A guide to making homemade holiday boxes and cookie tins filled with Indian desserts to share with your friends and family this holiday season.
Holiday boxes are such cute and edible gifts to share with folks during the holiday season. It can sometimes be stressful thinking of recipes and assembling boxes. So here are some tips and tricks I have for assembling this year's holiday boxes.
- Have family and friends help - This year, I threw a small gathering where each guest brought cookie dough or supplies over and we baked and assembled cookie boxes. This is such a great way to gather with friends while making the assembly process a lot faster
- Make desserts that travel well - When composing your holiday box, don't try to make desserts that will crumble, spill, or stick if it moves around. Make shelf stable cookies and desserts which will make them super easy to transport. Luckily I have a list of desserts below that fit that bill.
- Buy cheap but sturdy boxes - Pretty boxes are great but can get expensive real quickly. What I like to do is buy cheap boxes that are sturdy I can then adorn with homemade decorations or stickers for flare. The ones I go to every year are the ones linked here. They have a nice see through window to entice your friends, they are super easy to assemble, and they serve as a blank canvas for more decoration if you please.
- Line boxes with parchment paper - Lining your boxes with parchment paper ensures that any grease or moisture from your pastries get absorbed properly and don't stain your boxes. It's an added layer that also helps create a clean and finished box.
- Add flare with handmade or handwritten card - I love creating custom handmade cards that depict what I've packed in my box. If that is a bit much this holiday season, opt for a simple handwritten note to accompany your box.
How to Ship Holiday Cookie Boxes
Shipping holiday boxes can be tedious. So here are a few tips for shipping off your holiday cookie boxes.
Buy shipping boxes online that fit your cookie box
I've found that buying the priority boxes at the UPS store aren't a good bang for your buck. So I buy my shipping boxes along with the cookie boxes to make sure they are the right size. Then I pay for USPS ground service which comes out to be a lot cheaper than other alternatives. This year I bought these cookie boxes and these are their respective shipping boxes.
Ship your boxes before the holiday deadlines
It's important that you ship your boxes in a timely manner. If you are looking to get your holiday boxes shipped by December 25th, 2022, here are the shipping deadlines published by the USPS you should be aware of...
|USPS Ground Service||Dec 17|
|First Class Mail Service||Dec 17|
|Priority Mail Service||Dec 19|
|Priority Mail Express Service||Dec 23|
As with any priority options, those options get pricier as you wait longer. So I opt to send my holiday boxes before that deadline!
Holiday Sweets and Snacks Recipes
Below, I've listed 5 sweets and snacks that are great additions to your homemade holiday boxes, which you can give away as a party favor or just to distribute to your friends, family or colleagues. They are ranked in terms of difficulty (Easy, Medium, Hard) and have explanations of key details that make them a great addition to your holiday gift box.
Description: Khajur Burfi is a great addition to a holiday box that also happens to be sugar-free. This dessert is naturally sweetened by dates and gets its saltiness from mixed nuts. It takes minutes to make a large quantity and stays fresh for a long time, which makes it an ideal candidate during the holiday season.
Description: This Indian Cornflake Mixture is a great savory addition to your Diwali box. It's an easy recipe as it requires no frying; just mix spices, crunchy cornflakes, nuts, and raisins for a delicious snack that is salty, spicy, sweet, and tangy. I like to pack these in tiny cellophane bags for transport.
Description: Making a homemade chai masala or spice blend is a great addition to a holiday box. It's the perfect addition for chai lovers so they can craft up the perfect cup of chai. It's easy to grind a ton of the spice blend and portion a small bag full for each box.
Description: Kesar Malai Peda is a deliciously decadent saffron milk fudge. Traditionally this dessert requires boiling milk for hours to get the fudge-like consistency, but this recipe utilizes the help of condensed milk and milk powder to achieve that taste within minutes. The only reason this dessert is medium difficulty is that it does involve a slight bit of work to roll these fudge balls into cute little rounds, but it is still a manageable amount of work that goes by quickly if you make it a fun family activity.
Description: Kaju Katli is a delicious diamond-shaped cashew fudge. This is an iconic dessert that is a fan favorite. This dessert has simple ingredients but the trick to getting the beautifully set fudge is in getting the fudge to the right consistency and working quickly to roll and shape it into its iconic diamond shape. That being said, the whole kaju katli process takes about 35 minutes and it is one of the tastiest melt-in-your-mouth Indian sweets to make for the holiday season.
Description: This Arisi Murukku is a golden, crispy sesame and rice snack that is so delicious. Its tantalizing spiral shape, its nutty flavor, and its long shelf life makes it a great savory option for a holiday gift box. The dough for this murukku comes together in minutes but the hard difficulty rating comes from the fact that it is a deep fried dish which can intimidate novice cooks. The spirals can easily be piped out using a murukku maker or with a bit more effort be piped out using a piping bag. The effort really goes a long way for a mesmerizing snack that will surely impress your friends.