Dear Chef Mom: I love to give homemade cookies as holiday gifts, but I never know how to package them so they look like a "real gift" rather than just something I threw together. I've used tins and those holiday zipper bags but I was hoping for something a little more appealing in the presentation. Any ideas? - Courtney
Chef Mom says:
It's always fun to give homemade gifts from the kitchen (click here for some goodie recipes) -- but when it comes to the gift wrapping, sometimes it's easy to run out of ideas.
Fear not! Creative guru Amanda Formaro of Family Corner offers you her excellent suggestions:
Says Amanda: Courtney has a great question. Cookies, brownies, and homemade candies are wonderful gifts from the heart. But what are some fun and pretty ways to wrap your treats? Try some of these ideas when wrapping up your holiday gifts.
Use mason jars (completely cleaned and dried) to stack homemade cookies in, then decorate the lid with a pretty bow tied from holiday ribbon.
When using cookie tins, try wrapping the cookies in colored plastic wrap and tying with thin colorful ribbon. To wrap, place a rectangle of plastic wrap on the counter, place a short stack of cookies in the center of the plastic wrap, then gather the plastic wrap together above the cookies. Tie with ribbon and blossom out the top of the plastic wrap so that it looks attractive.
Use empty (washed and dried) Pringles cans to stack cookies. You can decorate these with wrapping paper, contact paper, or paint and ribbons. You could even use aluminum foil and a pretty bow.
Baskets make a wonderful presentation for edible gifts. Bundle cookies in colored or clear plastic wrap as indicated above, then arrange in a basket that is lined with tissue paper. Insert extra tissue paper as filler and "fluff" it up to make it pretty. Tie a big shiny bow to the handle of the basket or wrap the entire basket in cellophane then adorn with a bow.
Mugs & plates
For smaller portions of cookies, wrap in plastic wrap and put inside a coffee mug, add a package of cocoa, a cinnamon stick or candy cane, wrap with cellophane and a bow. For larger portions, you can use a holiday plate wrapped in cellophane, embellished with ribbon.
Cookie suckers are always a big hit. When your cookies are ready to go into the oven, press an ice cream or lollipop stick into the dough, then bake. Wrap cookie suckers individually with colored or clear plastic wrap and tie closed with a pretty ribbon.
Though a little more extravagant, place cookies inside of a new holiday or everyday cookie jar. Wrap the cookie jar in wrapping paper, add curling ribbon in several colors. This gift will keep giving for many years to come!
No matter how you package it, you can top off home baked gifts with a fun poem or friendly handwritten note. If your gift recipient enjoys baking, include the recipe and a wooden spoon or wire whisk with the gift as a special touch.