Cookie swaps embody all my favorite parts of the holiday season: giving and receiving, spending time with people I care about…and baking cookies. A good cookie swap has something for everyone, from the chocolate lover to the classic Christmas cookie aficionado. That’s what you’ll find in my collection of excellent cookie recipes below.
The Easiest Way to a Perfect Cookie
I’m never one to go with the most basic recipe—I always like to do something a little bit wow-worthy—but with four little kids and host duties to attend to, I don’t have the time or energy to go all-out like I once did. That’s why I love these Slice & Bake Chocolate Cookies.
Any cookie dough that can be mixed, sliced and baked is going to make life a little easier, but these are particularly fabulous because of their double-chocolate flavor and because they have a little extra-festive flair around the edges. Plus, they only require 20 minutes of prep time! While I cool the dough in fridge for an hour before slicing, I play a really fun game with the littles called Clean Up. You may have heard of it!
In French, “nonpareil” means “not the same,” so the name for these adorable, multi-colored cookie-decorators makes total sense. But go ahead, be a rule-breaker: Use any color, size or combination you like (OMG: METALLIC). This year, I’m letting the kids help me pick ’em out. They love getting in there to help me roll the log of dough in the nonpareils…and that’s why it’s important to do this on a lipped baking sheet. When it comes to getting everywhere, nonpareils are worse than glitter!
What to Bring to a Cookie Swap
Looking for more extraordinary cookie swap inspiration? Take a gander at these these unexpected choices.
Warning: These Mexican Wedding Cookies are the first to go at any swap party. Their buttery flavor and sweet powdered sugar coating are a charmingly delicious match.
Got a hankering for something both savory and sweet? Try these delectable Chinese 5-Spice Cookies. Topped with a powdered-sugar glaze and almonds, they’re as pleasing to the eye as they are to the palate.
Another personal favorite, these Cranberry-Cream Cheese Pinwheel Cookies are stuffed with cranberries, apricot preserves and pecans. They’re sturdy, not gooey, so they’re great for packing up, and they look amazing when added to a spread.
Taste the best flavors of the season in these Mint Chocolate Truffle Cookies. Once you’re done with cookie swaps, these make the perfect cookies to leave out for Santa with a glass of milk.
Think outside of the circle and bring Caramel-Chocolate Cookie Bars to your next cookie swap. Made with shortbread cookies and topped with caramel, coconut and chocolate drizzle, they’ve got it all—and a bit extra!
What will be your contribution to this year’s cookie swap?