Cakespy: Turn Leftover Christmas Cookies Into Croutons

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“Cookies deserve at least the same courtesy given to stale bread.”

[Original artwork and photographs: Jessie Oleson]

Christmas is over and we’ve entered a bleak time of year full of gifts being returned, dried-out Christmas trees at the curb, and the saddest story of all, the Christmas cookies gone stale. But because I believe that cookies deserve at least the same courtesy given to stale bread, I humbly present the leftover Christmas cookie crouton.

Though they follow the same general idea as savory croutons—baking and flavoring dried-out carbohydrates to give them a second wind—this version is composed entirely of sweet ingredients. The applications for these crunchy, sweet little nuggets are virtually endless—they can be used as an ice cream topping, a rich eggnog or hot chocolate garnish, or as a buttery delight all their own.

Sweet Leftover Christmas Cookie Croutons


  • 4 to 6 leftover Christmas cookies, cut into 1-inch chunks (sturdier cookies such as gingerbread or drop cookies work best; handle more delicate or crumbly cookies with care)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 to 2 heaping teaspoons sugar, to taste
  • cinnamon and nutmeg, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 300°F.
  2. Place the cookie pieces on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. They can be close together, but don’t crowd them.
  3. In a medium saucepan, heat the butter over low heat. Add the sugar and spices of your choice until combined–you want the mixture to thicken a little bit but not to become so thick that cannot easily be poured. Spoon mixture over cookie pieces, coating evenly. Bake until cookie pieces are crisp, about 10-20 minutes depending on cookie type.

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