On the Eighth Day of Christmas--Christmas Cookie Recipes and Cookie Exchange

We love making (and eating) Christmas cookies this time of year! One of our favorite traditions with friends is an annual cookie exchange.

For a cookie exchange, a group of people each make a certain number of cookies (usually several dozen, depending on how many cookies you want to take home). If you have a small group, you can coordinate to make sure no two people bring the same type of cookie. With a larger group, people can just bring whatever type of cookies they want and you will probably have a good enough variety. Then, you get together at a party... you can have other treats or fun activities at the party as well. We have sometimes paired this with a white elephant game or a yummy Christmas breakfast. Then, before you leave, you take home as many plates of others' cookies as you brought. For example, if each person brought 6 dozen cookies, then each person takes home 6 dozen different cookies that others brought. You can keep these cookies for your family, but what we usually do is redistribute most of these cookies among plates to deliver to other friends or neighbors. (I make sure to sample at least one of every type of cookie, though!) We take our kids out and if we are brave we do a little caroling, too, as we deliver cookies. One elderly neighbor last year was blown away. "In all my years, I've never been caroled to before," she said. It was fun to see her delight at the cookies and the simple rendition of Jingle Bells that my kids sang for her.

So, below are a few of our favorite cookie recipes that we have made for our cookie exchanges and for delivering to neighbors (and eating ourselves):

Gingerbread Cookies
(You can cut these into the shapes of gingerbread men if you want!)


1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. molasses
1 slightly beaten egg
1/2 c. softened butter

2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
2 t. ground ginger
1 t. ground cloves
1 t. ground cinnamon
1 t. ground allspice

1. Mix brown sugar, molasses, egg and butter in a large mixing bowl.
2. In a separate bowl, stir together remaining dry ingredients. Then, add dry ingredients to the other mixing bowl and blend. Dough will be very stiff, so you may need to use your hands.
3. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
5. Roll dough to 1/4 inch thick on a lightly floured surface. Cut into shapes with a cookie cutter. Place cookies on a lightly greased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.
6. Bake for 10 minutes in a preheated oven.
7. If you desire, you can frost and decorate these, just as you would frost and decorate sugar cookies (see below for icing recipe).

Sugar Cookies

You can't forget our all-time favorite sugar cookies! Pull out those Christmas cookie cutters and try out this delicious and easy sugar cookie recipe.

Chocolate Caramel Cookies
(Rolo cookies)

2 1/2 c. flour
3/4 c. unsweetened cocoa
1 t. baking soda
1 c. sugar
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. butter, softened
2 t. vanilla
2 eggs
30-36 Rolos
2 T. sugar

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. In a large mixing bowl, add sugar, brown sugar, butter, eggs, and vanilla. Mix together until well blended.
3. Add flour, cocoa, and baking soda, and mix well.
4. Refrigerate and chill dough for 30 minutes.
5. Roll dough into 1 inch balls and place 1 Rolo in the center of each dough ball.
6. Form the dough ball around the majority of the Rolo.
7. Roll each dough ball in sugar.
8. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet for 7-10 minutes.
9. Let cool on pan for 1 minute then take off and place on cookie cooling rack.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 c. shortening
1 c. sugar
1 c. pumpkin
1 egg
1 t. vanilla
2 c. flour
1 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. chocolate chips

1. Blend shortening, sugar, pumpkin, egg and vanilla.
2. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, & salt.
3. Add dry ingredients to blended mixture. Fold in chocolate chips.
4. Drop by spoonfuls on ungreased cookie sheet.
5. Bake 10-12 minutes at 375 degrees

Boil together 3 T. melted butter, 3 T. milk, and 1/2 c. brown sugar for 2 minutes. Add enough powdered sugar to make icing easy to spread. Spread on cookies immediately.

Chocolate-dipped Oreos


Chocolate chips
Crushed candy canes

Melt chocolate chips over a low heat, as in a fondue pot. Dip oreos in melted chocolate. Top with crushed candy canes.

If you buy double-stuff oreos, you can put sucker sticks in the middle to make them oreo pops. You can also add different embellishments on top, such as sprinkles, or drizzled white chocolate or icing in a contrasting color.

What other types of cookies and treats do YOU like to make this time of year? I'd love to hear your comments!


1 comment:

Kathryn said...

Yum.i love your pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.mi might have to make some.