Cookie swap

Wrap up some holiday cookies for quick and easy homemade gifts
By Bonnie Schiedel
Cookie swap

If you love to bake, the holidays are the perfect time to show off your skills. Whether you’re giving homemade goodies as gifts or swapping treats with your friends in a cookie exchange, we’ve got amazing triple-tested recipes and fun, innovative wrapping ideas to see you through. Save your paper plates and metal tins for another time. This year, the packaging will be as fabulous as the cookies!

These classics are sure to please:

In the bag
Turn a humble paper bag into one-of-a-kind art. Pick up a package of lunch bag-sized paper bags (either white or brown) at the supermarket. Break out the markers, crayons and glitter and have a bag-decorating party with your kids. Or, use a rubber stamp–designs range from snowflakes to Santas–and ink pad to decorate each bag. Tie the bag with a festive ribbon or simply staple it shut.
Tip: To prevent grease spots, wrap your cookies in plastic wrap before you put them in the bag.

Canned goodies
Hit your local home improvement store to find never-used, empty paint tins. Fill one with your favourite cookies, snap on the lid and presto! You’ve got a sturdy, reusable cookie container. Tie a festive ribbon on the handle and add a fun label.
Tip: If you’re giving decorated gingerbread or iced sugar cookies, label the can "Hand-painted cookies".

Simply divine
For an upscale, elegant treat, slip truffles or biscotti into a wine glass or champagne flute. Add some sparkly confetti and wrap it all up in crisp cellophane tied with gold and silver curling ribbons.
Tip: Check out a dollar store for deals on glassware.

Country style
To add a bit of country flair, stack cookies in a Mason jar. Place a square of holiday wrapping paper, fabric or a holiday paper napkin on the lid and secure with glue and a pretty raffia bow. Or, spray paint the lid and top with a holiday sticker.
Tip: Tie a bundle of red plastic berries to your raffia bow for a splash of country colour.

Bundle up
How about a bundle of cookies? Buy a holiday tea towel, or hem a piece of holiday fabric. Put a square of cardboard in the middle and a plastic bag of cookies on the square. Gather up the fabric to make a bundle and tie with ribbon. Or, for sturdier cookies such as shortbread, cut out a long, narrow rectangle of cardboard and place it on a larger rectangle of cellophane. Stack the cookies horizontally on the cardboard and fold the cellophane around it, securing the top with a strip of tape. Tie each end with a ribbon.
Tip: Pretty plaid ribbons are ideal for packaging Scottish shortbread.

Personal touch
For that extra-special touch, add a note, recipe or poem to your cookies. Or, you can top each package with an inexpensive gift, such as a cookie cutter, an ornament or measuring spoons.


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