Friends and neighbors often gather for the popular once-a-year Holiday cookie swap party to exchange a dozen of their best holiday cookies. Traditionally each party guest goes home with a dozen different cookies. Bakers often take great pleasure in presenting the most unusual cookies. Sometimes being inventive doesn’t require a lot of extra work. It just takes finding a creative twist on an old idea. Stick to familiar holiday flavors such as peppermint, ginger, fruity, coconut and chocolate. It’s even fine to cheat by buying refrigerated sugar cookie dough.
Hint: Cookie Swaps are great fun for any holiday or just for an evening get together with friends!
Chocolate chip peppermint cookies
One beloved Christmas cookie flavor is peppermint. One idea is to bake “hidden cookies,” which look ordinary, but hide a delicious peppermint candy inside. Purchase the small peppermint chocolate candies and then wrap a spoonful of sugar cookie dough around the candies. Bake at 350 degrees for about 8 minutes. Another option is to make or buy the standard chocolate chip cookie dough, but add ½ cup of crushed peppermint stick candy.
Gingerbread cookies are the perfect Christmas cookies to make for Christmas cookie swap parties that include children. However, for people who are attending an event for adults, ginger creams are an excellent choice. To make ginger creams make the standard dough using 1/3 cup shortening, ½ cup sugar, 1 egg, ½ cup water, 2 cups flour, a dash of salt, a few dashes of baking soda, 1 teaspoon ginger, a dash each of ground cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg. After baking at 400 degrees for 8 minutes on a greased baking sheet, let cool. Then frost with a butter frosting or mocha butter frosting.
Fruit cake was a popular holiday dessert in the old days, but not everyone will try it at modern holiday parties. Instead of being that traditional, try making holiday apricot balls. They are easy to make. Simply take 8 ounces of dried ground apricots and mix with 2 ¼ cup of flaked coconut, ¾ cup of sweetened condensed milk and 1 cup of chopped pecans or walnuts. Blend ingredients and then shape into balls.
From chocolate pinwheels to standards chocolate chip cookies, all chocolate Christmas cookies receive the approval of cookie lovers. However, one of the favorite chocolate Christmas cookies is the chocolate crinkle because they look like balls of chocolate rolled in snow. To make the recipe, take ½ cup of vegetable oil and melt with 4 ounces of unsweetened chocolate. Then mix with 2 cups of sugar, 4 eggs, 2 teaspoons of vanilla, 2 cups of flour, 2 teaspoons of baking powder and a dash of salt. After chilling the dough overnight, roll the dough into balls and then into a bowl of powdered sugar. Bake on a greased baking sheet for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.
Some people prefer to have a Christmas cookie baking party instead of a cookie swap. If planning a baking party for children, use a standard sugar cookie recipe. Place out bowls of green, red and blue colored icing as well as sprinkles and candies for decorating the holiday-shaped sugar cookies. Whether it’s for an adult Christmas cookie exchange or Christmas party for children, baking Christmas cookies often gets everyone in the Christmas mood and fills the home with the sweet scents of the season.
To complete your cookie swap process, once the cookies are all baked, package them in jars, bags, boxes or paper. Beautiful packages promise very special cookies.