the ULTIMATE christmas cookie plate {my holiday baking list!}

this Recipe for Later! welcome back for another treat week post!!! today we’re talking about a topic near & dear to my heart (& stomach…) this time of year: building the ultimate christmas cookie plate! be sure to keep coming back each day this week for easy, festive, & delicious holiday treat recipes & for ideas & inspiration for the…

welcome back for another treat week post!!! today we’re talking about a topic near & dear to my heart (& stomach…) this time of year: building the ultimate christmas cookie plate!

be sure to keep coming back each day this week for easy, festive, & delicious holiday treat recipes & for ideas & inspiration for the most epic holiday cookie plate EVER!

tips for building the ULTIMATE christmas cookie plate

if you’ve been tuning in all week long, it should come at no surprise when i tell you that the holiday season is truly one of my favorite times of the year. 

so much of what i love about the holidays is centered in holiday baking. some of my most cherished holiday memories as a kid are of my mom, who creates the most beautiful christmas cookie plates to give away to co-workers, family, & friends who might not otherwise get homemade treats this time of year.

the tradition of making & gifting christmas cookie plates is one i’ve always strived to keep alive as an adult. most december weekend mornings you can find me happily whipping up a batch of cookies & rocking out to christmas music in my kitchen with some hot coffee. then one sunday, later in the month, chris & i drive around to deliver cookie plates to our loved ones. cookie plate day is one of my favorite days of the year!

over the years i’ve gotten pretty good at building a seriously gorgeous cookie plate. here are some of my favorite tips & tricks to keep in mind as you’re baking for the ultimate christmas cookie plate this time of year:

go for a variety of textures & flavors! the beauty of the holidays is there are so many fun & nostalgic recipes to make this time of year! chocolate is always good, of course, but also consider some other flavors to balance out all the richness on a christmas cookie plate. winter citrus is coming into season, holiday spiced treats are always a highlight of the year, & trying subtle, modern flavors can be SO fun. have fun with it! it’s christmas, after all!

don’t blow your budget. man oh man, holiday baking can rack up a BIG ‘ol bill after awhile. butter, cream, & chocolate aren’t the most inexpensive ingredients to work with, especially when you’re whipping up tons of cookies all at once. definitely include some more indulgent recipes on your cookie plates, but balance them out with recipes that are more cost-effective, like a batch of chocolate dipped pretzels or some fudge. 

designate a dough day. when you’re making TONS of cookies all at once, i think it’s easiest to designate one or two days in december as dough days. turn up that christmas music, pull out that stand mixer, & get going on all of the doughs you need for your christmas cookie plates. you can scoop the doughs out & transfer them to airtight containers or bags. cookie dough will keep in the fridge for 3-5 days, & in the freezer all month long. when you’re ready to bake cookies, all you have to do is pop your dough balls on a baking sheet & bake away!

speaking of scooping…buy a cookie scoop! scoops not only save you SO much time when you’re rolling out dough balls, but they also help ensure your cookies stay uniformly sized & bake evenly. 

christmas cookies i can’t wait to bake this year!

over the years, i’ve made so many cookies & treats that are so popular with my friends & family that they’re mainstays on my christmas cookie plates. here are some of my all-time favorites!

  1. ambitious kitchen’s old fashioned iced brown butter oatmeal cookies. oh my freaking gawd, these are my favorite cookies EVER. which is crazy, since i’m a total chocoholic & there’s not an ounce of chocolate to be found in them. they’re chewy, rich, & so good. people will beg you for the recipe. promise. 
  2. cozy kitchen’s chewy chai snickerdoodles (via how sweet eats!). i’m such a sucker for anything chai, & these snickerdoodles are perfection. chewy, with a crunchy exterior, & filled with the warm & spicy notes of chai spices. my favorite coffee dunker this time of year!
  3. how sweet eats chocolate dipped clementines are one of the first recipes i ever made from jessica. i needed to take a healthy-ish, festive snack to a holiday party at work, & everyone totally flipped for them. the clementines are juicy, the chocolate is rich, & the extra pinch of sea salt? omg. 
  4. for all my minneapolis peeps: the faux martha’s bittersweet black cookies are just like rustica’s bittersweet chocolate cookies. (i even think they’re a smidge better!) gorgeous, dramatic, & rich. i like to tell people they’re lumps of coal. ?
  5. you can’t do a christmas cookie plate without two peas & their pod’s peanut butter cup cookies. i swear, the minimum serving size for these is 100. 
  6. broma bakery’s tahini chocolate chip cookies are EPIC. chewy. chocolatey. tahini-y. i have to make an extra batch every darn time because i can’t stand to part with all of them. 
  7. alison roman’s salted chocolate chunk shortbread cookies have pretty much changed my cookie-loving life. that is all.  
  8. i recently re-shot these peppermint brownie batter truffles for my friends jessica & stacie & i can’t wait to add them to my cookie plates this year. they’re easy (no-bake!), so festive, & a healthier treat. 
  9. on a similar note, my friend molly just posted these healthy nutella sea salt truffles & i’m dying to make them. it’s always good to have a healthier treat on hand this time of year & these truffles look insane!

plays well with butter treats you have to try!

be sure to comment below or on instagram! what’s on your holiday baking list this year??

Hi there, I'm Jess!

If there’s 1 thing to know about me, it’s this: I am head-over-heels in love with food. I’m on a mission to make weeknight cooking flavorful, fast, & fun for other foodies, & PWWB is where I share foolproof recipes that deliver major flavor with minimal effort. Other true loves: pretty shoes, puppies, Grey’s Anatomy, & my cozy kitchen in Minneapolis, MN.


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  1. 12.21.18

    I definitely love butter so as kids at home. This is fun and exciting way for Christmas holiday. Thanks for sharing!

  2. 12.20.18
    Susan said:

    Hello Jess,
    I loved your blog and cookies. Do photos belong to you? They look very delicious. Can’t wait to try them.

    • 12.20.18
      jess said:

      thanks for dropping in, susan! yes, all photography is my own, unless otherwise noted. xo

  3. 12.13.18
    Haley said:

    You had me at Buckeyes and almond butter shortbread cookies. They all look and sound amazing.

    • 12.14.18
      jess said:

      right?! both of those are ALWAYS winners! xo

  4. 12.11.18
    Jessica said:

    These tips are great! It makes the idea of making all the cookies less intimidating.

  5. 12.5.18

    LOVE these tips! Every year for the last 20 years, me, my mom, and a bunch of family friends do a cookie bake one Sunday in December and we pretty much bake ALL day, literally 15 of us in one kitchen, and then exchange cookies at the end of the day. Definitely one of my favorite days of the whole year. Your baking list sounds amazing and thanks so much for sharing my truffles! Let me know if you try them! xo