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12 Easy Yet Impressive Recipes for Cookie Exchanges

For some of us, it’s a yearly conundrum: you’re invited to a cookie exchange party but don’t have the time, or the talent, to make something IMPRESSIVE!  Or at least, you think you don’t! You’re expected to show off, and give them away, so you want them to be beautiful (and delicious)…but it all just seems so complicated and time-consuming!   Here are our top dozen recipes for cookies that are quick and easy to make, yet look like you slaved for hours in the kitchen.  

You’ll be the hit of your cookie exchange party and you won’t even have broken a sweat.

Holly Cookies

Holly Cookies
Corn flakes coated with green-tinted marshmallow make a festive and convincing bouquet of holiday greenery.

Cathedral Windows
More of a candy than a cookie, slices of colored marshmallows create the “stained glass” in a chocolaty window surrounded by flaked coconut.

Ho-Ho Snowballs
Lovely white chocolate truffles rolled in coconut.

Scotch Shortbread
An easy and buttery shortbread recipe. Simply delicious. We know it should be “Scottish” but please read our explanation!

Cherry Thumbprints
Walnut-dusted sablé cookies with a glacé cherry in the center.

Peanut Butter Blossoms

Peanut Blossoms
Peanut butter cookies topped with a Hershey’s Kiss. Use the striped kisses (“Hugs”) and colored sugars for maximum wow factor!

Ricotta Cheese Cookies
This much-loved Italian cookie recipe is quick, easy, delicious, and pretty. Don’t omit the sprinkles.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
These are gorgeous with the chocolate glaze, which is really quick and easy to put together. For a cookie exchange, sprinkles are a must.

Amish Ginger Cookies
Traditional gingerbread drop cookies from Amish country. Soft and flavorful. Use colored sugars.

Eggnog Snickerdoodles
The classic snickerdoodle cookie is updated with eggnog flavors.

Santa’s Whiskers
Refrigerator or “icebox” cookies with chopped cherries and pecans, rolled in flaked coconut.

Pistachio Christmas Ribbon Bars
A festive bar with a shortbread crust, red jam filling and a crumble topping scattered with chopped green pistachios.

For more fabulous ideas for your cookie exchange party, head on over to Robin Olson’s Cookie-Exchange.com. The site hasn’t been updated in years, but don’t be put off by its 1990s look because it’s still online and absolutely chock full of great information from the woman who originally made cookie swaps famous back in the day. Invitation ideas, party games, cookie exchange rules, recipes…it’s all there. The old message board is also a treasure trove for cookie exchange info!


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