Our Mini Family: Christmas Cookie Exchange Party


Nov 16, 2015

Christmas Cookie Exchange Party

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BakeInTheFun #CollectiveBias


Christmas cookie exchanges are one of my favorite things about the holiday baking season! So many people share their unique cookie recipes that have stories behind them, and it's a baking season filled with nostalgia and good cheer. Since Adam and I work from home, we don't have any co-workers to organize a cookie exchange with during the week. Rather than being Scrooges, we decided to take it upon ourselves to host a Christmas Cookie Exchange Party at our house and invite our friends to try some of our recipes (as well as bring some of their own cookies!) Today, I'm sharing the details from our party planning as well as sharing a fabulous giveaway for a fancy kitchen mixer!




See all of our Christmas cookie recipes and party tutorials below!


Some of you already know this about me, but I'm kind of an overachiever. So when I spent my entire weekend baking four different cookie recipes in preparation for our party, that is totally normal for me! I'm sharing four different cookie recipes today, in hopes that you will find at least one recipe you'd like to try! 

Lumps of Coal Cookies
*yields about 1 1/2 dozen cookies

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup of M&M's® Hot Chocolate
  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup of baker's fine granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup of dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of dark cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons of Great Value 2% Milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
Directions:
  1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees (F). Prep your cookie sheets by either layering them with silicone baking mats, or you can use parchment paper. 
  2. In a mixer, combine butter with your granulated sugar and dark brown sugar. Combine until your mixture is fluffy.
  3. Crack an egg into the batch and mix in the egg and vanilla. Ensure it's mixing evenly and scrape the bowl as needed. 
  4. In a separate large bowl, mix flour with cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda. Mix well. Slowly add in this dry ingredient mix into your mixer bowl, and whisk well as you add more ingredients. 
  5. Once majority of the ingredients have been mixed really well, slowly pour in your milk and continue to mix. Repeat this step with your M&M's® Hot Chocolate.
  6. Using a cookie scoop or large spoon, place cookie dough balls onto baking mat/parchment paper, and leave about 1 1/2 inches in-between the cookies. Feel free to use a few extra M&M's® Hot Chocolate and place them on top of your cookie dough balls, so you will be able to see the candy on the tops of the cookies. 
  7. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the edges are hardened. 
  8. Cool your cookies on a cooling rack, or remove them from the baking sheet with a spatula to a flat room-temperature surface. 
  9. Serve warm or cooled! Whatever you prefer--pair these cookies with Great Value 2% Milk, because it tastes awesome!


White Peppermint Sugar Cookie 
*yields about 2 dozen cookies

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup of M&M's® White Peppermint
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup of of baker's fine granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup of light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 small pack of instant vanilla pudding (3.4 oz)
  • 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees (F).  Prep your cookie sheets by either layering them with silicone baking mats, or you can use parchment paper. 
  2. In a mixer, combine butter and instant vanilla pudding with your granulated sugar and brown sugar. Combine well.
  3. Crack your eggs into the batch and mix in the eggs and vanilla extract. Ensure it's mixing evenly and scrape the bowl as needed. 
  4. In a separate large bowl, mix flour with salt and baking soda. Mix well. Slowly add in this dry ingredient mix into your mixer bowl, and whisk well as you add more ingredients. 
  5. Once majority of the ingredients have been mixed really well, slowly pour in your M&M's® White Peppermint.
  6. Using a cookie scoop or large spoon, place cookie dough balls onto baking mat/parchment paper, and leave about 1 1/2 inches in-between the cookies. Feel free to use a few extra M&M's® White Peppermint and place them on top of your cookie dough balls, so you will be able to see the candy on the tops of the cookies.
  7. Bake for 10-13 minutes, or until the edges have started to lightly brown and harden.
  8. Cool your cookies on a cooling rack, or remove them from the baking sheet with a spatula to a flat room-temperature surface. 
  9. Serve warm or cooled! Whatever you prefer--pair these cookies with Great Value 2% Milk, because it tastes awesome!




