How to Put Together the Perfect Christmas Cookie Gift Box
Choose a fun variety of cookies, bake them up efficiently, pack them beautifully, and earn warm smiles from all your friends and family.
Looking for the perfect one-size-fits-all gift this season? Forget gimmicky electronics or another pair of slippers. Give the gift that everyone wants — a cookie box! Filled with an assortment of seasonal flavors, holiday hues and traditional family favorites, it’s sure to bring comfort and joy to lucky recipients. Follow our guide filled with useful tips and tricks to create the perfect assortment for everyone on your Christmas list.
Choose the Boxes
Not sure where to start? Begin with a box. Bakery style boxes, shirt boxes, gift boxes, decorative tins, and inexpensive organizer trays are all suitable choices. Windowed bakery boxes are inexpensive per piece, sturdy, and give the recipients a fun peek at what’s inside. They come in all sizes, so you can tailor the size to your cookie quantities. Tins and fancy gift boxes cost a little more but make an extra-special gift and often can be reused. All boxes should have lids that fit well for traveling and to keep cookies fresh.
And You'll Need Some Other Packaging
Packaging small parcels of cookies inside the box reduces the chance of breakage, and each package acts as a nice divider. Gather an assortment of small packaging, such as decorative paper cups, grease-proof cookie bags, and cellophane bags. All of these can help organize and divide cookies within a large cookie box, while helping to keep cookies fresh. Baker’s twine can be used to tie a stack of cookies together so they stay anchored in place. Holiday ribbon can be used to tie packaging closed and adds a festive touch.
How to Choose the Cookies
They say variety is the spice of life, and this especially rings true for holiday cookie boxes. Make a list of your favorite recipes and consider equal amounts of homestyle cookies alongside decorated cookies for lots of eye appeal. I like to say that you need some thrillers (adorable decorated gingerbread men!) and some fillers (classic chocolate chip!). Choose cookies that have a long shelf life, such as biscotti and shortbread. Include heirloom cookies for family members’ gifts, which will bring a touch of nostalgia and personalize your boxes.
Choose recipes that have a yield of at least 24 cookies, especially if you have many boxes to fill. For example, if you bake six different cookie recipes that all yield 24 cookies, you can pack six gift boxes with four of each cookie. Each box will make a bountiful gift of two dozen assorted cookies.
Maximize the fun on Bake Day by streamlining your cookie-baking with a few simple kitchen tools and equipment. You’ll need plenty of baking sheets, so use all that you have on hand. If you don’t have many, consider buying a few disposable aluminum pans at the grocery store. Cut down the amount of pan-washing by using parchment paper to line baking pans. For drop cookies, use a small cookie scoop to quickly portion uniform amounts of dough to make cookies consistent in size. Have cooling racks ready to receive warm cookies so pans can return to the baking rotation quickly.
Add Some Color
Colorful sprinkles, sparkling sugars and eye-catching swirls will add a festive touch to boxes. Classic gingerbread folk simply piped with royal icing are steeped in holiday tradition, and darn cute! Create simple wreath cookies by cutting rolled-out sugar cookie dough in rings, and top with green frosting and sprinkles after baking. These are all easy to make in large quantities and simple to decorate. In general, keep decorated cookies simple and cute. Avoid delicate piping or elaborate decors because they may rub off or detach during delivery.
Nothing Beats a Classic
Classic homestyle cookies may not win any beauty contests, but they are a must for the assortment because they taste scrumptious. Lemon cookies rolled in a sparkly coarse crystal sugar add a wintry vibe with a citrus kick, while chocolate chip and other chippy cookies are old-school favorites. Show off seasonal flavors in orange and cranberry shortbread, or satisfy the chocolate lover on your list with chocolate shortbread. Slice-and-bake cookies will give you a head start because dough can be made well ahead and frozen until you’re ready to bake them.
Make a Prototype Box
Before assembling multiple cookie boxes, line a single box with decorative tissue paper and experiment with quantities and placement of cookie varieties. To add a high-end look to the assortment, keep bite-sized cookies from scattering in the box by packaging them in a cupcake cup inside a clear cellophane bag tied with ribbon. Tie wreath cookies together with ribbon, or bundle cookies together with baker’s twine for extra detail. Let this prototype be your guide for quick assembling of your other cookie boxes.
Create an Assembly Line
Find a spacious area such as a table or counter, and line boxes up on one side and trays of different cookies on the other. Have tools and packaging close by, such as scissors, ribbon, bags, and cupcake liners. Having them within easy reach will help speed assembly. For the quickest assembly of multiple cookie boxes, enlist some help! Kids can package cookies in smaller bags or cups to fit inside the boxes. Have your prototype box close by so everyone helping can see how to fill the boxes.
Wrap Them Up
Make each cookie box special by adding beautiful embellishments and tie-ons. Attach a pair of miniature tongs to serve the cookies with. Personalize it by adding on a monogram or letter ornament. Whimsical tree ornaments also make a nice keepsake to tie on. If you’re gifting to someone who also likes to bake, tie on a recipe card or a cookie cutter, and include a bottle of sprinkles. Gift wrap the box with a tag, Christmassy ribbon and jingle bells for extra holiday flair.
Turn your vehicle into Santa’s sleigh by loading up your trunk to hand-deliver the cookie boxes. To safely transport a lot of cookie boxes, line the floor with rubber mats or strips of grippy non-skid shelf liner to keep boxes from shifting around. Stacks of boxes can be secured by tying them together with lengths of ribbon. Trunk organizers come in handy to hold boxes in place during a drive. Also, several boxes can be placed together inside larger boxes, so they don’t fall over or slide around during transport. If you need to ship cookie boxes, follow our shipping guide to help your cookies travel well.