Arrange the Perfect Holiday Cookie Platter

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Arranging the perfect holiday cookie platter is simple once you have the right treats to add to it.  Find all of the recipes and instructions you need right here!


How To Assemble the BEST Holiday Cookie Trays
Don’t forget to pin this collection to make it easy to find!


How to Assemble the BEST Holiday Cookie Tray: Every year right after Thanksgiving I begin my holiday baking.  I start with the things that I know can be frozen well, and work my way up a little at a time to the items that need to be made right before I deliver them.  I have been making holiday platters for years, and I think if I stopped now, there would be some disappointed people.  


I’m not saying that to sound snotty.  I promise I am not “that girl.” But I actually know this for a fact, because two years ago, I cut way back on what I baked, and I only gave out smaller boxes to family.  I skipped the two giant platters of cookies and candies I typically send to my husbands office.  Color me embarrassed when one of the girls that has been there the longest said “I can’t wait until you bring your cookie platter this year! I have been looking forward to it all month!”   I wanted to crawl inside my own skin.  That only happened once.  



The Sugar Cookie:

First off, when you think of a traditional “Christmas Cookie” what do you think of?  Most will think of a sugar cookie I’ll bet?  I know that it where my mind goes.   To me, a cookie platter isn’t complete without at least one kind of sugar cookie.  


old fashioned sugar cookies
These old fashioned sugar cookies are not overly sweet, slightly crisp and literally melt in your mouth. (click photo for recipe)

These Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies are the one’s my Mom always made.  It was my Aunt Vern’s recipe and the only sugar cookies I ever knew.  My mom still makes these for me every year.  (I hide them in my freezer, please keep my secret.)


The next sugar cookie I was introduced to, my friend’s Grandma’s recipe.  Grandma Davis’ Frosted Sugar Cookies.  I make these every year.  This recipe makes excellent frosted cut out sugar cookies.  


Old Fashioned Frosted Sour Cream Sugar Cookies
These old fashioned sugar cookies are so soft and have the perfect amount of sweetness.  They are made with sour cream, both in the cookie and in the frosting. (click photo for recipe)

This year, I fell in love with a whole new cookie.  These Old Fashioned Sour Cream Sugar Cookies with Sour Cream Frosting are sensational.  You can bet they will be making an appearance this year.  



Spice Cookies: 

Every cookie platter needs a little spice! Options for spiced cookies are abundant.  Gingerbread, Gingersnaps, Molasses, Snickerdoodle, Eggnog … I like to have one of two of these types of cookies on my platters, too.  


My Love for Gingerbread started when I was little.  My Aunt Ellen used to make these teeny tiny gingerbread men and women every year.  Then, later, my sister-in-law, Karen, made Gingerbread Cookies, and to this day, they are her son, Alex’s favorite cookie.  


Chewy Brown Butter Gingersnaps
Soft and chewy brown butter gingersnaps will have your kids reaching their hand in the cookie jar time and time again. (click photo for recipe)

I typically don’t make the cut-out kind anymore, as I try to use my time wisely and make more cookies.  I love Gingersnaps! It doesn’t matter if they are chewy gingersnaps or the crispy gingersnap cookies.  There is nothing I love more with a hot cup of tea than a ginger cookie.  


gingerdoodle cookies
These cookies are literally the best of both worlds – part gingersnap part snickerdoodle, all in one perfect little cookie. Try it, your coffee will never have a better friend. (click photo for recipe)


Well, unless you can combine that ginger cookie with a snickerdoodle cookie!


Frosted Eggnog Cookies
Perfectly spiced, soft cookies with a fluffy frosting, all with the holiday taste of eggnog.(click the photo for the recipe)


These Frosted Eggnog Cookies are a great spiced cookie option … nutmeg, cinnamon and eggnog spiced.  Both the soft and chewy cookie and the frosting.  


Mocha Rum Balls
These nutty vintage holiday treats are made of almonds, chocolate covered coffee beans, spiced rum and vanilla wafer cookies. (click the photo for the recipe)

It’s nice when the cookies aren’t all the same shape.  These Mocha Rum Balls are perfect for that.  Plus — No baking required.  



Candies & Fudge:

I always make sure to mix in some candies, too.  Little bit of everything, right?  One thing to always remember?  Mix up the colors.  Nobody wants a cookie platter that is all brown.  blllaaahhhh.  


Peanut Clusters
Only three simple ingredients and these peanut clusters will be adorning YOUR holiday trays this year! (click the photo for the recipe)

My MOST favorite holiday candy are these Peanut Clusters!  This recipe comes from my Aunt Janette.  They are super simple to make and OH MY GOODNESS so good!


Red Velvet Truffles
These red velvet truffles are a bite sized red velvet treat! (click photo for recipe)


Truffles are perfect for holiday platters!  These Red Velvet Truffles were made by my youngest daughter, Josie, as a guest post a few years back.  I also have Oreo Truffles and these Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles.


Graham Cracker Toffee
Super Easy Graham Cracker Toffee! (click the photo for the recipe)

This Easy Graham Cracker Toffee is always on my platters.  Buttery toffee, semi-sweet chocolate and pecans over graham crackers. It’s so simple to make and everyone loves it!


Sugared Pecans
Candy coated pecans flavored with cinnamon and vanilla.


Candy coated pecans flavored with cinnamon and vanilla.  Make perfect gifts, or fillers on holiday platters.


Homemade Twix Bars - An Affair from the Heart
Easily made copy cat Twix bars. (click photo for recipe)


These Homemade Twix Bars are so easy to make.  Layers of Club crackers, caramel and chocolate peanut butter ganache.


A cookie platter without fudge is like Christmas in June.  You just gotta have fudge!! 


