Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Cookie Exchange

A few years ago, one of my friends hosted a holiday cookie exchange. This year, Jill has two cookie exchange parties - one at work and one through church.

It might be time to brush off that idea around here. Depending on how many friends or family members you invite, you can end up with a variety of cookies - without spending days upon end in the kitchen.

Here's how:

1. Choose a date and time that is most convenient for people's busy schedules - either weekdays evenings or a Saturday morning usually work well. If you're having the exchange at work, holding it during the lunch hour would probably be most convenient. Plan early. People are more likely to attend if you give as much advance notice as possible early in the season.

2. Invite 8 - 12 friends. You need enough people to have a variety of cookies, but too many people means too much baking for everyone.

3. Determine how many cookies each person must bring. Each baker gets to take home the same amount of cookies they bring.

4. When your guests RSVP, be sure to ask them what kind of cookie they are bringing so you can have the best variety possible. You might want to suggest that people make something other than chocolate chip! Also remind them to bring extra containers for the goodies they will be picking up.

5. Have each guest bring enough copies of her recipe so that each guest (and you!) get a copy of the recipe. That way, each guest goes home with new recipes to go along with those cookies!

6. Set the mood with holiday music and light a seasonal candle for a little atmosphere.

7. Prepare some simple snacks for your guests to enjoy while they're at the party. If you'd like, you can ask each person to bring an extra half dozen cookies for a communal plate so everyone can sample the cookies at the party. Add a few savory snacks and some beverages - spiced cider, hot chocolate or even milk - and you have a party!

8. Turn your cookie exchange into a cookie gifting party. Set out gift tags, decorative treat bags and pretty ribbon. This will give your guests the chance to assemble gift bags for co-workers, neighbors, teacher and anyone else they'd like to give a delicious, homemade treat.

9. Supply extra plastic bags or containers for guests to transport their cookies home. There are sure to be some who forget to bring their own.

10. Stash the cookies in the freezer until your holiday celebration ... if you can resist sampling!

Jiffy Peanut Butter Cup Cookies
1 cup chunk-style peanut butter
1/2 cup shortening
1 2-layer yellow cake mix
2 eggs
2 tbsp. water
Reece's mini Peanut Butter Cups

In large mixer bowl, cut peanut butter and shortening into dry cake mix using low speed of electric mixer. Add eggs and water. Mix well to form dough. Using about 1 tablespoon of dough for each cookie, shape into balls.

Place each ball into a mini-muffin cup. Bake at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes or until cookie is lightly browned. Remove pan to cooling rack. Press unwrapped mini Peanut Butter Cup into each cookie.

After about 15 minutes of cooling, use a knife to remove each cookie from the muffin tins. Cool completely.

Try some of these other favorite cookies from Kim's County Line for your holiday cookie trays or for cookie exchanges:

You can find more tried-and-true recipes by going to the search function on Kim's County Line (near the upper left side) and type in cookies or bar cookies! Or if you need personal suggestions, just ask in the comment section!


  1. I retired this year, but man, what a great idea for a holiday office party! Am going to tell my former co-workers when I see them for lunch tomorrow. This is the second time this morning I saw the Reese's recipe, so I'd better try that one.

  2. It's easy, but always makes a big impression on the holiday tray. Hope you enjoy!