Candy Melts® (no tempering required) adds an additional flavor and decadence. It’s easy to add some holiday sprinkles when the chocolate is still wet so you get some color and a theme. Be sure to place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.

As with any gift, presentation is a consideration. You’ve cut and baked the most delicious cookies, then dressed them up with holiday cheer. They’re going to be the perfect gift—homemade and from the heart. But one more step will make them complete. You need to help them make a grand entrance with a festive gift presentation to match!

Colorful Cookie BoxesWilton makes it easy to deck out your holiday cookies with an amazing selection of colorful containers in all shapes and sizes. Look for window boxes in a variety of merry patterns, designed to show off all your tempting treats. You’ll also find exciting box kits, complete with ribbons, gift stickers and other colorful accents. Or, present a traditional Christmas cookie plate with a kit that includes oversized pattern bags and jolly holiday ties.

Wilton also has a wide selection of winter white treat boxes and baskets, ready for your favorite seasonal trims. And don’t forget, if you’re hosting or attending a cookie exchange this year, Wilton boxes and bags are just what you need to help your cookies arrive safely and in style.

Wrap up the perfect cookie holiday with Wilton! Basic cookie tips:

  1. Before baking your recipe, read it three times.
  2. Gather all needed ingredients and then start. This saves a last minute, in the middle of mixing run to the store.
  3. Make sure you measure properly with the correct equipment.
  4. Preheat the oven to the recipe temperature.
  5. Avoid putting cookies too close together on the cookie sheet…they tend to spread when baked.
  6. Use parchment paper on your cookie sheet/pan so the crumbs and sugars don’t continue to bake on the pan with the next batch.
  7. Have enough cookie sheets to use so you aren’t putting dough on hot pans.
  8. After baking and cooling on cooling grids, place into sealed container to maintain freshness.
  9. Give about one dozen per gift unless they’re going to a large family.
  10. Use paper, boxes, and ribbons to dress up.
  11. Save some for your family!!
Nancy Siler Nancy Siler, vice president of consumer affairs, is a registered and licensed dietitian plus a certified home economist. She has been baking and decorating desserts longer than she wants to admit…..much before she started working at Wilton 11 years ago. Nancy also shares her expertise in the Wilton sponsored Public Television Show Bake Decorate Celebrate!

18 Replies

  1. me says:

    holiday cookies

    • Sandy says:

      Thank you for all the tips, these are great aideias for the holidays. Please keep sending mor tips. Happy holidays to all of you.

  2. nice ideas, and great tips
    thxs

  3. marguerita says:

    I received a cupcake pan fom my relatives in NY also your website for instructions…I just love receiving the emails, and good advice/ideas..love the cookie tips…
    from your company.many thanks. keep them coming please ..M

  4. maria burzynski says:

    HI my name is maria and i would like to know if any has a good recipe for cupcakes that look and taste like cupcakes. thanks maria
    I alwasy look at the wounderful things that every one makes.

    • Nancy Siler says:

      One of my favorite cupcakes is the following recipe which you can call Margarita Cupcakes if they are for adults or Lime Cupcakes if they are for children. They have a light, perky flavor.

      Ingredients
      •Baking liners or silicone
      •1 package (18.25 oz.) white cake mix (no pudding in the mix)
      •1 can (10 oz.) frozen Margarita mix, thawed (undiluted)
      •3 egg whites
      •2 tablespoons vegetable oil
      •1 tablespoon grated lime zest
      •Buttercream icing with lime zest (optional)
      •Garnish: strawberries and lime twists (optional)

      Preheat oven to 350°F.
      Place baking liners in muffin pans or spray silicone cups with vegetable pan spray.
      In large bowl, combine cake mix, Margarita mix, egg whites and vegetable oil using electric mixer. Stir in lime zest; mix completely. Fill cups 2/3 full.
      Bake 22-24 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cupcake comes out clean. Cool completely. Ice cooled cupcakes with icing.
      Makes 24 cupcakes.

  5. Norma J.Markley says:

    Great Ideas Wilton. I have sent cookies packed with popcorn in sandwich bags between the layers. The cookies get there in one piece and they can even eat the popcorn if they like.

  6. AMELIA MENCIA says:

    GREAT AND WONDERFUL IDEAS FOR CHRISTMAS AND EVERY SEASON,THANK YOU WILTON !!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. I luv the idea of sending the cookies, it added to my way of rapping them in a fancy rapper. Debo Dy. says:

    It’s a great idea, saves me from messing cookies up.

  8. I luv the idea of sending the cookies, it added to my way of rapping them in a fancy rapper. Debo Dy. says:

    It’s a great idea.

  9. Helen says:

    How do I pack cookies to mail out of state so the stay fresh and unbroken?????
    I would love to know!

    • Nancy Siler says:

      Make sure the cookies are a firm recipe so they are less prone to breakage. Pack tightly in popcorn or individually wrap in plastic wrap or parchment paper. Avoid using too large of a box so they don’t move around during shipping.

  10. Neeta says:

    Can anyone tell what is the weight of 1 stick of butter, please? Thanks. Neeta

  11. Angeli McGovern says:

    I’m planning on sending cookies as holiday gifts this year and really liked the idea of making the peanut butter kiss cookies, however I’m afraid of anyone having peanut allergies and wanted to know if I could omit the peanut butter – would it still taste okay and have the same texture? Thank you!

    • Nancy Siler says:

      Without viewing your Peanut Butter Kiss cookie recipe, I would guess that the peanut butter would be the “substitute” for the fat required in the recipe so if you omit it, then your recipe probably won’t work. If you are worried about peanut allergies I would select an entirely different recipe without any nuts. Remember to select a recipe that produces a firm cookie since that’s best for shipping.

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