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Gratitude Cookies: Sweet Thank Yous for Holiday Gifting

Updated October 31, 2023
Frosted sugar cookies on a cooling rack and on a plate. Cookies have writing on them.
It’s always amazing to receive a heartfelt thank you—but a buttery sweet edible thank you is even better! Gratitude cookies are a natural for Thanksgiving, and they make wonderful gifts throughout the holiday season, as you tell friends and family how much they mean to you. 

The holidays are a great time to build new traditions and memories with your family—and gratitude cookies are kind of the perfect holiday tradition. First, what better way to spend time with your kids than baking and decorating cookies? Second, it’s a great opportunity to think about all the people you are grateful for and take the time to make them a little homemade thank you they can eat! 

Bake Gratitude Cookies All Season Long

When it comes to gratitude cookies, there’s no end to the messages you can write on them—and the ways you can give them away.  Here are just a few fun ideas to get you started! 


For the holiday that’s all about giving thanks, give thank you cookies! They make a delightful gift: you can write the name of the person you’re grateful for, something nice they did for or with you or a simple, “thank you!” 

Gratitude cookies also make fun place settings. Put a cookie on each guest’s plate, telling them what you’re grateful for—their presence in your life and at Thanksgiving!

Holiday Gift Giving

Gratitude cookies make great holiday gifts! You can put a stack of them in a cellophane bag, each one decorated with a little thankfulness, and present them to your friends and family. If you’re having a holiday party, they’ll be cute on a platter—send every guest home with a gratitude cookie made just for them. 

Gratitude cookies also make super cute gift tags! You can decorate them with a message, slide them into a wax or cellophane bag and tie them onto the gift. 

Holiday Season Day-Making

We all have someone in our lives who just makes things better. For you, it might be a BFF,  a coworker or that sibling who just gets you. For your kiddos, it might be their favorite teacher or a playground buddy. Whoever that person is, a spontaneously presented “here’s why I appreciate YOU” cookie will be a delightful (and delicious!) surprise.


Kids writing on frosted sugar cookies

How to Make Gratitude Cookies

What better way to celebrate being thankful than with a craft you can enjoy making with your kids and enjoy eating? Our foolproof method for making gratitude cookies is as easy as 1-2-3.

Pillsbury™ Ready to Bake!™ Sugar Cookie Dough
Pillsbury™ Ready to Bake!™ Sugar Cookie Dough
No measuring, no mixing, no mess—these sugar cookies are so simple but so, so good. They’ll be perfect for an afternoon baking project with the kids. 

Step 1: Bake the Cookies

Bake up a package or two of Pillsbury™ Ready to Bake!™ sugar cookies. Let the cookies cool completely. (You can sample one or two in the meantime—we won’t tell anyone).

Step 2: Set Up Your Decoration Station

Frosted sugar cookies with colored markers

While your cookies are baking, set up your decoration station. Cover a table with newspaper (especially important for little decorators) and set out edible ink pens so everyone can write or draw what they’re thankful for on each cookie.

Step 3: Decorate Your Cookies

Once the icing is fully set, it’s time to decorate! For these photos, we used plain white royal icing to really make the writing pop. You can also add gel food coloring to your icing to tint it to any shade you or your kiddos want.

Want to know how to make the best homemade icing for your cookies? We’ve created a proven and truly simple method for decorating cookies with royal icing—but you can use packaged cookie icing for an easy shortcut.

How to Eat Gratitude Cookies

Frosted cookies with messages on them, colored markers

You already know how to do this part! The best way to enjoy gratitude cookies is with the people you're thankful for—and a great big glass of milk. It’s such a great reason for a get-together. Every cookie will start a conversation and, best of all, everyone will get a sweet treat! (We call that a triple win.)