If you plan to bake and mail Christmas cookies as homemade edible gifts from your kitchen, I have two things to tell you:
1. My home address (just kidding, or am I?).
2. You'll want to bake cookies that can survive the trip.
Here are the ideal Christmas cookies that have the best chance to arrive without crumbling in the mail:
Cookies with Crunch
Crisp, dense cookies like shortbread, biscotti, and snowballs are sturdy enough to hold up for the long haul.
"My cookies looked exactly like the picture," says home cook redcop. "I changed one thing only and that was the amount of cranberries. I reduced them to one cup."
Tip: Dust the cranberries with flour—this separates them and makes them easier to chop.
More shortbread cookie recipes.
"I seriously wish I could rate this one 20 stars!!! This recipe is going to be a problem because these were intended to be for office Christmas gifts, but I think I'll have to make a couple more batches because this one isn't going to make it till Monday morning." — pinkypink
Tip: Be sure to let the biscotti logs cool completely after the first baking so they'll slice without crumbling.
More biscotti recipes.
3. Snowballs II
"This recipe is snowball perfection! Reviewers who don't follow this to the tee are missing out. I sell these in my shop and they fly out the door." — Mimi's Desserts
Tips: Some reviewers recommend chilling the dough after mixing to make it easier to work with. And don't forget the roll the cookies in confectioners' sugar twice.
Cookies with a Little Chew
Softer, chewier chocolate chip, snickerdoodle, and ginger cookies ship well, but they tend to dry out if they’re traveling for more than a week. It's worth it to pay a little extra to send these the quickest way you can.
"Yummy! These cookies turned out great! They stayed soft and they had awesome flavor! We loved them!" — MAXIMOMOF3
Tip: For non-stick baking, line your cookie sheets with parchment paper. You can use the same piece multiple times.
More chocolate chip cookies.
Home cook ROUVER gathered up the most helpful tips from reviewers: "Turned out perfectly! Thanks to all for your tips. Here's a recap of the suggestions to get it to work for YOU: 1) Bake for 8 min, not until they look done. 2) For easier clean up, and for immediate removal from cookie sheet to wire rack, bake on parchment paper. 3) Increase coating mix to 5 T white sugar & 5 tsp cinnamon. 4) Put sugar/cin mix in baggie & ROLL cookies in it (do not shake...too much cinnamon gets on cookies) 5) You might need to refrigerate dough...although, it will be sticky either way. No worries, they spread out nicely."
"WARNING...DANGER AHEAD...do not make these cookies unless you are on an all cookie diet. You have been warned." — SWEETNOTHINGS
Tip: The dough can be quite sticky, so let it chill for 30 minutes to make it easier to handle
Cookies with a Lot of Chew
Coconut macaroons and Italian pignoli cookies not only mail beautifully, but their texture seems to improve after a few days. Dense bar cookies and brownies do well, too, as long as they don't have cream cheese or custard layers. (Sorry, Nanaimo Bars, lemon bars, and cheesecake bars. You're not going anywhere.)
"This is the real thing. Parchment paper is a must here. I've tried adding a teaspoon of almond extract for a change with great sucess. I like to refrigerate the dough for a couple of hours which results in a much rounder macaroon that can be dipped in chocolate." — mjwilly
Tip: "Gift Idea: Shape coconut into small tablespoon-sized ovals/rectangles, then bake. Drizzle thin strips of chocolate, or dip cookie in chocolate. After cooling, slip into cupcake liners and stack inside plastic, festive "treat bags" & tie with ribbon." — G-Koz
These gluten-free cookies are made with almond paste and pine nuts, but a note of caution from reviews: Read the label to make sure the paste you're using is indeed gluten-free, and you'll get better results if you use canned paste instead of paste from a tube.
Tip: "So yummy and so easy!! I took the suggestion from other reviewers to melt the peanut butter WITH the butter for easier mixing." — MizzWycked
Go on and show off your mad decorating skills, but with these caveats: 1) choose shapes without fragile bits that easily snap off, and 2) decorate with royal icing. (It hardens as it sets, so your gorgeous work doesn't smear.)
Tips: Be sure to chill the dough thoroughly for easier handlignng. Dust with powdered sugar instead of flour when you're rolling it out. And line your cookie sheets with parchment paper for a guaranteed non-stick surface.
More Christmas cookie ideas...
Browse our entire collection of Christmas cookie recipes.