Nutty for Christmas Cookie (Oatmeal & Peanut)
*yields about 1 1/2 dozen cookies

Ingredients: 
  • 1 cup of M&M's® Holiday Peanut
  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup of baker's fine granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup of dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups of of baking oats
Directions:
  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees (F). Prep your cookie sheets by either layering them with silicone baking mats, or you can use parchment paper. 
  2. In a mixer, combine butter with your granulated sugar and dark brown sugar. Combine until your mixture is fluffy.
  3. Crack an egg into the batch and mix in the egg and vanilla. Ensure it's mixing evenly and scrape the bowl as needed. 
  4. In a separate large bowl, mix flour with salt, ground cinnamon, and baking soda. Mix well. Slowly add in this dry ingredient mix into your mixer bowl, and whisk well as you add more ingredients.
  5. Once majority of the ingredients have been mixed really well, slowly pour in your oats and continue to mix. Repeat this step with your M&M's® Holiday Peanut.
  6. Using a cookie scoop or large spoon, place cookie dough balls onto baking mat/parchment paper, and leave about 1 1/2 inches in-between the cookies. Feel free to use a few extra M&M's® Holiday Peanut and place them on top of your cookie dough balls, so you will be able to see the candy on the tops of the cookies. 
  7. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the edges have started to brown and have hardened. 
  8. Cool your cookies on a cooling rack, or remove them from the baking sheet with a spatula to a flat room-temperature surface. 
  9. Serve warm or cooled! Whatever you prefer--pair these cookies with Great Value 2% Milk, because it tastes awesome!





Santa's Favorite Cookie (Chocolate Chip with M&M's®)
*yields about 2 dozen large cookies

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup of M&M's® Holiday Milk Chocolate
  • 3/4 cup of baking chocolate chips
  • 2 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup of of baker's fine granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup of dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon of cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
Directions:
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees (F).  Prep your cookie sheets by either layering them with silicone baking mats, or you can use parchment paper. 
  2. In a mixer, combine butter with your granulated sugar and brown sugar. Combine well.
  3. Crack your egg into the batch and mix in the egg with the vanilla extract. Ensure it's mixing evenly and scrape the bowl as needed. 
  4. In a separate large bowl, mix flour with salt, cornstarch, and baking soda. Mix well. Slowly add in this dry ingredient mix into your mixer bowl, and whisk well as you add more ingredients. 
  5. Once majority of the ingredients have been mixed really well, slowly pour in your M&M's® Holiday Milk Chocolate and baking chocolate chips.
  6. Using a cookie scoop or large spoon, place cookie dough balls onto baking mat/parchment paper, and leave about 1 1/2 inches in-between the cookies. Feel free to use a few extra M&M's® Holiday Milk Chocolate and place them on top of your cookie dough balls, so you will be able to see the candy on the tops of the cookies.
  7. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the edges have started to lightly brown and harden.
  8. Cool your cookies on a cooling rack, or remove them from the baking sheet with a spatula to a flat room-temperature surface. 
  9. Serve warm or cooled! Whatever you prefer--pair these cookies with Great Value 2% Milk, because it tastes awesome!

Now that I've got you drooling over these cookie recipes, let's check out this fabulous sweepstakes from MARS Holiday Baking! Good luck on the sweepstakes--I'd love it if one of our readers won!

Holiday #BakeInTheFun

Did you enter the sweepstakes? Awesome! Now, let's check out my party tutorials!


Hot Cocoa in a Cone Party Favor:



These hot cocoa party favors are such a hit! To put together our hot cocoa in a cone party favors, we used: plastic bags shaped like a cone, twist ties, instant hot cocoa powder mix, mini chocolate chips, and mini marshmallows. 




For each cone, I started by adding 1/2 cup of instant hot cocoa as the first layer. Then, I added 1/2 cup of miniature chocolate chips, followed by a layer of 1/2 cup of miniature marshmallows. I finished off the bag by twisting it tightly, and closing it with a twist tie. 




These favors take about 2 minutes each to make, so it's a really great way to make a lot of party favors for multiple people (in a short amount of time). Last year, I gave these little favors out and they were such a hit, so I knew I wanted to make them again this year for our Christmas Cookie Exchange Party. I mean, c'mon--what goes better with cookies than milk? Why hot cocoa, of course!



Snowmen Milk Bottles:


I'm not quite sure what it is that makes drinking milk out of a glass bottle better than plastic cups, but it just does! I guess there's no explanation needed when your milk glasses are THIS cute! For our snowmen milk bottles, we used: small glass bottles, plaid ribbon, small buttons, a hot glue gun, and scissors. 



The first thing I did was clean out the glass bottles--this is so important if you're anything like me, and you find that you buy your glassware ahead of time (and then store it for weeks, or even months). Make sure your glasses are clean and dry, and then you can begin your DIY project. The first step I did was glue the buttons to the bottles, and then I measured and cut the ribbon down to fit around the bottle like a little miniature scarf. Using the hot glue gun, I adhered a piece of the ribbon to the bottle to secure it, and then I wrapped it around the bottle and tied it off like I would with a regular scarf. Finally, after I filled the glasses with milk, I finished the styled look with an adorable, gold paper straw.




