For many, retirement isn’t a time to do less; it’s a time to do more – more of what you enjoy, more of what you like, more of whatever relaxes and rejuvenates you. This is certainly a perfect time for…
Published November 14, 2011 by
Nothing is sweeter or more welcomed than a batch or two of homemade cookies. They’re delicious any time of year but they make the perfect Christmas gift. If you start early, you can get everything done well before Christmas Eve. Here are some tips on how to make sweet Christmas cookie gifts.
First, select pretty baskets or tins in which you will place your cookies. This is the most crucial step as presentation is key. The more unique and upscale your container, the more wonderful your gift will look.
Get creative. You can find small picnic type baskets, baskets with pretty ceramic side handles, antique cookie tins, festive new glass boxes or plastic tins. If it can hold a cookie, it will work. A good place to look is at craft stores where they have everything. You can even stack your cookies in a glass vase that is wide enough to fit.
Once you have found your vessel, include some pretty tissue paper. Select a Christmas themed tissue with printed snowmen or trees or just go with silver, gold, red or green. You’ll wrap the cookies in plastic food wrap and then include the tissue as a basket filler and outer wrap for the cookie packages.
What you bake is completely up to you. If you have a family favorite that everyone loves, go for it. If you’ve never baked before, you can find hundreds of cookie recipes by searching “Christmas cookie recipes” on the web. There are entire sites devoted to nothing but cookie baking. You’ll be surprised at the limitless expanse of options available.
Choose cookies that will travel and hold up well if you need to ship them. Biscotti are hard enough to make the journey as are Springerle, a German pressed cookie. If you don’t have to ship, you can pretty much make anything you like.
Go out shopping for the finest ingredients you can afford. Buy the best chocolate chips, vanilla beans and nuts you can. Great ingredients really do make all the difference. Check your list twice as there’s nothing more frustrating than having to run out for one spice you forgot when you’ve already got the mixer running.
Set up a work station where you have all your ingredients for one type of cookie. Put the ingredient away as you use it so that you know it’s already been added to the batter. Use lightly colored aluminum cookie sheets to avoid burning your cookies. Watch them carefully so you can take them out at exactly the right moment.
When your cookies are cooled, you can freeze them for up to two months. That means you can bake several batches ahead of time and when Christmas rolls around, you can assemble all your baskets. Try to deliver your christmas cookie gift baskets right away after you have filled them when they are still at their freshest.
Include the recipes if you like. Friends may love them so much they’ll ask you how to make them. You’ll be putting smiles on a lot of faces when you show up with a lovely cookie basket or tin. Just be careful, because once you’re known as the Cookie Lady, they’ll be wanting more cookies every year!