Creating the Ultimate Holiday Cookie Box
Christmas is literally 3 days away and I don’t know if you’re still scrambling for gifts, but making an edible gift may be the best present! Receiving something homemade (whether it’s good or bad 😁) always makes you feel warm and nice inside.
There are so many different kinds of cookies, candies, or goodies you can put into holiday boxes and forget just around the holidays, I wouldn’t mind receiving one of these anytime of the year.
This year I made 8 different holiday boxes for clients, friends, and family. They are so much fun to make because of all the colors, varieties, and flavors.
Personally, I love styling food, hence the photography aspect of blogging, and making cookie boxes is all about that. If you don’t love styling or need some extra help, don’t worry, we’ve got all the tips to help create the best boxes to gift, ship, or send to your friends and fam.
Items You Need Before Boxing
- A box: tin, wood, cardboard…
- Cookies: I made a variety of cookies beforehand and saved them for boxing. For my boxes, I did a variety of 6-9 different types of cookies and goodies.
- Ribbon or String: The ribbon adds a special touch to your cookies and makes them look even more appealing to your eye.
- Scissors: In order to clip and cut your items, you need some scissors.
- Tissue Paper or Fluffy Paper Shreds: This goes in the bottom of your boxes to protect the cookies and add a fun decorative touch.
- Candy or extra goods: In my cookie boxes I added some other items rather than just cookies. I also included toffee and cherry kisses. It doesn’t all have to be homemade.
How to Put Together Your Cookie Box
There are so many ways you can style your boxes, and unlimited things you can put in. I’ve seen some great ones that have candies, mini shots for 2020, fun little “fluff items,” and tons of cookies of course.
- Start by getting together a box or tin. I used tin boxes from Hobby Lobby for my gifted boxes and a homemade wooden box for my pictures.
- Have all your cookies, candy, and extra goodies that you’re packing ready to go.
- Add a liner to your box. This could be some fun tissue paper or some colored paper shreds to put at the bottom. I did a combination of both. I also got my paper shreds from Hobby Lobby. Get them here!
- Start by adding a stack of cookies around your box. I did 4-5 cookies of each flavor. Place some in a corner, in the center, wherever. You can do a horizontal or vertical stack. You have to start somewhere and then build around that.
- Tie some cookies with string or ribbon to keep them in place. I only did this for a few cookies. It just adds a fun holiday touch.
- Play around with how it looks. You might place cookies somewhere and not like it, so move them somewhere else. This is where the creative styling eye comes in! Your eye will be able to tell if it looks good or not.
- Once you’ve added all the cookies, add some of your extra goods. I added toffee and cherry kisses to mine. You don’t want to have any holes or empty spots. Make this thing look bountiful!
- For my boxes, the last thing I added was a little note, but this is completely optional!
The main part of your cookie box is how it looks. I know you’re like, what?? I thought these boxes were all about the cookies and how they taste. Of course they’re about the taste, but people eat with their eyes first.
For my box, I found it easiest to start in the center and build around that. For the box above, I first added the linzers in the center. Then, I added the wrapped shortbread, peppermint white chocolate, and eggnog cookie sandwiches. These cookies are stacked on top of each other, compared to the cookies that are stacked vertically.
Stacking on top and vertically helps give it a different visual balance. After all the big cookies are in, I added my smaller “filler items.” These included, cranberry macarons, English butter toffee, and my peppermint crunch meringue kisses.
Lastly, I added cherry filled kisses because they filled in my holes and added an extra touch. These kisses are only available during the holiday and good thing because they are addictive. Normally I don’t love chocolate kisses, but these cherry ones are another story. 😏
Tips before assembling
Cookie boxing can seem overwhelming, but when you have everything organized, ready to go, and some tips in mind, you’ll be making the best cookie box ever! Honestly, there is no right and wrong for cookie boxing. You could just throw some cookies in there and someone would still be happy.
Here are my best tips before you box:
- Have everything ready to go – My kitchen was kind of a mess at the time, but having all your cookies, boxes, and crafty stuff ready to go will be a ton of help along the way.
- Make sure you have all your fun stuff – Make sure you aren’t forgetting any of your items because you don’t want one friend to get something and the other not (but, would they really know??).
