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Gift Box Cookies

These present-shaped cookies with a surprise inside will delight kids and adults alike.

Serves 24
Ready in 168 mins
Prep time 60 mins
Cooking time 48 mins
Chill time 60 mins
192 calories per serving


> 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
> 1/2 tsp baking powder
> 1/4 tsp salt
> 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, cut up and room temperature
> 1 cup sugar
> 2 large eggs
> 2 tsp vanilla extract
> Red or green food coloring
> Red, green, and white cookie decorating icing
> 1/2 cup holiday-themed  sprinkles


In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, using a hand mixer or stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar 2–3 min., until fluffy. One at a time, beat in eggs and vanilla. In batches, slowly add dry ingredients on low speed until combined. Tint with the food coloring as desired.
Divide dough into 2 disks, wrapping in plastic and refrigerating 1 hour. Working with 1 disk at a time, roll out between 2 large sheets of parchment to ¼-inch thickness.
Using a 1½-inch square cookie cutter, cut squares from the dough. Remove dough from between squares. Repeat with second disk of dough. Using a 1-inch square cookie cutter, cut the centers out of ⅓ of the cookies, removing dough from centers. (Each cookie needs 2 solid squares and 1 hollow square.) Reroll and cut scraps 1 time. Transfer sheets of parchment with cookies on them onto cookie sheets. Freeze cookies 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Bake 1 pan of cookies in center of oven 10–12 min., until edges are just golden. Cool cookies on wire racks. Repeat with remaining sheets of cookies.
Using the white decorating icing as glue, adhere hollow squares to solid squares. Add sprinkles to cavities. Top with full square cookie. Repeat with remaining cookies. Create ribbons on boxes with the red and green decorating icing. Let stand until set.

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