You’ve seen (and maybe even made!) charcuterie boards. There are hot cocoa boards, s’mores board and even barkuterie boards (for those “foodie” dogs!). But this year, we have decided that Santa Claus deserves better. Enter the charcookie board. Yes, we said charcookie board — a stacked board made with a variety of cookie styles and accompaniments that will ensure Santa leaves all the best presents under your tree.
Building a charcookie board is exactly the same as building a charcuterie board. You’ll want a variety of cookies and accents to make it look as beautiful as possible, without sacrificing on flavor, notes Melanie Auxer, vice president of Cookievation at Insomnia Cookies.
“Your cookie board should always include a variety of shapes, color, and textures to add visual interest. Some fun-shaped cookie choices for your board include: macarons of different colors, cookie sandwiches filled with colorful frosting, cookie bars (also great for dipping!), and pinwheel cookies, which will also add dimension,” she says.
Auxer explains that starting with basic cookies is always a win, like chocolate chip, sugar, peanut butter, and oatmeal raisin to build a strong foundation for your cookie board. But, says Auxer, “Festive, seasonal flavors are always a welcomed addition, like Gingerbread, Red Velvet Cookies N Cream, Candy Cane, and Vegan Peppermint Mocha Crunch cookies,” she says. (Don’t have time to make them from scratch? Insomnia to the rescue!)
But, says Susan Reid, senior recipe tester at King Arthur Baking Company, if you’re looking to stray from the basics, there are some other tasty options for you. While anchoring your board with shaped cookies (time to break out your holiday cookie cutters or stamps!), there are so many other ways to create a stand-out charcookie board.
“Spiral stacks of peppermint-filled brownies next to a snowy pile of Mexican wedding cookies can be really striking. Or drop cookies with candy kisses in the center next to chocolate-dipped biscotti,” she says. Other ideas include:
- Sandwich cookies stacked on their sides in small disposable paper loaf pans.
- Baklava in mini muffin papers to make them easier to pick up.
- Spritz cookies with a dot of jewel-tone preserves in the center.
- Stained glass cookies as takeaways for ornament.
Finishing, she adds, “With Gingerbread people to watch over it all.”
Just like on a charcuterie board, no charcookie board is complete without all the fun dipping options and accoutrements. “I would accent my board with fresh fruit; the sour of berries or orange slices will balance all the sugar. Some vanilla Greek yogurt works as a dip for both fruit and cookies. Candied nuts or brittle would also be good as an accent,” notes King Arthur’s Reid.
Auxer adds that bowls of dips, such as chocolate sauce, caramel, buttercream frosting, should also find a home on your board. And, she notes, “Don’t be afraid to add some additional contrast with white and chocolate pretzels, mini marshmallows, toasted shredded coconut, and other tasty treats.”
And, says Reid, the charcookie board can be assembled prior to Santa’s arrival (or your in-home gathering). Just leave a spot open for perishables, like cheesecake bars and anything that needs to be refrigerated, adding them on at the last-minute.