The Perfect Holiday Cookie Tray

By Calli Marie / Photography By Cole LoCurto | Last Updated November 30, 2017
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Five local bakers collaborate to offer tips, tricks and recipes for the perfect cookie plate.

What do you get when you gather five bakers, mix in some coffee or adult beverages and toss out a question about the perfect cookie tray? A collaborative recipe for a successful collection of holiday cookies! Sharing laughter and baking tips, kitchen successes and flops, we sifted through our personal favorites to devise a delicious arrangement of sweets for your holiday gathering. Here are some tips we collected to get you started.


Start planning well in advance of the holiday season. Some cookie dough can be made ahead of time and frozen until you are ready to bake.

Select a variety of recipes to assemble a mix of cookies with nuts, chocolate and fruit fillings, and don’t forget the toffee or brittle.

Include a bar cookie that is quick to assemble and bake in the same pan.

Get creative with the cookie decorations, using festive green and red sanding sugar, sprinkles, silver or gold dragees and even edible flowers.

Use a platter or tray passed down through generations and make the cookie-tray tradition even more special. Alternatively, look for funky platters at the thrift store.

To make the platters really special, tie up the packages with string and put dehydrated citrus and apples, magnolia leaves, Christmas greenery or holly leaves cut out of festive paper/wrapping paper inside.

Leave a little holiday note with the cookie flavors listed.

Have an option that's dairy and/or gluten free so everyone can enjoy a cookie treat.


Cinnamon Wreaths

Be creative when it comes time to decorate these cookies. In addition to sprinkles and chopped nuts, use edible flowers such as violets, lavender or pansies

Holiday Magic Bars

holiday magic bars vegan
Bake up some vegan magic with these chewy, fruity bars.

Pumpkin Seed Brittle

Use seeds from locally grown, seasonal pumpkins in this variation on traditional peanut brittle.

Red Velvet Crinkles

red velvet crinkle cookies
Beet root powder can be used instead of red food coloring! Find it in natural food stores or online.

Jammin' Shortbread

Gold and silver sparkly sugars make these fruity cookies pop on the holiday dessert buffet table.

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