[Photographs: Vicky Wasik]
The query of the right way to assemble a vacation cookie platter, care package deal, or reward basket could not appear that difficult: Simply make a bunch of your favourite cookies and provides them away!
However the actuality is usually a little extra complicated, particularly when all of the cookies wind up having a equally brief shelf life, leaving the recipient with a field of treats that go stale earlier than the top of the week, slightly than an assortment of goodies that may be savored all through the vacation season.
For that purpose, it is useful to combine and match cookie types to create an extended window of enjoyment—suppose tender lemon meltaways, delicate and chewy no-bake cookies, delicately crisp gingerbread males, crunchy biscotti, and sandwich cookies with a creamy filling.
Not solely does this lengthen the general shelf lifetime of a cookie platter or care package deal, however choosing totally different types usually leads to a broader vary of flavors and textures, in addition to methods, making a tastier combine with larger flexibility if you wish to do a few of the prep prematurely. (On that be aware, see our information to make-ahead methods for vacation baking.)
That can assist you get began, I’ve rounded up a group of my favourite cookies for gifting. Bear in mind, even when a cookie does not sound that festive, a one-two dip in tempered chocolate and seasonal sprinkles will elevate even probably the most humble slice ‘n’ bake shortbread.
Cutout Cookies
With or with out frosting, my vacation favorites are rolled sugar cookie cutouts and gingerbread cookies. As a result of their flavors and textures are so totally different (one tender and gentle, the opposite crisp and spicy), I will typically embrace each when giving cookies as presents.
The dough for this type of cookie might be refrigerated as much as per week prematurely, or frozen for a number of months, and it tends to provide cookies with a shelf lifetime of per week or extra.
Get the Recipes:
Drop Cookies
Traditional drop cookies are fast and simple, each to make and to customise. Plus, the dough might be made, portioned, and refrigerated or frozen prematurely, then thawed and baked to order (extra particulars embedded in every recipe). On the flip aspect, they have an inclination to stale sooner than crisper cookie types, so they need to be used to make up solely a small a part of a present field.
My absolute favourite on this class could be my lacy ricotta cookies, as a result of they’ve an exceptionally lengthy shelf life for drop cookies—a few week, if stored in an hermetic container at room temperature. They usually make a candy and easy counterpoint to an assortment of cookies loaded down with nuts, chocolate, or spices.
No-bake cookies are one other main contender on this area, as a result of they’re actually simply drops of fudge in disguise, which implies they’ve a wonderful shelf life as nicely.
Get the Recipes:
Cakey Cookies
The place drop cookies are crisp across the edges, this type of cookie is delicate and tender by way of and thru. My high choose must be selfmade Fig Newtons, as a result of each the dough and the filling might be made prematurely and refrigerated previous to meeting.
As soon as baked, these bar cookies truly profit from an in a single day relaxation, and past that, the moisture within the figgy filling helps lengthen their shelf life past what you’d usually anticipate from a selfmade cookie. Their fruity taste is a welcome be aware to offset all of the hearty spices and nuts present in different seasonal treats.
Do-it-yourself Lofthouse Cookies are one other vacation favourite in my household, particularly for the reason that frosting and sprinkles enable for personalisation.
Get the Recipes:
Sandy Cookies
Within the South, Mexican wedding ceremony cookies (typically often known as snowballs or Russian tea desserts) are a Christmas staple. Achieved proper, they bake up sandy like a superb shortbread, slightly than dry. Their tender, crumbly nature helps them survive prolonged intervals of storage: excellent for care packages and vacation gifting.
Get the Recipes:
Additional-Crunchy Cookies
The place gingerbread cookies are delicately crisp, gingersnaps have a near-seismic crunch. This provides them epic maintaining qualities as nicely, a cookie that may go toe to toe with my different favourite long-lasting choice: biscotti (which look particularly posh when dunked in chocolate).
Get the Recipes:
Sandwich Cookies
As a result of sandwich cookies want a sturdy, low-moisture filling that will not squish out with each chunk, they have an inclination to have a wonderful shelf life. My favorites for giving as presents embrace selfmade Oreos (particularly when the filling is spiked with peppermint extract and a drop of inexperienced meals coloring), tied with the intense and spicy flavors in selfmade Carr’s-style Ginger Lemon Cremes.
Get the Recipes:
Take It Straightforward!
Regardless of all of the technical issues of shelf life and balanced taste profiles, textures, and methods, the objective of giving freely a field of Christmas cookies is to unfold some vacation cheer. And that is close to inconceivable to perform if the baker in cost is exhausted and careworn—so put aside a second to plan, choose recipes that match your talent degree, give your self loads of time to get the job finished, and have enjoyable!

This publish could comprise hyperlinks to Amazon or different companions; your purchases by way of these hyperlinks can profit Critical Eats. Learn extra about our affiliate linking coverage.