Christmas Gift Giving: Cookies

Every Christmas the husband and I make a few dozen cookies to give away to neighbours and friends. It makes an easy, inexpensive and heartfelt gift that everyone seems to love! One of our neighbours always returns his tin so we can fill it up again next year. We usually make a few extra tins full that we keep on hand for those unexpected gift givers. You know, the ones that you don’t ever get gifts from but all of a sudden there they are at your door with some fantastic present? With a tin or two of yummy home-baked cookies in the freezer it takes the worry out of being caught without a gift!

In trying to be prepared for the little dude’s arrival, I’ve been scouring the internet for cookie recipes that I’d like to try for this year’s gifts. My rules for selecting cookies are pretty simple – they have to look great, be able to be packaged easily into a tin and if they are OK to be frozen so we can bake them ahead of time that’s a bonus! We usually freeze all the cookies anyways and haven’t had any complaints on the taste!

So far my list consists of these cookies. The list will change over the next couple of weeks, but these are the visions that are floating around in my head right now. We’ll probably narrow it down to 5 cookies:

  • Aunt Mary Dillon’s Praline Cookies
  • Chocolate-Espresso Snowcaps – these were a HUGE hit last year
  • Meringue Cookies – I wouldn’t recommend baking these ahead of time and freezing them. They are so simple though that it’s easy enough to make them the night before you plan on giving out your gifts! I’d also love to try making Macarons but they intimidate me for some reason…
  • Classic Shortbread – a must a Christmas time!
  • Biscotti – I’ve always loved this crunchy Italian treat and I’d love to include some mini ones in the tins. There’s an Italian bakery near my parent’s house that makes biscotti with a bit of black pepper in the dough and a thin layer of raspberry jam running across it. They then dip the bottom in white chocolate. Man oh man is it yummy!
  • My husband’s Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies (they are SO YUMMY and he only makes them once a year, it seems! I’ll post a recipe if I can pry it away from him)
  • Peanut Butter Balls (another one of my husband’s specialties that only comes out to play at Christmas)

I’m toying around with some wrapping ideas right now. I think it would be so cute to create little “road maps” for the tins that explains what each cookie is. You know, kind of like the ones you get in the chocolate boxes so you don’t accidentally bite into a cherry cordial (yuck) thinking that it’s a caramel (yum). This is all dependent, of course, on how much time the little dude takes up and how much Christmas shopping we have to do!

Do you have any favourite cookie recipes? What about gifts for neighbours and friends?

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One thought on “Christmas Gift Giving: Cookies

  1. Last night I made these gingerbread cookies and thought of you, and I feel like sharing!

    http://www.bakeaholic.ca/cookies/chocolate-y-gingerbread-men/

    For spices, I ground up some nutmeg, cinnamon, two allspice berries and two cloves, and a cardamom pod. Next time I’m going to use more allspice – you can tell they’re there, but I want more allspice! I also used (salt-free) margarine instead of butter (not a health thing – we didn’t have enough butter that wasn’t in the freezer and I was too lazy/impatient to thaw it).

    I left the dough in the fridge for a day and when I rolled it out, I rolled it between two pieces of parchment paper (this is much better than flouring – my men turned out darker than those in her picture. So if you like dark men..)

    You can definitely taste a hint of the cocoa but I don’t think people would guess it’s there if they didn’t know. No decorations – I used a smallish cookie cutter, and I think they’re cute and tasty when they’re plain.

    I tried to make some gingerbread cookies last year but had no electronic mixer. It was a disaster! So I got a mixer for Christmas, and was excited to try again this year. It works best if you beat the wet stuff for about a minute longer than you think you need to, and then slowly add in the dry mixture in third-cup portions, making sure to fully mix it each time (when it got thicker I had to use only one beater in the mixer because trying to force the dough through two taxed the motor too much).

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