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Christmas Dish Presentation: How to Bling Your Plates to Neighbors

During the Christmas season, houses are adorned with lights, trees are covered in ornaments, and every building is full of candy canes and pretend snow. Decorations dominate Christmas, so desserts have to fit in with the lavish displays! Typical dessert-making isn’t going to cut it in December — you have to have some fun, step it up a notch, and make some awesome presentations for your tasty sweets. Don’t let this task intimidate you. Simple affordable steps can take some baked dough and make it look like store-bought deliciousness!

For Cookies

Christmas cookies are all about festive shapes, but 9 times out of 10, the shape itself isn’t enough. No matter what shapes you used, there are ways to decorate them and bring them to life for the holidays. Putting icing on the cookies is the easiest way to add some flair. You can outline the cookie, design fun patterns, or add features to certain shapes like eyes on snowmen or ornaments on trees. Another option is adding a buttercream layer, placing a stencil over the buttercream, and pouring sprinkles onto the cookie. Throwing on little candies and other treats never hurt!

Once you’re ready to package these adorable desserts, think about how many different types of cookies you have and how fragile they are. If you have a wide variety of cookies to package, make sure the sturdier ones (like biscotti, for example) form the foundation. Make sure the cookies have fully cooled before getting them gift-ready — you don’t want them falling apart on you! If cookies have icing or other decorations that could be damaged when stacking, create layers of sheet parchment in your basket or box. You’ll be all ready to go!

For Brownies

Most of the time, brownies build their reputation on taste alone (and hey, it usually works!). That doesn’t mean you can whip up some basic brownies and call it a day. Plus, that isn’t any fun, is it? Brownies are actually pretty easy to decorate. While you cut cookies before they even go in the oven, brownies can be cut in fun ways after they’re baked. However, you might have to use high-quality cutters, or else the brownies won’t have clean, straight edges and presentation will suffer. If you can’t find them, you can try simple shapes, like triangles, and make cut brownie Christmas trees like the ones in this recipe.

If you’re sick of shapes or you don’t want to risk cutting the brownies, simple touches can bring out the spirit of brownies. Add a layer of frosting to the top and use red and green sprinkles or candies. Another benefit of not cutting the brownies means you can transport them in the baking pan they were made in! This makes the decorating process much easier and allows the person receiving the brownies to store them more easily as well.

For Fudge

One of the trickiest parts about fudge is the cutting process, which could make or break fudge presentation. Don’t just use a pizza cutter or whatever random kitchen utensil you think might be able to manage the job. If you’re going to use a knife, make sure it’s very sharp and have it soak in hot water before using it. Another alternative is to buy a metal dough-cutter from the grocery store that’s square shaped. Don’t just push it down, though. A rocking motion will help cut the fudge smoothly.

Fudge is a feisty food —it’s hard to cut and isn’t usually garnished like the other sugary treats are. Fudge likes to stand on its own, and people prefer it that way too. So how to you jazz up this pesky dessert to give to your neighbors? A lot of the fun’s going to have to come from the packaging. Wrap the fudge in wax paper or plastic wrap and tie it all off with a bow. If you have some decorative containers lying around, fill those with the paper, instead, but make sure the paper’s either red or green!

For Everything

No matter what you’re packing up, there are all kinds of awesome ways to make your dish look presentable and Christmas-themed. You can start with the basics, using decorative tins or baskets and lining them with colored cellophane. Patterned and mixed-and-matched ribbons always make a great finishing touch. Another great thing to include with gift pans and baskets is a recipe card, which you can make with construction paper or cardstock you have around the house.

If you’re more into DIY decorations, there are some fun projects you can do that will really impress your neighbors. If you have a lot of wrapping paper leftover, cut all different types into little pieces, and make a sort of Christmas mosaic at the bottom of the pan or tray. Line the wrapping paper layer with cellophane or some other protective covering. You could also use other objects lying around the house, like a chip tin or some other kind of can, to store cookies. Then you can focus on decorating the outside with wrapping paper, stickers, ribbons, and other accessories!


Christmas desserts can’t just be handed out in Ziploc bags. Whether you have an hour or five minutes, there are easy ways to spruce up a dessert presentation, no matter what you’re giving away!


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