Candy Bar Fudge {Snickers Fudge}
3 ingredients and this is done! (click photo for the recipe)

As sure as anything, you will find this candy bar fudge on my cookie platters.  Only three ingredients, and one is Snicker Candy Bars? yes, please.  



Eggnog Fudge
Perfectly Creamy and dreamy eggnog fudge. (click photo for the recipe)

This Eggnog Fudge is perfect for Christmastime — It has a smooth and creamy texture, with white chocolate and a mild eggnog flavor everyone is sure to enjoy. 



Peppermint Cookies & Candies:

Peppermint.  It’s the signature flavor of the holidays.  What is Christmas without peppermint?  I will start by sharing two of my fudge recipes that are also, mint.  Then keep reading for my other peppermint favorites!


Mint Fudge
Silky mint fudge — irresistible! (click photo for recipe)


This mint fudge is so simple to make, you’ll wonder why you haven’t made it yet!



york peppermint patty fudge
My Candy Bar Fudge made with York Peppermint Patties and Candies! (click for recipe)


That candy bar fudge I told you about?  You can switch it up — like I did here, using York Peppermint Patties.  



Chocolate Mint Candy Cookies
Soft and chewy chocolate cookies, frosted with an Andes Mint Candy, and sprinkled with crushed peppermint. Perfect for the holidays! (click for the recipe)


These cookies are another one from my sister-in-law, Karen.  They are my niece’s favorite cookie, and such a treat.  Think chewy brownie, meets cookie, and gets kissed by peppermint.  They are a must bake for me, every year.  These are one I always make ahead,  as they freeze really well.  


White and Dark Chocolate Peppermint Bark
Best of both chocolate worlds here. (click photo for recipe)


This dark and white chocolate peppermint bark is another I make early, it freezes really well, and always looks so pretty on the tray.  I switch it up, make one batch where the dark is on top and another where the white chocolate is.  Hint: buy up those candy canes when they are on clearance.  Use them for all of your peppermint baking the next year. 


I will round out this post with my platter “must have” cookies.  Everyone has their favorite here, and I try to keep them all happy.  


almond raspberry shortbread thumbprints
buttery shortbread with raspberry center and glazed with almond glaze. (click for recipe)


These Almond Raspberry Thumbprints are my oldest son and youngest daughter’s favorite, must have cookie.  What’s not to love, right?


The hubs loves Chocolate Crinkles.  I have never blogged them, because I use Betty Crocker’s recipe.  But I make at least a double batch every year.


peanut butter kisses
These peanut butter kisses use my mom’s peanut butter cookie recipe.


These Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies are a must have from my youngest son, my oldest daughter and her boyfriend.  Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies are a holiday tray staple.  


See ALL of my Cookie Recipes

See ALL of my Candy Recipes



How to package and present your cookies and candies:

  • large trays for lots of people
  • small boxes or plates, find at craft stores
  • cookie tins
  • decorated treat bags

Depending on the amount of people you are gifting your baked goods to, you can plate them or put them in cute little tins.  I always forget to get a good picture of my plated treats.    I make large trays for my husband’s office and our family Christmas get-togethers. For smaller groups like couples, families I use smaller plates, tins or boxes.  Making sure there are at least one for each person to try.  


How To Assemble the BEST Holiday Cookie Trays
Don’t forget to pin this collection to make it easy to find!




Happy Holiday Baking!




More Holiday Inspiration with Popcorn and Snack Mixes: 



25+ Popcorn & Snack Mixes
There is nothing like a BIG BOWL of Snack Mix or Popcorn to delight a crowd. This collection has something for EVERYONE! I mean E V E R Y O N E — sweet, spicy, chocolate covered, healthy, fruits, nuts and everything in between. Perfect for gift giving, or party throwing! (click the photo for ALL of these Recipes and MORE!)

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  1. Sooo excited to try these recipes at our family cookie baking day! If I win, I’ll be keeping the mixer! My fiancé and I get married in April and it’s on my wishlist!

  2. If I won I’d use it to make those Aunt Vern sugar cookies! I’m always on the hunt for the perfect recipe 🙂

  3. I would first make some of those yummy ginger snap cookies you posted! I am sure with 2 growing boys this would get used ALL THE TIME!

  4. I haven’t made the graham cracker toffee since the kids were small, I think it is time to make it again.
    I need to try your Almond Raspberry Thumbprints too .

  5. I thought I was going to cut back on the number of cookies that I made this year. Looking and these I can see about a half dozen that I’ve got to try! You are definitely an overachiever and I think I’m going to take your advice and not make cutouts!

  6. So many great recipes are included on here… the graham cracker toffee is calling my name. Like really loudly! 🙂

  7. Thank you for such a great blog! I’ve always wanted to do cookie trays but never got around to it. I guess I always felt intimidated, where do you start!? I love your tips on the ones that freeze well. Any chance you can elaborate on those 2 and any others that you freeze? Do you just pop in freezer and then take out a day before delivery? I would love to hear which other of your recipes can freeze. We have 4 kids, and the smallest is 4 years old so it’s a little daunting to think I have to bake so many right before Christmas. Freezing is such a great hack.
    Thank you!!!

    1. Hi, Theresa! I find that most cookies and candies typically freeze well. I try to incorporate these notes into the blog post itself. If you have a question on one specifically, I am always here to help. The list I have is quite long – so that may be easier. 🙂 I typically make my candies first, fudge, peanut clusters, that sort of thing and freeze it. Then I make my cookies like my peanut butter kisses, gingerdoodles, and chocolate crinkles, and spritz next because they freeze well, too. I will make things like thumbprints and iced cookies last, and not freeze those. If you want to make the cutout sugar cookies and freeze them, that works, but don’t frost them until you de-frost them.

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