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the anatomy of a holiday cookie tray

As I mentioned yesterday, holiday cookie trays should not be taken lightly. They are a gathering place where taste buds of all kinds look for something to suite their fancy. Christmas is the one and only time many holiday treats make an appearance so the last thing you wanna do is piss off of any one of those precious buds.

Anatomy of a Christmas Cookie Platter

One must first take into consideration the platter or tray itself. It can’t be too big or too small. It literally has to be just the right size or your entire cookie display will look like crap and holiday party essentially ruined. The ideal size is approximately 17” x 11” oval or 15″ in diameter for a circle; or if you wanna go super crazy, a 15″ x 15″ square tray. Here are some of my favorites: thisor thisor this.

The next step is to figure out how many cookies one will need. A good rule of thumb is 2 cookies per attendee for every 4 hours of festive activity. Once the total number of cookies is calculated, working in percentages, the cookie platter arranger can determine how many of each type to include in their display. I’ve explained the basic cookie types and suggested percentages below:

25% Frosting: These are going to be your cutout cookies with loads of sugary frosting. This is my favorite sugar cookie and frosting combo recipe. You could also do a bar with frosting in this category. The most important ingredient is frosting.

20% Shortbread: Thumbprints are my favorite version of the shortbread cookie. Extra points if there is jam or chocolate drizzle involved!

15% Coated in Powdered Sugar: This category is a personal favorite and many people call the same cookie different things. I’m talking the snow drops, snow balls, russian tea cakes, etc, but this is similar to my mother’s recipe.

15% Peanut Butter Kisses: These don’t scream Christmas, but for some reason I only think about making these around the holidays.

10% Gingerbread: Obviously the only time you would make this would be around the holidays so they are a must have. These may go quickly, but because of the sheer size are only allotted 10%. Be prepared with back up gingerbread men, women and children.

10% Basically Candy: Anything smothered in chocolate, caramel or could be mistaken for a candy bar. Like these twix bites or any of your toffees or brittle or caramels.

5% Pretzel Variety: Pretzels dipped in anything and everything.

And don’t forget to remember, your entire inventory of cookies does not need to be placed on the tray all at once. The owner of the cookie platter should keep a close eye on said cookie tray and throughout even, oversee appropriate refills. Assigning duties to young relative is encouraged, but only if duty is taken seriously.

Building the optimal cookie tray really comes down to a science and takes practice. It’s ok if you don’t get it right the first time, the important thing is that you try, try again!


PS. i got jokes and please note this post is purely for fun.

I found myself oh so overwhelmed with the invisible “obligations” the holidays bring and making fun of myself by illustrating a simple cookie tray in a complicated way was my way of dealing. The internet has a tendency to assign expectations and unnecessary tasks and attach this fear that if you don’t participate in certain activities, you’ll miss out on certain experiences. The thing is, is that disappointment that you didn’t paint a million ornaments with your child’s feet or the fact that you aren’t drinking eggnog by a fire as so many of your instagram friends are is fake. If it doesn’t fit you or your family’s schedule or lifestyle, don’t do it. There are so many other activities that do!

I meeannnn I won’t lie, I do respect a good cookie tray, but really, let’s remember it doesn’t HAVE to be on a special tray or look a certain way. In reality, if there is something sweet in a edible form, giiirrlll you’re doing just fine.

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