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 a celebration, and a perfect time to give a beautiful, delicious gift to the retiree. Here are some retirement cookie gift ideas to try.
Hobby Cookie Arrangements
Is your recipient looking eagerly towards retirement so he/she will have more time to garden, hike, fish, visit family, or engage in another hobby? Create a retirement cookie arrangement around that theme. For instance, for the gardener, you could use garden cookie cutters and decorate them with icing, edible markers, sprinkles, and colored sugar. To go one step beyond this, you could turn it into a bouquet. Make the cookies a bit thicker and insert skewers into the end. After they’ve been baked, arrange them in a watering can, bucket, or flower pot, using Styrofoam to secure them.
You can find cookie cutters that will suit any hobby; cars for the auto enthusiast, purses, shoes, and dresses for the fashionista, football and jerseys for the sports fan, musical notes for the musician, or tools for Mr. or Ms. Fix-It. You can also buy make-your-own cookie cutter kit to customize a special arrangement.
Retirement Survival Kit
These gag retirement gifts can be fun – and now they can be delicious, too. Typical sets include a few marbles, for when you lose yours, mints for a happy retire-mint, or a clock that marks the days, not the hours. Fill in the rest of your “survival kit” with either a mix-in-a-jar or a batch of cookies.
Some good ideas: mint chocolate chip because you “mint” a lot to me, or M&M “medicine” cookies. Attach a card with a color code: red kills infection caused by patience worn thin, green gives you energy to keep up with the boys or girls, etc. Make up your own ailments that can be cured by these great cookies!
Gingerbread men (and ladies) are not just for the holidays anymore. Their fun shapes provide the perfect canvas for your retirement gift for those with some artistic ability and imagination, and make for great cookie grams. Start with this recipe from AllRecipes or your favorite for gingerbread cookies.
- 6 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup shortening, melted and slightly cooled
- 1 cup molasses
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- ½ cup water
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Sift together flour, baking powder, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon.
- In another bowl, mix the shortening, molasses, brown sugar, water, egg, and vanilla until smooth.
- Stir in the dry ingredients gradually.
- Divide dough into 3 pieces, pat to 1 ½ inch thickness, and wrap each in plastic. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350? F. Lightly flour your work surface and roll out dough to ¼ inch thickness.
- Cut your gingerbread men out and place an inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool.
- Flood with royal icing and let dry completely.
- Use icing or edible markers to decorate your “retirees.” Some ideas: gingerbread men/women dressed in: PJs because he can finally sleep in, touristy beach gear, gardening clothes, around-the-house/fix-it clothes, or fishing outfits. You can customize the details to fit your retiree.
What Does the Future Hold?
One final idea is to make your own personalized fortune cookies. While you can buy premade ones, making your own allows you to customize the fortune. You can find recipes and tutorials online, and you can start thinking about your message to the new retiree! They can be sweet and encouraging or they can be humorous: “In retirement, you won’t find enough time to do all the nothing you seek.”
Retirement is a very special time in a person’s life; make it that much more special with a homemade gift from the heart.