Last Updated on December 22, 2021 by Chenée Lewis
This Christmas charcuterie board is one of my favorite Christmas food boards! It’s a dessert charcuterie board full of cookies, candy, and other seasonal treats! Make this Christmas candy charcuterie board for your next holiday gathering! And if you're looking for the best cookies to fill this board, try my No Spread Sugar Cookies, my Key Lime Cookies, and my Ginger Crinkle Cookies!
*This post contains affiliate links — as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Please see my disclosure for details*.
What is a Christmas charcuterie?
This is it! Day 12 of my 12 Days of Christmas Cookies series! It's been so fun sharing some of my favorite Christmas Cookie recipes with you the past 12 days, and don't worry I've got lots more cookie goodness in the works coming up soon! In the meantime, I've got just the solution for your holiday snacking needs -- this dessert charcuterie board filled with lots of cookies, candies, fruits, and everything salty, tangy, and sweet! It's the best way to showcase all the holiday treats you've been working on this season, and such a fun, festive way to keep your Christmas crew happy!
What is usually on a charcuterie board?
Good question! Traditionally, a charcuterie board contains cured meats, sausage, pâtés, and other butcher shop finds. In fact, the word charcuterie comes from the French for "cooked meat." Over the years, the word has come to be synonymous for the contents of a meat and cheese platter. And in more recent years, the meaning has expanded in general use even more to encompass various types of snacking and grazing boards. So strictly speaking, charcuterie is just meat. But in a broader sense it's meat and cheese, and in the broadest sense it's whatever you want to snack on! Which, in the case of this Christmas charcuterie board, is mostly cookies!
How do you plate a charcuterie board?
In my opinion, the only rule is to be creative and have fun! It's all up to how you want it to look and I like for my charcuterie boards to generally include:
- Both salty and sweet elements. In this Christmas cookie charcuterie board, we've got salty pretzels, spiced cinnamon palmiers, sweet cookies and cakes, and tart sugared cranberries.
- Sauces or jams for dipping. I was so surprised at how yummy graham crackers are dipped in frosting! I mean, it makes sense, but it was still a fun discovery! So I opted to use frosting as our dipping sauce on this Christmas charcuterie board. It's perfect for our graham crackers, our pretzels, or even to add a boost of sweetness to some of the cookies!
- A variety of textures. On our board we've got crunchy candies, crackers, and pretzels, balanced out with soft marshmallows, cookies, and cookie cake!
- Garnishes and decorations to balance out the look and match the theme. I chose dried grapefruit slices to complement the flavors in this Christmas charcuterie board, but you could also use rosemary, sprigs of pine, or Christmas lights to really add to the holiday look!
Christmas Charcuterie Board Ingredients Ideas
Since this isn't, strictly speaking, a recipe, you don't need to use exactly what I use! I love the idea of using this dessert charcuterie board to showcase all the baking I've done recently, and I think that the cookies I used work really well together. But there's no need to go all-out baking! You can arrange an amazing charcuterie board with store-bought Christmas cookies and lots of low-key treats! Go wild! Whatever you like to enjoy this time of year is fair game. But here's what I would suggest for your Christmas charcuterie board shopping list:
- No Spread Sugar Cookies - These simple, no-chill cutout cookies are, to me, the perfect Christmas Cookie! They deserve to be shown off on this charcuterie board!
- Christmas Oreos - Super easy no-bake treats that only take a few minutes to make! And the texture and flavors are SO good, and so festive!
- Salted Caramel Thumbprint Cookies with Cinnamon Sugar - These decadent little cookies are SO good and so easy! Perfect for this Christmas cookie charcuterie board!
- Christmas Cookie Cake - I knew I wanted to highlight this amazing cookie cake! It's filled with mini chocolate chips and decorated with frosting and sprinkles to really bump up the festive mood!
- Cranberry White Chocolate Shortbread Cookies - The tart flavor of cranberry and the smooth, rich white chocolate make these shortbread cookies perfect for any holiday treat board.