I served Walmart's Great Value 2% Milk at my Christmas Cookie Exchange Party because they have partnered with Feeding America; purchase 2 bags of M&M’s® at Walmart (9.4 oz bags or larger) and up to a gallon of milk will be donated to The Great American Milk Drive to support locals in the community! Milk isn't often donated to food banks, and because of that, many families don't have access to milk and all of its essential nutrients. For just $5, you can donate milk to a family in need.

DIY Cookie Basket from a Paper Plate:

Are you a visual person like me? Check out this picture tutorial for our cookie basket below!


For our cookie baskets made from paper plates, I used: paper plates, scissors, regulation clear tape, and some decorative ribbon. First, cut two slits on each side of the plate and make sure that you cut right up to the inner circle of your plate (if you don't have an inner circle, experiment with a few paper plates beforehand and see where you should cut up until). Then, I folded the cut-out piece towards the center. The next step is folding both sides of the plate towards the center--by doing this, it creates the shape of the basket edges. Finally, use some tape to adhere the sides together so that the paper plate forms into a basket. Top off your paper plate cookie baskets with some beautiful, decorative ribbon to complete the look!


Everyone always loves the cookie baskets because they are a lot more sturdy than you'd think!




Do you see that Pillsbury™ Funfetti® Holiday Cake Mix in there? This cake mix is awesome! Since we were having a cookie party, I bought an extra box of Pillsbury™ Funfetti® Holiday Cake Mix so we could make these M&M's® Holiday Snowflake Cookies if we wanted to try a fifth cookie recipe!

I absolutely love baking with M&M's®! Not only are they really versatile for different recipes, but I enjoy snacking on the extras (since it's one of my favorite chocolate candies, too!) Switching up my cookie recipes and adding M&M's® keeps baking fun and exciting, and I love looking online at even more holiday recipes for my Christmas baking inspiration. 


And there you have it! Our Christmas Cookie Exchange Party was a total hit with our friends--everyone enjoyed the cookies, and the snowmen milk bottles were a huge hit! What would you serve at your own Christmas Cookie Exchange party?



25 comments :

  1. Those little Snowmen milk bottles are ADORABLE! So much fun! I always love a great cookie exchange! :)

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    Replies
    1. where do you find these little bottles?

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    2. I bought the plain milk bottles at Michaels craft supply store :-)

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  2. These are all so amazing! And I totally agree about those milk bottle snowmen! LOVE THEM! Those cookies look delicious. I'm rather glad we live a few states away from each other, you would be bad for my diet!

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    Replies
    1. Haha I am bad for my own diet! #MyOwnWorstEnemy

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  3. This is so stinking cute! What a fun idea.

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  4. Oh my goodness!! There are so many adorable ideas! I just LOVE the little snowmen milk glasses--presh!

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  5. So now I need to host a cookie exchange, these cookie recipes look mouth-watering!!! Love the little stockings, too cute.

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  6. how chocolate m & ms??? WHAT?? I haven't seen those! I need to go get those!!

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    Replies
    1. YES!! M&M's® Hot Chocolate are so great!

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  7. SOOO keeping this cookie recipe handy! Yummm looks so good! And the party table... gorgeous!!!
    XOXO

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  8. Oh my how cute! I love all the cookies and cute ideas! Anyone couldn't help but get into the Christmas sprit with this spread!

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    Replies
    1. So true! We were playing Christmas music when we were decorating!

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  9. Such a cute idea for the party and so many recipes to choose from!!!

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  10. The cones is such a brilliant idea. I cannot believe how creative and easy it is to do a holiday cookie exchange. This looks like so much fun.

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    Replies
    1. The cones were a huge hit! I think I'm going to give them out as stocking stuffers, too!

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  11. So many fun and wonderful ideas! The cookies look yummy and the decorations are so fun. I bet the kids are really going to love it and moms this holiday season.

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  12. This is such an adorable party idea! I'm getting so excited for Christmas :)

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  13. Those little paper plates made into a lil cubby to carry cookies is totally adorable. I'm thinking of buying some Cmas theme'd plates, then saran wrap pulled up & ribbon. So cute

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    Replies
    1. That would be totally cute, Stacey! Great idea! I need to find some Christmas paper plates now, since I think I'm going to join you and try the same thing!

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  14. This is the cutest cookie party ever!

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  15. Awesome party ideas! I love the Hot Cocoa in a Cone Party Favor! (client)

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