Contributed by: Monica Resinger of Homemaker's Journal E-Publications
A great way to save money each holiday season is to give homemade cookies. I have received homemade cookies as gifts and I always love it when I do. It gives me a chance to try new cookies and appreciate the fact that the giver spent time on me! How thoughtful! I have also given homemade cookies as gifts and found it to be a fun tradition.
With all of the following packaging ideas, be sure your cookies have cooled first before packing them. If you don't, they will stick together and become a mess. As a bonus, include the recipe with your cookies. Write it out on a pretty recipe card, or print from the computer and include with the cookies. Be sure to include a note with the recipe that it is the recipe for the cookies you gave them whatever year it is.
There are many ways to present cookies as gifts, a couple I'll mention here. One way is to save coffee cans large or small; clean them, decorate them (if you wish), line them with wax paper, then fill with fresh cooled cookies. You can decorate the coffee cans with a coat of spay paint and holiday stencils, or wrap it with wrapping paper. Just use your imagination or search the Internet for ideas.
Another great container for cookies is a tin that previously held something else such as tea, purchased cookies or candies, etc. You may have some already, but if not, thrift stores have an abundance of them (many are decorative) for very reasonable prices. Clean first of course, then line with wax paper and fill with cooled fresh cookies. These are great because there's a variety of sizes that will suit your giving needs and if you look for decorative ones, you will not need to do any decorating yourself... just add a bow and voila! You could also match your cookies with the tin. For example, if you have an M & M tin, make M & M cookies, or if you have a Hershey's Cocoa tin, make cookies that use cocoa.
Pretty plastic holiday plates will also work. Just neatly present the cookies, cover with colored plastic wrap and top with a bow.
Here's a wonderful cookie recipe to get you started:
No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies
In a large bowl, combine the oats, sugar and cocoa. With clean hands, mix in the water, vanilla and butter to form a dough. Wash hands, then roll the dough into balls 1 to 2 inches in diameter. Roll balls in confectioners' sugar until thickly coated (or they will become crusty). Chill 20 minutes before serving.
For many more delicious cookie recipes, check out the Cookie Recipe E-book: http://homemakersjournal.com/cookie.htm
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