Can you believe the year is almost over and Christmas and New Years are right around the corner? Yeah, me either!! But it did get me to thinking, how fun would it be to host a Cookie Exchange with my girlfriends!
Two important questions I asked myself, as I mulled over the idea. Do we love cookies? YES! Do we love getting together? YES!!
It’s settled, a cookie exchange is set into motion.
Host a Cookie Exchange
First, create your guest list. I have several girlfriends who like to bake and love Christmas, so they are a perfect fit. I decide to keep my number to an even, small amount. Eight ladies, including me. It’s small enough to be intimate, but will still give us a good cookie variety. The more ladies you have, the more cookies you need to make.
Then, pick a date, not too close to Christmas that you feel rushed, but close enough that cookies can be enjoyed up to Christmas. Who knows, Santa might get a pretty amazing plate of cookies this year.
Next, I think of the rules. Yes, even the Cookie Exchange has rules – sigh. All cookies must have a flour base, no bars, no cookie mixes, or meringues. They cannot be store bought. One dozen per lady, plus an extra to share. A copy of their recipe. RSVP by (Date). No burnt cookies. I think that should cover it. At least I hope so!
The tough part will be choosing a theme. There are plenty of Cookie Exchange invitations for you to select from. You will want to try to tie your invitation to the theme. Like Cookies for Santa, you’d want something with Santa and cookies on it. Or, if you don’t have a theme like me, pick something Christmas-y or wintry. I found ones that have a chalkboard background and a candy cane edging. Love them! So perfect for the season. And they help me pick a theme for decorating; Candy Canes!
Triple Delight Cookies
As the party nears, it’s time to figure out what type of cookie, you are going to make. You know what the other ladies are making, so you can kind of gauge. I like to make Triple Delight Cookies if I can.
Here is the recipe – This recipe makes 16 cookies per batch.
- ½ Cup unsalted butter – room temp
- 1/3 Cup peanut butter
- 1 large egg + 1 yolk
- ¾ Cup light brown sugar – packed
- ½ Cup sugar
- 3tsp Vanilla extract
- 2tsp cornstarch
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 Cup mini chocolate chips – semi sweet
- ½ Cup peanut butter chips – OPTIONAL
- 1 Cup old fashioned oats – NOT instant or quick cook
- Microwave safe bowl, add butter and Peanut Butter, NOT the chips. And heat for 45 Seconds.
- Let this cool, then add the egg and egg yolk. Add the sugar and brown sugar, vanilla. Mix together
- Add Oats, flour, cornstarch, and salt.
- Add in chips and stir together.
- Preheat the oven to 350.
- I use a large ice cream scooper to plop the cookies on the cookie sheets.
- These cookies do NOT spread, they stay in their ball and are soft and chewy once you bake them.
- Bake these for 8-10 minutes. After 10 minutes check them, they might need another minute.
- TIP: If you want more cookies use a smaller scooper.
These cookies go great with a fresh glass of milk. Almost makes me want to be Santa!
Candy Cane Stands
Ok back to planning! Two days before the party, why not make little candy cane stands with a note saying what the cookies are! This is a simple task to do. All you need are candy canes, hot glue gun, ribbon, and name card.
Glue the candy canes stems together, keeping the hooks apart to hold your name tag. Leave the plastic on the candy cane.
Tie the ribbon around the stems.
Write the name of the cookie on the name tag and set on the hooks of the candy cane.
How cute!! My tablecloth base will be red, with a small white table runner, so these will fit into the theme.
Peppermint Stick Platters
All the platters for the cookies will be peppermint stick platters that I made too! These are way simple to make, even the kids can help you out. Those are the kinds of crafts I love.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Use a baking sheet with edges in the size you want your platters to be. I used a cookie sheet that is 9 X13
- I lined it with Parchment paper so that the peppermint doesn’t stick.
- Then I arranged the peppermint sticks. NOT the candy canes, just the sticks, in a design.
- Placed it in the oven to melt together, for about 10 Minutes.
- You want them to just melt together to stick, NOT clump together.
- Let it stand for 30-45 minutes to set and cool down. Then repeat for as many platters as you need.
Oh and don’t forget about snacks for your guests. You can’t live on cookies alone. Or maybe you can! Of course, we’ll have milk, to go with the cookies and some other light refreshments. You might want to think about gifts for your ladies too. I decided on red and white aprons with their names on them. Plus, make sure everyone has a cookie platter to take home!
Remember this is about fun, not stressing. Mingle with your guest, try every cookie, and talk about the upcoming holiday events!
Written By: Amy Garnet