How to Arrange a Holiday Cookie Platter Your Friends and Family Will Love

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Cut out sugar cookies on a grey background with mini ornaments and cookie cutters.

I am SO in the holiday baking mood already. My youngest daughter loves baking and has been so helpful in the kitchen this year and we have already done a ton of baking. During the holidays I really enjoy gifting friends and family with holiday cookie platters, here are a few tips to put together the BEST cookies platters.

Bake A Few Batches at a Time and Freeze Them

Speaking of early holiday baking! This is how I manage to bake a boatload of treats at the holidays for friends while still being able to keep up with everything else we have going on: I schedule a couple of “baking days” usually on a Sunday, and tackle 2-3 different types of cookies,  once they are cooled I pop them in the freezer. Then once Christmas rolls around I usually have a stockpile of 12 different cookies! Easy Peasy! 

The best cookies to bake and freeze are:

  • Bar cookies
  • Sugar cookies, plain or decorated with icing
  • Drop cookies, like oatmeal, chocolate chip or peanut butter cookies
  • Biscotti

Over the years I’ve experimented with different types of platters and containers. Currently, my personal favorite are large platters I’ve picked up at thrift stores and garage sales. I can usually find platters of all shapes and sizes at my local thrift stores, and they cost about the same as the disposable plastic platters you can get at the dollar store. Once my cookie platter is piled high with lots of treats I wrap it all up in plastic wrap, and top it with a bow.

You can also package smaller amounts of cookies into cute little tins. For couples, and small families I find the tins are the best way to gift cookies, they keep the cookies fresh, and make gifting super easy. Try to make sure there are at least one cookie for each person in the family to try if you go this route.

I think the best holiday cookie platters include a variety of different types of cookies. I like to take flavors and visual appearance into consideration when I am planning my holiday cookie platter. Try a mix of traditional cookie flavors like anise with newer favorites like eggnog. And for a pretty cookie platter add cut out cookies, drop cookies, with candies and bars served in festive paper liners.

Fudgy Chocolate Crinkles

Rich and fudgy these crinkle cookies have an irresistible moist center and crispy crackly exterior. I add a “secret ingredient” that boosts the chocolate flavor!

Anise Pierniki

These tender Polish Pierniki Christmas Cookies are a holiday favorite. The licorice-flavored cookies capture the holiday spirit with a generous topping of festive sprinkles.

Eggnog Cookies

This recipe for eggnog cookies was my first brush with “going viral”. It was featured on Yahoo’s Lifestyle interest tab, and a week later it was listed as on of 10 Christmas Cookies To Eat, Give Away, Or Use As Bribes on the Frisky. 

Italian Ricotta Cookies

These Italian Ricotta Cookies are soft and light and a holiday favorite at my house! Lightly lemon flavored and decked out in holiday sprinkles, no Christmas cookie tray is complete without these!

Gingerbread Cookies

No holiday cookie tray is complete without a gingerbread man! These cut-out cookies are soft and chewy, with the classic spicey gingerbread flavor. 

Pineapple Cookies

This Vintage recip comes from an RG&E recipe booklet put together by their Home Service Department. These light fluffy cookies are a nice break from some of the richer Christmas cookies.  

Soft Gingerbread Cookies

Big Soft Ginger Cookies-Home in the Finger Lakes

I love ginger.  I love it’s aromatic and explosively spicy flavor. One of my favorite holiday cookies is Big Soft Ginger Cookies, they have all of the gingery flavor I love without all the crunch gingersnaps. 

Cut-Out Sugar Cookies

My favorite cookie recipe for cut-out sugar cookies comes from Allrecipes and has 8k+ postive reviews, it is a keeper! 

Peanut Butter Blossoms

These classic Christmas Cookies are as much fun to make as they are to eat. I love having the kids in the kitchen helping out with these cookies, my youngest is all about taking the candy kisses out of the foil wrappers so she can pop a few in her mouth while she works, and my oldest daughter likes to smoosh the chocolate candies with the still warm cookies. 

Thumbprint Cookies

The almond flavored cookies with raspberry jam centers are my kids favorites! Our favorite local version of these cookies are Oak Hill Country Club’s Butter Tea Cookies. They are delicate and melt in you mouth, with just enough sweetness from the jam to balance it all out.

 I’d love to hear what is on your baking list this year! And what other cookies I should try?

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