- It doesn’t all have to be homemade – Although the star of the show is the cookies, it’s totally ok to add some store-bought baked goods or candies. Really, it’s all for show… but taste too. 😁
- Make sure there is a variety of flavors, designs, and shapes – When you make your boxes, you want to have all sorts of shapes, colors, and flavors, otherwise it’ll just be another bland box of cookies. I added many circle cookies that had red and brown. I also included sandwich cookies that were beige and red. Lastly, I added some rectangular toffee pieces and small meringue kisses.
- Start with larger cookies or goods, then add smaller ones as you go – When you start your box you might have “cookiers block” with no ideas streaming. It’s always good to have your best piece in the center and then work around that. For me, I added the cranberry orange linzers first, then worked around it with different shapes, flavors, and placements.
- Add some dimension – When you make your cookie box, you don’t want it to be half full and the top of the box is empty. Add some fluffy paper and stack your cookies in different ways to create different heights.
Some ideas to get your started
- Tie some cookies with ribbon or string and place them on their side so we can see them all.
- Stack some of your larger cookies on the edge coming up.
- Add some decorative tissue paper on the bottom or in empty spots to make it look festive and not empty.
- Section off parts of your box for loose items such as candy.
- Throw some smaller cookies such as meringues on top to cover holes and add an extra dimension.
- Place your smaller cookies in mini cupcake papers or holders to make them look different than other cookies.
- Add some non-edible decorative elements for your pictures such as bells, little ornaments, glitter balls, or string lights. (Don’t eat.)
What do I put in my box?
If you don’t know what cookies to put in your boxes, here is a list of what I did. Most of my recipes are posted, but more are coming soon, so keep your eye out!
- Orange & Cranberry Linzer Cookies
- Classic Buttery Shortbread
- Peppermint Crunch Meringues
- Cranberry Macarons
- Candy Cane White Chocolate Cookies
- Peppermint Fudge Cookies
- Cherry Cordial Kisses
- Oatmeal Peanut Butter Snappers
- Eggnog Cookie Sandwiches
- English Butter Toffee
I made many of my cookies a couple days ahead, but you don’t want them sitting out long because we want to give the freshest cookies to our friends.
You could make the dough ahead of time, freeze it, and make the cookies the day of boxing.
Most of these cookies are super easy recipes and can be stored for up to 1 1/2 weeks.
Shipping Your Boxes
If you decided you want to ship your cookie boxes out of state or to a friend far away, here are the best things to ensure before shipping.
- Make sure your cookies are fresh – You don’t want the cookies to already be old and send them to a friend who won’t receive them for another couple of days. Although they might not notice, you still want them to taste good!
- Using tins will help protect your cookies the most – For the cookie boxes, I used a variety of materials. Disposable cardboard boxes from Amazon, tins from Hobby Lobby, and a homemade wooden box (sorry no link 😉). When you’re shipping, you want to try and protect your cookies the most you can. The tins will keep them in place the most and protect them if they get banged around. The tins also come with a lid, so this will keep them fresher longer. (Also another reason to pack it tight because there is less chance of them flying around)
- Place your tin in another box filled with bubble wrap or packing peanuts – Once your tins are all packed and ready to go, place them in a box you’ll ship it in. This could be an amazon box or any cardboard box you get in the mail. Place bubble wrap on the bottom, sides, and top of your tin. Do the same with packing peanuts if you’re using those. This will ensure the box doesn’t move around and if it fell, it won’t affect the cookies.
- Double seal your package – When your tins are packed up in the shipping box, double seal it with tape to ensure it won’t come apart when shipping. You know how some of those delivery people are, they just throw it right up on your porch. 😕
- Put a fragile label on there – We’ve taken almost every measure to make sure these cookies will be ok when shipping, but putting a fragile label on with help people to know to be careful (at least I hope).
Yay! You did it! You made the most beautiful cookie box ever. I know it’s hard to send it off after all the hard work and how good it looks, but I guarantee the person who is getting it will appreciate it so much!
Wow, look at that! Go girl!
Happy cookie boxing and happy holidays!
Cookies and love,