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Christmas Present Cookie Boxes

Course: Dessert
Dessert Type: Christmas desserts, Cookies
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 3 cookie boxes
Calories: 552kcal
Author: Elizabeth LaBau
Christmas Present Cookie Boxes are a sweet baking project and gift idea in one! Brown sugar cookies are formed into boxes and decorated to look like Christmas presents. Fill them with any treats you want, like candies, cookies, cupcakes, and more! 
Note that the yield of this recipe can change greatly depending on the size and shape of the boxes. This recipe is written to make three 3-inch square boxes, but using larger or smaller cutters will impact the number of finished boxes. If you’re worried about the yield, you can always make a double batch of dough and save the extras—it can be frozen for up to 3 months.
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For the Brown Sugar Cookie Dough:

  • 8 oz unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 11.25 oz C&H® Golden Brown Sugar (1 ½ cups)
  • Zest from 1 orange
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 TBSP heavy cream or milk
  • 1 egg at room temperature
  • 16 oz all-purpose flour (3 ¾ cups)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon

To Assemble:


To Make the Brown Sugar Cookies:

  • Combine the butter and brown sugar in the bowl of a large stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Cream them together for about 30-60 seconds, until well-mixed. Do not overbeat until light in color, or you’ll incorporate too much air and the cookies will spread.
  • Add the orange zest, vanilla extract, cream, and egg, and mix them in on low speed until well-incorporated. Finally, add the flour, salt, and cinnamon. Mix on low speed until everything is combined and no dry patches remain. Finish stirring by hand, scraping down the bottom and sides with a rubber spatula to make sure the dough is well-mixed.
  • Roll out the dough between two sheets of waxed paper until it is ¼-inch thick. Refrigerate for at least an hour, until firm. If you’re making this several days in advance, don’t roll out the dough—instead, form it into a disc and wrap it in plastic wrap, then roll it out when you’re ready to bake.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 F, and line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Cut out the tops and bases of the cookies first with a 3-inch square cutter —you’ll need 2 per cookie box, so 6 total. Place all the solid squares on one cookie sheet together, and bake at 350 F for 10-12 minutes. The cookies won’t take on much color on top, but you’ll start to see them color around the edges, and they will look dry and slightly puffed in the center. Cool completely.
  • To make the frames, use the same 3-inch square cutter, but this time, use a second, smaller square cutter to cut out the inside of the cookies. Aim for a margin about 1/3-1/2” around the cookie. Too thin and they might break, too thick and you’ll have no room for goodies inside the boxes! You’ll need to re-roll the dough several times during this process, and if you find it gets too soft, refrigerate it briefly until you can work with it again. Try to avoid adding flour while rolling and instead roll between waxed paper—too much flour will make the cookies tough.
  • You’ll want 4-5 frames per cookie, so 12-15 frames total. Bake them at 350 F for 8-10 minutes, then cool.

To Assemble the Cookie Boxes:

  • Melt the white candy coating, and place it in a piping bag with a small round tip. Pipe a thin line of coating around the border of one of the base cookies, and gently press a frame cookie on top. Repeat until you’ve added 4 frames to the base. Fill the boxes with whatever goodies you’d like!
  • To decorate the tops, trace the cookie cutter shape onto the plastic side of your transfer sheet, and cut out the transfer sheet squares.
  • Re-warm the candy coating, if necessary. Place the transfer sheet squares cocoa butter side up on a piece of parchment or waxed paper. (The cocoa butter side will feel slightly rough to the touch, not smooth. Try not to touch it too much so you don’t smear the pattern.) Spread a thin layer of melted coating on top of one of the transfer sheets. Spread it out to the edges and a bit beyond. When the sheet is completely covered, work a spatula under the sheet and transfer it to a different area of parchment so the edges are clean. Repeat with the remaining sheets, and let dry completely.
  • Once dry, carefully peel back the plastic from the tops of the sheets. Spread some melted coating on bottom (flat side) of one of the top cookies, and gently press the chocolate on top. Repeat until all of the top cookies are decorated. If you’d like, you can pipe a line of dots around the edge to finish the look of the cookies.
  • Put the tops on the cookie boxes, tie a ribbon around the box to secure, and they’re ready to go!


Calories: 552kcal | Carbohydrates: 68g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 24g | Cholesterol: 111mg | Sodium: 227mg | Potassium: 100mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 1020IU | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 3.7mg