What should I make for my cookie exchange party? That was a frequent question on our (now defunct) Cookie Exchange bulletin board. Usually the person asking the question wanted a Christmas cookie that is not too difficult but will yield results that will impress everyone at the party for it’s appearance and taste. Below is a baker’s dozen of tried & true Christmas cookie recipes for just such occasions:
- Mexican Wedding Cakes – these look like little snowballs and they have a wonderful tase and melt-in-your-mouth texture. Dress these up by sprinkling edible glitter over them.
- Spritz – uses a cookie press to pump out all kinds of interesting shapes, has a buttery taste, and can be tinted in Christmas colors and decorated with dragées, sprinkles, and colored sugars.
- Pecan Tarts (or tassies) – look and taste like miniature pecan pies.
- Sugar Cookies – prettily decorated with Royal Icing, these could very well be the hit of the party.
- Peanut Blossoms – the peanutty cookie topped with Hershey’s Kiss. These can be dressed up with the striped Hugs instead of Kisses and topped with colored sugar.
- Thumbprint Cookies – buttery cookies rolled in chopped walnuts and filled with your favorite jam. If you’re worried about portability, place a half of a candied cherry in each center before baking, instead of
- Pistachio Christmas Ribbon Bars – an amazingly easy bar that is quite festive with the green pistachios and red ribbon of jam in the center.
- Santa’s Whiskers – a slice-and-bake refrigerator cookie dressed up with chopped cherries and rolled in coconut.
- Clothespin Cookies – hollow horns made of puff pastry filled with cream. Dress them up with colored sugars.
- Pumpkin Pie Biscotti – wonderful for dunking in your coffee. Dress these up by dipping one end in melted white chocolate.
- Springerle – an “old world” contribution that always looks fabulous. For the party these must be made with a real Springerle stamp. Dress them up by highlighting them with gold lustre dust.
- Cathedral Windows – colored mini-marshmallows create a stained-glass effect in the chocolate cookie (it’s really a candy, but that’s OK). Kids adore these…grown-ups too.
- Gingerbread People – pipe on their faces and clothes with Royal Icing and decorate with silver and gold dragées.
Need more recipes and ideas for your cookie exchange party? Check out our Top 25 Christmas Cookies list, or head over to this Cookie Exchange Pinterest board for lots more ideas!
Guest poster Rachael Book offers some creative solutions for packaging up your baked gifts!
Who doesn’t love to receive cookies? Whether they reek of sugar or dairy- and gluten-free, cookies make great Christmas presents. Instead of dumping them into an unattractive (albeit very practical) plastic container, try these cookie packaging ideas for a complete Christmas gift that gives your baking skills justice!
Chinese Takeout Boxes
The distinct shape, handle and size of Chinese takeout boxes make them ideal holiday cookie containers. Available at Asian food merchants, paper supply stores and large grocery stores, Chinese takeout boxes can be made more Christmas-y when you wrap them with Christmas wrapper (any kind will do), tie some ribbon (green and red), or even just drawing red stripes on them with a marker to make them look like candy canes. Don’t forget to write “Special Delivery”!
Inspired by Marthastewart.com , bread pans are a rustic yet beautiful way to package holiday cookies and biscuits. This type of packaging is perfect for delicate cookies, as they can hold their shape (as long as they are not dropped or jostled during transport). Line them with tissue and wrap with gorgeous crimson ribbon to add a festive touch. Make it more child-friendly by sticking a few Santa Claus stickers or snowmen on the outside and urging the kids to keep it as a container for pens or keys.
Vintage Cookie Jars
Beautiful, meaningful and sometimes quirky, vintage cookie jars make a homemade cookie much more special. Just be sure to clean them carefully before putting anything in. We love the old ceramic cookie jars with Christmas themes like Santa or Mrs. Claus, but any cookie jar will do. This will also be a great addition to a home during the holidays and even year round!
Jam Jar Containers
Clear jam jars are a fun and attractive way to package small cookies, especially ones made with preserves or jellies. They show off colorful cookies well, and don’t even need lids, just tie on a bit of colorful tissue paper over the opening of the jar with twine and you’re done!
Complete your recipients’ cookie experience when you give them their treats in a large mug. This way, all they need is milk and they can set out a bunch for Santa, or start eating the batch on their own! A plain mug can be used and personalized with craft glue or just lined with craft paper or tissue in red or green. Mark them with the receiver’s name for a fun, personalized gift. A bit of patience, a dash of creativity, and a lot of love will make your holiday biscuits a Christmas favorite. Try these cookie packaging ideas to wow your family and friends with your inner Martha Stewart!
About the Author:
Rachel Book is a part time researcher and analyst for an online retailer of live Christmas trees. For Christmas this year, she is giving out homemade vegan carob fudge cookies in vintage cookie jars to family and friends.