- Cinnamon Palmiers - SO easy with just 5 ingredients! These puff pastry cookies are full of brown sugar and spice, and are a simple addition to your cookie platter.
- Sparkling White Chocolate Peppermint Sugar Cookies - my first-ever cookie on my blog, these sugar cookies are SO good and so easy!
- Ginger Crinkle Cookies - these gingerbread crinkle cookies are made quick and easy with cake mix, so they come together so quickly.
- Brown Sugar Shortbread Cookies - these 4-ingredient cookies have such a deep brown sugar flavor!
- Sugared Cranberries - I include an easy recipe below for sugared cranberries, an incredibly fun sweet-tart holiday treat that's perfect for this board!
- Christmas S'mores - With graham crackers, holiday marshmallows, and white chocolate, you can create a fun treat within your Christmas charcuterie board. It's a great twist on the classic s'mores!
- Pretzels - Adds that salty note to this board and works so well dipped in the frosting!
- Candy Canes - they're such a classic and and must for any Christmas charcuterie board!
- M&Ms - M&Ms, or any small candy you like, can take the place of spiced nuts or olives that you might see in a more traditional charcuterie board. They add that crunch and visual interest that every great grazing board needs!
- Frosting or jam for dipping - I used a Pillsbury filled pastry bag to pipe frosting in a flash and give it a polished look. Best of all, it came with a packet of holiday sprinkles to add to the festive mood!
The only piece of equipment you definitely need for this Christmas Charcuterie board is, well, the board! I recommend a large cutting board or serving board in wood, slate, or marble. You'll also want some small bowls for your candies, nuts, frostings, and jams. Here are some great options:
Step by Step
- Start with a large cutting board or serving board and set it up where you plan to serve your Christmas charcuterie board.
- First, place any small bowls or dishes spaced out on your board.
- Then, start laying in your cookies or other treats in handfuls, starting near the outside of the board. Feel free to let them overlap and they don't have to be especially neat.
- Fill in gals with smaller or more free-flowing ingredients like crackers, pretzels, or candy canes.
- Feel free to include the same ingredient in multiple places on your board to achieve a balanced look.
- Finish with your garnish and any decorative elements, and serve!
Tips and F.A.Q.
Pretty much! Any holiday treat or finger food is perfect for Christmas food boards! Check out my cookie recipes for inspiration!
Your charcuterie board, whether it's this Christmas cookie charcuterie board or a traditional cured meat board, should be room temperature. So if you're using cookies that you've stored in the fridge, allow them to come to room temp before serving.
It's a French word, but when saying it in English you'd say shar-KOO-ter-ee. Here's a quick video on the English and French pronunciations.
It's hard to say, but I imagine it's because they're endlessly customizable -- you can make so many variations and really make them your own, and it's so easy to make them elegant and fun. They encourage us to gather in a fun, informal way, which is always welcome at holiday gatherings!
If you try this recipe, I would love it if you could leave a rating and comment below! It’s so wonderful hearing your feedback! And don’t forget to share your creations with me by tagging @chenee_today on Instagram!
Equipment you may need
- large serving board
- small bowls or ramekins
Candies and Fruits
- Place cutting board or serving tray in the spot where you plan to serve your Christmas charcuterie board.
- Place bowls and dishes containing candy, jams, frostings, and sugared cranberries on board.½ cup holiday m&ms, 1 cup sugared cranberries, 2 tablespoon jam, ¼ cup Frosting, ¼ cup sprinkles, nonpareils, and/or sanding sugar
- Add cookies and other larger treats in groups.5 cutout sugar cookies, 5 gingerbread crinkle cookies, 3 christmas cookie cake slices, 5 cranberry white chocolate shortbread cookies, 8 cinnamon palmiers, 5 chocolate-covered Oreos, 4 peppermint white chocolate sugar cookies
- Fill in gaps with smaller items like crackers, marshmallows, and pretzels.1 cup holiday marshmallows, 6 graham crackers, 7 candy canes, 4 oz white chocolate pieces
- Garnish as you like, and serve!Dried citrus or rosemary
PIN this Christmas charcuterie board for later!