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How to Create a Christmas Cookie Board

Be the talk of your next event by showing up with a show-stopping cookie board! This post has everything you need to know about cookie boards, from choosing treats to where to find them, how to maximize your time if you plan on baking to creating a visually stunning arrangement.

  • Author: The Simple, Sweet Life
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cookie board
  • Category: Dessert
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

  • Cookies of varying sizes, shapes and colors
  • Cupcakes
  • Doughnuts
  • Fresh fruit (whole and sliced)
  • Nuts and trail mixes
  • Candies

Instructions

In a nutshell, arranging a cookie board comes down to working from largest to smallest. It’s also helpful to think about how you can create visually interesting boards by grouping or breaking up like items, shapes and colors, working in odd numbers or creating patterns in the foods themselves.

  1. Get all of your treats in one place: Having all of your goodies in one place will not only help you keep track of what you have to work with but it will help you keep everything in mind as you consider where you might want it to go.
  2. Start with bowls: In many cases the bowls you’re using to hold candies, trail mix, sliced fruit or other small items take up the most space, so it’s helpful to put them down first.
  3. Add large cookies and fruit: Large cookies, whole and sliced pieces of fruit are likely to be your next largest items. These are great for filling in space around the edges of your board or your bowls.
  4. Add remaining cookies: Small to mid-size cookies like thumbprints and meringues are great for filling in space between the large items you’ve already places on your board. You can also use them to fill any small gaps that remain around the edges.
  5. Garnish: Once all of your treats are down, you can fill in any empty spaces will small garnishes like small pieces of fruit, trail mix or loose candies.
  6. Make final adjustments and add utensils: With everything finally on the board, now’s the time to make any final tweaks to your layout and add any utensils that may be needed for cutting or serving.

Notes

Selecting a board:

  • Size: The size of your board can vary greatly depending on the size of your gathering, how many varieties of treats you plan to serve, the size of your treats and how much you anticipate your guests eating. We’ll dive into how many treats you should budget, but I found my 14″ round board held about 30 cookies and 6 cupcakes (enough for 10-12 people), my rectangular 12″x16″ board held almost 70 cookies (enough for 18-23) and my 12″ cake stand held about 30 cookies and 15 meringues (enough for about 10). 
  • Shape: Boards come in a range of shapes and styles, and you can really use whatever strikes your fancy. A board with handles makes for easier transportation, and if you know where your board will be placed, it can help to consider that space. Using a round board to display round treats can provide a nice sense of symmetry, but using a square or rectangular board can add nice visual variety.
  • Material: Boards come in a wide range of materials. When choosing your board, it’s important to keep in mind how the color of your board will compliment or clash with the colors in your cookies (i.e. predominantly brown cookies could get lost against a wooden board), and how the buttery nature of cookies might complicate clean up (i.e. porous materials like marble can stain when buttery treats are placed directly on them).

Utensils and small bowls

  • Small, shallow bowls make great additions to cookie boards for holding candies, nuts/trail mixes and small pieces of fruit. It’s helpful to consider your theme when selecting bowls, but when in doubt, white bowls work well with most setups.
  • Cookie boards don’t necessarily require utensils as everything on your board is essentially finger food. However, you might consider including utensils like tongs or small spoons (particularly for candies, nuts and trail mixes) to make serving easier and more sanitary.
  • If you have whole pieces of fruit, you might consider making a knife available for slicing.

Sources:
Lisa Dawn Bolton – On Boards
The Kitchn – The Best Types of Cookies to Freeze (and How to do That)
Flourish – Chilling Cookie Dough: Does it Make a Difference?

Keywords: christmas cookie, cookie board tutorial, christmas cookie ideas