As many as 58 percent of Americans will be giving homemade gifts this holiday season, as indicated by a November poll from Michaels Stores, Inc. Giving cookies as gifts is a delicious and relatively time-saving way to show loved ones they are remembered.
Plan Ahead Cookies
As with any homemade gift, a little planning goes a long way to avoid complications, and make gift-giving a fun, stress-free event. Paying attention to the following details can help make your treats delicious:
- Selecting recipes: Keep your cookie menu to a manageable number; say three or four different cookies. Use a beloved family recipe, or one already in your repertoire.
- Supplies: Have the necessary tools to prepare the types of cookies you wish to make. Cookie sheets, mixing bowls and cookie cutters are essentials, but some cookies other equipment, such as Spritz, which require a cookie press.
- Schedule: Plan out a day or two just for baking, and keep in mind that some cookies can be baked and frozen months prior to Christmas.
- Cookie Tins: To save time and money, try buying tins during after-Christmas sales. They cost a fraction of their price during the height of retail season, and can easily be stored for use next year.
The Freezer: Cookies Best Friend
If freezing baked cookies, use plastic storage containers with a tight fitting lid. Layer wax paper between the cookies to keep them protected. Don’t forget to keep a count of how many cookies are in each container, and label them appropriately—masking tape and a permanent marker work well.
If freezing drop cookies, measure out dough and drop them onto the parchment- or silpat-lined baking sheet, and transfer to the freezer. Once frozen, store unbaked cookies in a zip top bag. A dough log can be wrapped in parchment and placed inside a slit paper towel tube to hold its shape, and then frozen inside a zip-top bag.
There are many methods to pack and present cookie gifts, and items like muffin cups and cellophane are available festive patterns.
- Stack cookies inside muffin cups and place them inside a tin.
- For flat storage, such as sugar cookies, stack treats and slide into a cellophane bag to retain shape and flavor.
- When presenting cookie gifts in a tin, be sure to line the tin with wax paper, and use a layer of wax paper between each layer of cookies.
- When shipping cookie tins, bubble wrap is essential. Line the tin’s bottom and top interior with a layer of bubble wrap to cushion the cargo. After the tin is packed, another layer of bubble wrap around the outside ensures protection. Make sure the shipping box is padded with air pockets or peanuts, or take the package to a professional shipping store to ensure a safe and unbroken cookie gift.