One of the reasons why I love holiday baking is because I love gifting edible treats. I would pack up all the cookies and variety of treats in Christmas cellophane bags and festive metal cookie tins from the craft store. I would leave these treats bags on my coworker’s desks, drop them off at friends’ houses, or package them up securely and mail them overseas. In the last two years I have found a new way to package and present my baked goods — cookie and treat boxes! I make at least 1 – 2 every year (see this year’s box here) for the holidays and they are such show stoppers when you bring them to a holiday party. Since two years ago, I have made quite a handful of cookie boxes (I like to make them on other holidays as well) have learned several helpful tip and tricks to building the ultimate box for gifting:
- Finding the perfect box is the first step to creating the ultimate treat box. Old metal cookie tins, sturdy gift boxes, or wooden boxes from the craft store are all great options. I like recycling old metal cookie tins for these because that means your treat box will for sure have a sturdy lid that fits well. Sometimes I would opt for a nice wooden box to give a rustic touch. Dividers are not necessary for your cookie box. Simple dividers can be made with thick cardstock. You can also use cupcake liners to separate the treats inside the box.
- You can have more than just cookies in your treat box! You want to have a variety of cookies but it is also a good idea to have a variety of treats. You can cater each box to your recipient’s tastes. Here, I added little mini hand pies (which you can easily make with store-bought pie dough if you are in a time crunch) and snowman marshmallows to keep things visually and texturally interesting. Adding treats like candy canes or chocolate kisses is also a good way to fill up the box and will save you some baking time.
- If you are making some treats in advance to take the stress out of making large elaborate cookie/treat boxes, make the treats that stay fresh longer first. Shortbread cookies, sugar cookies, and soft cookies like chewy ginger molasses tend to stay fresh longer so if you are planning to divide up your baking across several days you can plan your box with that in mind. You can always pre-make and pre-cut all your doughs, store them in the freezer, and bake them off the night before. Cookie and treat boxes may seem intimidating but if you have a plan before you start, it makes the process extremely enjoyable.
Here are some treat ideas from the BAKED team that would be great for your holiday treat box this year:
Edible gingerbread cookie ornaments
Chocolate shortbread sandwich cookies with peppermint
Pumpkin hazelnut butter cups
Floral vegan shortbread cookies
Saffron glazed pistachio shortbread
Dried cherry and chocolate chunk biscotti