Oh, the weather outside is frightful. But holiday treats are so delightful.
Now don't get me wrong – I know that your list is just as long as St. Nick's around the holidays. Shopping. Entertaining. Cleaning before your mother-in-law arrives. Goodness knows, you've got plenty to do, and sometimes holiday baking seems like one more hassle.
But honestly, there's nothing better than giving – and getting! – homemade treats around the holidays. And whether you spend an afternoon baking cookies with your kids or enjoy an evening with your girlfriends in the kitchen with a few bottles of wine, you'll make the sweetest memories with the ones you love. And really, isn't that the whole point?
Best of all, it's really easy with Tastefully Simple's Cookie Exchange Collection. It features everything you need to make 10 sweet and simple treats. (Not to mention, you'll find a coordinating grocery list, adorable Pinterest ideas and more online, too!)
Now once you've made your holiday treats, what's the best way to wrap 'em up? Here are just a few fun ideas to get you started:
- Old-fashioned canning jars – Your local craft store is a treasure trove of inexpensive glass jars and canisters, perfect for cookies and truffles. I nabbed several jars with little chalkboard labels on the front for only $2 each, along with a taller canister for my Cranberry Pistacio Biscotti.
- Chip canisters – Wrap potato chip canisters (i.e., Pringles®) in wrapping paper or festive construction paper. So adorable and eco-friendly, too! The shape works perfectly for larger treats like chocolate-dipped pretzel rods.
- Foil boxes – Try a twist on the same idea with empty boxes from aluminum foil or waxed paper. Carefully tear off the metal cutter strip, and then paint the outside of the boxes with craft paint (that can even be a fun activity for your kiddos!). Try stencils or stamps if you're extra ambitious. Once the boxes are dry, line the inside with parchment or butcher paper, and fill them up with petite cookies, truffles or candy-coated pretzels. Finish each one with a ribbon and tag. Voila!
- Bakery-style treat boxes – Not feeling crafty? You can still be festive without any fuss. You can find tons of treat boxes at dollar stores, craft places and even big box retailers. Line the boxes with colorful tissue or butcher paper, and tuck treats like these oh-so-perfectly pepperminty Chocolate Mint Cake Cookies inside.
- Clear or paper bags – And quite frankly, you can never go wrong with the classic simplicity of bags, especially for hand-delivered gifts. Use clear cellophane to show off those gorgeous goodies inside, or dress up small brown paper bags with rustic twine and tags.
Happy baking and happy holidays!
Tips & Hints
- If you ever worry about your cookies or biscotti sticking to the pan, line your cookie sheets with parchment paper. Seriously, it will change your life. (Bonus: it ensures more even browning, too.)
- Since my chocolate cookies didn’t spread much, next time I’d roll the dough into slightly larger balls and flatten them slightly before baking.
- If you aren’t a big fan of hard peppermint candy, you can also substitute chopped crème de menthe chocolates, such as Andes® mints, to decorate the outside of your cookies.
- Instead of drizzling white chocolate over your biscotti, you could also dunk each cooled biscotti halfway into melted vanilla almond bark or chocolate; set on waxed paper and sprinkle with red and green sprinkles.