Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Packaging Cookie Trays
Cookies you send out of town require special packaging to get them to their destination safely and in good shape. That’s a topic for another day.
But for cookie trays you give to nearby family and friends, here’s an easy packaging tip. I used to think it was necessary to buy special Christmas plates or trays (usually paper or foam) for my giveaway cookie plates. Then I switched to plain white foam plates and added a Christmas paper doily under the cookies.
I’ve come to realize that just the plain white foam plates work fine. (If you don’t wish to buy foam, you could use white or red plastic plates, or heavy paper plates like Chinet. I wouldn’t use flimsy paper plates, not even doubled or tripled. They just buckle too easily under the weight of cookies.) The point is that the cookies themselves are so decorative, they really don’t need a decorative plate.
I arrange a bunch of different kinds of cookies on one plate, using several cookies of each variety. I group each kind together, and I try to vary the colors on the plate. For example, if I have 2 different kinds of chocolate cookies, I don’t put them next to one another on the plate.
When the plate is arranged as I like it -- and I like it to look generous but not overloaded and definitely not skimpy -- then I cover it with one or two sheets of plastic wrap and wrap it securely. I then add a gift tag of the stick-on type. A stick-on bow is another nice addition. If I am going to include a Christmas card or tract with my cookie tray, I do it this way: wrap curling ribbon around the tray as if I am wrapping a gift, crossing the ribbon under the tray and tying a bow on the top. If I am using a Christmas card, I tuck it under the bow and perhaps tape it in place so it doesn’t slide out. If I’m using a Christmas tract, I punch a hole in the top corner and slide the tract onto the ribbon before tying the bow.
I tend to bake all of my cookies ahead and store them in tins in the freezer; then I can assemble the cookie trays as needed. Near the time I’ll be giving them away, I try to make up several cookie trays and freeze those as well. That way, if a neighbor comes to our door with a treat, I can quickly pull out a frozen cookie tray and give it to her. It would be really nice if I could make up all of my cookie trays ahead, but I seldom get to doing this. And I must say, it does add an element of festivity and fun to be packaging them up shortly before Christmas day.