Who doesn’t love a good cookie box? Growing up my mom and I would dedicate a whole day to baking cookies and creating cookie gift boxes to bring to parties or deliver to friends and family members. There is just something so special about the smell of cookies in the air with christmas music blasting and the soft golden glow of twinkle lights.
Buttt…. To be honest a whole day of baking is pretty exhausting and I know many of us will be taking on the baking task as a solo artist this year so I want to share some easy Christmas cookie hacks to streamline the process. All of these recipes are 5 ingredients or less and made with store bought dough so this whole box could come together in about an hour! You can make a box entirely out of these cookie hacks or use them to bulk up a package full of family favorites, you are the boss!
If you know me, you know baking is NOT my specialty. In fact, even with store bought dough I had to test these recipes multiple times to make them truly fail proof. So, if I can do it so can you!
peanut butter cookie cups
These peanut butter cookie cups are so easy I feel silly even writing a “recipe”. All you do is place 1 tbsp store bought peanut butter cookie dough into a mini muffin tin, gently press a miniature reese’s peanut butter cup in the center and bake at 350 for 10 minutes. The time may vary depending on which packaged cookie dough you use so keep an eye on them!
Cinnamon Roll Cookies
To make the cinnamon roll cookies roll out sugar cookie dough into a ¼ inch thick square. Spread with a generous layer of butter and sprinkle with brown sugar and a hefty shake cinnamon. You can adjust this to your desired taste but you do want to add a generous dusting of cinnamon because it will allow you to see the contrast in the swirl. Roll tightly and cut into ¼ inch slices with a sharp knife. Place on a cookie sheet with space in between each cookie because they will spread and bake at 350 for 10 min.
Chocolate Drizzle Cookies
Okay, this isn’t really a recipe so much as a tip to make your cookies look cute. I used a store bought cookie dough to make these but you can do this to any cookie recipe you love. To make the chocolate drizzle place 1 cup chocolate chips in a small bowl and microwave for 30 seconds then remove, stir, and microwave for 10 more seconds at a time repeating until the chocolate is fully melted. The time will vary depending on the chocolate you are using. An optional but highly recommended tip is to stir in 2 tbsp coconut oil once the chocolate is melted. This helps make the chocolate extra smooth and glossy. Check out the tips section for some flavor combo ideas!
Reindeer Rice Krispie Treats
Okay, so TECHNICALLY these are not cookies but they definitely belong in a cookie box. To create these cute treats make rice crispy treats according to the package directions. Once they have cooled, cut them into the desired shape. I just cut them using a paring knife but feel free to use a cookie cutter to make the process even easier! Next break a pretzel in half and poke them into the top of the “head” to create antlers. To make this process easier I recommend using a toothpick to poke a small hole in the rice crispy so it is easier to slide the pretzel in, you may have to press the rice krispies together with your finger to close the hole after. Next dip the top in melted chocolate (see the recipe above to learn how to make it) and then add a red M&M as the nose and two candy eyes. I used the ones linked here which I have been able to find at Micheals and regular grocery stores in the past.
Tips and variations
- If you want a few flavor combos to consider for the chocolate drizzle trick I’ve got you covered! Try drizzling white chocolate over snickerdoodles, dipping half a double chocolate cookie in white chocolate and then sprinkle with crushed candy canes, drizzle dark chocolate over a peanut butter cookie and add some flakey sea salt or drizzle milk chocolate over chocolate chip cookies for any traditionalist out there.
- Get creative with your rice crispy treats using whatever cookie cutters you have on hand. You could make a snowman with white chocolate and a sour strip scarf or a gingerbread man with candy buttons. If you have kiddos this would be a great decorating activity for them.
- Try using the cinnamon roll cookie technique with leftover pie dough or puff pastry! It makes for a delicious, slightly less sweet variation.
- Pro-tip the marshmallows at Trader Joes are accidentally vegan, but if you want to use them to make Rice Krispie Treats be sure to cut them up before tossing them in the pot.
That’s all the easy Christmas cookie hacks for this year but if you try any of them let me know in the comments or send me a DM on instagram with a picture of your cookie box so I can share it.
P.s. If you want help assembling your cookie box my friend Sam from Frosting and Fettuccine has a great post on it here. If you want a homemade cookie to add to your box these peanut butter sandwich cookies are my favorite!