Good Holidays: Cookie Gifts

December 20, 2015

 

Cookie gifts serve a plethora of purposes in the holiday gift-giving season. You can bake a big batch, and bring the whole thing in to share with your coworkers—or you can divvy that batch up into smaller gifts for friends, coworkers, or as your contribution to White Elephant at a holiday party. 

There are two primary elements that comprise a solid holiday cookie gift—and I’m going to address both in this blog: Holiday wrapping/packaging, and the cookies. Below you’ll find an incredibly easy—and quick—DIY (Do It Yourself) tutorial for cookie tins, as well as my personal favorite super-secret (until now) cookie recipe.

Let’s start off with the cookie tins.

TIME:
About 1.5 hours. Each tin takes about 15 minutes of active work, and about an hour and 15 minutes of letting paint and glue dry.

MATERIALS:
Tin, jar, or box from Goodwill
Metallic spray paint
Ribbon
Drop cloth/cardboard box
A strong adhesive glue (We used Alene’s Fabric Glue)

Note: Avoid using a plastic container. Most spray paints are not intended for use on plastic.

PROCESS:
Step one: Clean and dry your tin.
Make sure the inside is clean enough for cookies—and the outside is dry enough for paint!

Step two: Paint it!
I used Krylon’s Gold Metallic paint, and gave it two coats with about 15 minutes in between each coat. Place the tin and lid so the inside is facing downward on your drop cloth. (Don’t paint the inside of the container. The last thing you want is spray paint flavored cookies.) Let this dry for about half an hour before moving on to the next step.

Step three: Ribbon it!
Measure the ribbon pieces you’ll need—whether it needs to go over the top (like this one) or around the outside. Be sure to leave a little extra space! Put a dab of glue on the where you want to anchor the ribbon—you don’t need to glue the whole ribbon down. If you’d like, tie a little bow, and use a dab of glue to put it in its spot. There are a lot of simple tutorials on bow-tying online so you can get that perfect bow every time!

Step four: Add cookies.
If you want, line the tin with some parchment paper before adding the cookies. It looks nice—and can help keep softer cookies from sticking to surfaces.

 

NOW—let’s talk about those cookies. There are countless recipes available for nearly every kind of cookie—but my personal favorite is one I accidentally made up last year: White Chocolate Kahlua Cookies.

I have tried this recipe on numerous audiences, and it’s always a hit. (In fact, the cookies photographed here wound up at Goodwill’s office and were enjoyed by many!)

TIME:
About 30 minutes of mixing, and 10 minutes per cookie-sheet-full of baking. You’ll get about 30 large cookies out of this recipe. 

INGREDIENTS:
1 ¾ Cups - Butter, Unsalted (Room temperature)
1 ½ Cups - Raw Turbinado Sugar
1 Cup - Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
2 Teaspoons - Vanilla Extract
3 ¼ Cups – Flour
1 Teaspoon – Baking Soda
2 Teaspoons – Salt
2 Shots – Kahlua
11 oz. – White Chocolate Chips

Tip: Want fluffier cookies? Increase the flour/baking soda a tiny bit, and reduce the butter a little. Want crunchy/crispy cookies? Increase the butter. This recipe, as is, will yield a cookie that is a little gooey on the inside, but holds together nicely.

MATERIALS:
Baking sheet
Parchment Paper
Optional, but awesome: A stand mixer (I thrifted the one you see in here a few years ago and it was the best find of my life! You can thrift similar Kitchen Aid mixers here.)

PROCESS:
Step one: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Step two: Mix the ingredients.
In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt. In your mixer bowl, cream together the butter and sugars. Once that’s good and creamy, add the eggs. A little at a time, start adding the flour mixture to the butter/sugar mixture. Once you’ve got all of that mixed evenly, add the Kahlua and white chocolate chips.

Step three: Bake for about 8-10 minutes.
Place a sheet of parchment paper on your cookie sheet. This will keep your cookies from sticking—and seriously reduce the cleanup time. Depending on the size cookie you want, roll your dough into 1-1 ½ inch balls, and space them evenly, with 2-3 inches between each ball, on your cookie sheet. (Most of my cookie sheets are also thrifted!) Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes, or until they have spread out fully and appear a light tan. (If you wait for golden brown, they’ll be a little crispy!)

You’ll probably want to taste-test the batch before you load them up in your festive tins and pass them out to coworkers, friends, and family!  

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