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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Well, unless you can combine that ginger cookie with a snickerdoodle cookie!
These Frosted Eggnog Cookies are a great spiced cookie option … nutmeg, cinnamon and eggnog spiced. Both the soft and chewy cookie and the frosting.
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.
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!
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.
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!
Candy coated pecans flavored with cinnamon and vanilla. Make perfect gifts, or fillers on holiday platters.
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!!
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.
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!
This mint fudge is so simple to make, you’ll wonder why you haven’t made it yet!
That candy bar fudge I told you about? You can switch it up — like I did here, using York Peppermint Patties.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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Happy Holiday Baking!
More Holiday Inspiration with Popcorn and Snack Mixes: