Holiday Cookie Exchange

Don’t forget to enter our giveaway for the cookie kit!

Have you ever hosted a holiday cookie exchange. I host or attend one almost every year. I love them for so many reasons, getting together with friends, baking, and of course coming home with tons of different types of cookies that I didn’t have to bake!

My kids participated in a cookie exchange for their youth group this week and came home with two bags of cookies!

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This is a great way to fill your home with delicious cookies without all the work. Whether you are hosting or attending a cookie exchange here are a few tips.

Invite a lot of people.

With the holidays many people have very busy schedules with office parties, school events, and recitals. You’ll probably only have half the people you invite able to attend. And even if everyone else shows up, that just means you’ll have more cookies!

Remind everyone to bring the recipe card for their cookie or email you their recipe ahead of time.

If you have a copier in your home you can make copies of each recipe for your guests so they can take the recipe home with them and recreate all the delicious recipes.

Also make sure you let people know how many cookies to bring to the party. A good recommendation is double the number of guests at the party. So if 20 people are attending the cookie swap ask people to bring 40 cookies. That way there are plenty of cookies to eat while the party is going on.

Find/ buy containers for people to use to take home their cookies.

I’ve always used shirt boxes (which can be free if you save them from gifts) or purchase them at Target, Walmart or the Dollar Store. Many people will have a container already since they brought cookies, but have a few extra just in case.

Print cookie cards.

If you aren’t sharing the recipe, at least share the name of each cookie. Ask your guests to tell you ahead of time what cookie they will be bringing so you can make cute cards for each set of cookies.

Here are two recipes for delicious cookies that can even be made ahead of time.

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Walnut Moons

Walnut Moons

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Country Crock® Spread
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts

Instructions

  1. Beat Country Crock® Spread with sugar in large bowl until light and fluffy.
  2. Beat in vanilla.
  3. Gradually beat in flour until blended.
  4. Turn dough onto plastic wrap and and shape in a flat circle.
  5. Refrigerate 1 hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 350°.
  7. Divide dough into 8 pie shaped wedges.
  8. Roll out each wedge on a lightly floured surface into 1/2-inch log 12 inches long;
  9. Cut each log into 4 equal pieces.
  10. Shape into crescents and arrange on ungreased baking sheets.
  11. Bake 15 minutes or until edges are lightly golden.
  12. Let stand 2 minutes on wire rack.
  13. Remove from sheets and sprinkle generously with additional confectioners’ sugar while still
  14. warm.
  15. Cool completely
http://thehappyhousewife.com/cooking/holiday-cookie-exchange/

Cinnamon Stars

Cinnamon Stars

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) Country Crock® Spread
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar, for sprinkling
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Line baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
  2. Separate 1 egg; set aside. Beat Country Crock® Spread with 1 cup sugar in large bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
  3. Beat the entire remaining egg then set-aside egg yolk and the vanilla until blended.
  4. Beat in flour.
  5. Divide dough into 4 pieces and shape into disks.
  6. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours or until firm.
  7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  8. Remove plastic wrap and roll dough to 1/8 thick on a floured surface.
  9. Cut out cookies with 2-inch star or round cookie cutter; arrange on
  10. prepared baking sheets.
  11. Brush tops of the cookies with the remaining egg white.
  12. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar blended with cinnamon.
  13. Bake 10 minutes or until edges are just golden.
  14. Let stand 2 minutes; remove cookies from sheets and cool completely on wire rack.
http://thehappyhousewife.com/cooking/holiday-cookie-exchange/

You can join the fun cookie fun if you when the Country Crock Holiday Cookie gift pack giveaway. To enter leave a comment sharing your favorite cookie. For an additional entry tweet your favorite cookie using the hashtag #CountryCrockCookies.

Giveaway ends December 24, 2013.

You can find more cookie inspiration on Country Crock’s social channels.

I’ve partnered with Country Crock for this campaign. All opinions and flour covered kitchens are my own.


This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

Quick and Healthy Fudge

Quick and Healthy Fudge | The Happy Housewife

By contributing writer Tessa

I was never a huge fan of fudge when I was growing up.  Even then, when Captain Crunch Berries was one of my favorite cereals, I thought it was too sweet (who knows?!)  Back then it had marshmallow creme. I don’t even know WHAT ingredients are in that today?!

Doing a quick Google search reveals popular recipes with eye-popping amounts of white sugar (3+ cups!!)….no thanks!

Here is a simple, quick and healthy fudge that is rich and chocolatey without being cloyingly sweet and super bad for you.  Most important are the real food ingredients!  So make something fancy this holiday season to impress someone.  They don’t have to know it required almost no effort!

Quick & Healthy Fudge – Dairy Free

Quick & Healthy Fudge – Dairy Free

Ingredients

  • 1 cup fat (coconut oil, Earth Balance, butter, or ghee) I used 1/2 cup coconut oil + 1/2 cup Earth Balance soy-free buttery cubes
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (This is a KEY ingredient. Use a high quality cocoa. I like Dagoba)
  • 3/4 - 1 cup granulated sweetener, to taste (I used xylitol, palm sugar, and some liquid stevia. Regular cane sugar will work too. Choose what works for you and your tastebuds.)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (or other other flavor)
  • 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, to taste
  • Optional add in's: natural corn-free peppermint candy canes (crushed), chopped toasted nuts, tart dried fruits, cocoa nibs.

Instructions

  1. In a medium sauce pan over low heat, place all ingredients and whisk only until the fats are just melted and the sugar is dissolved.
  2. Pour into a parchment lined 8 x 8 inch pan. You could also use various candy molds for festive shapes.
  3. Chill in the fridge until firm and set, at least an hour.
  4. Cut into squares, or use some festive cookie cutters and enjoy!
http://thehappyhousewife.com/cooking/quick-and-healthy-fudge/

Quick and Healthy Fudge | The Happy Housewife

More from The Happy Housewife


This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

50 Christmas Dessert Recipes

By contributing writer SnoWhite

With Christmas just around the corner, it is time to start baking!  This list has you covered – including gluten-free recipes if needed!

50 Christmas Dessert Recipes | The Happy Housewife

Christmas Cookies

Christmas Bars & Treats

Gluten-Free Christmas Cookies & Treats

More recipes from SnoWhite


This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

Pudding Puffs

Have I ever told you about the time I tried to make cream puffs from scratch? I didn’t have a mixer so I was using a food processor. The dough was very sticky and I made the mistake of trying to scoop out the dough with my hand.

The problem? There are some pretty sharp blades at the bottom of that food processor. I don’t want to get into all the yucky details, but let’s just say it was a long time before I tried to make cream puffs again.

My family loves cream puffs, but I don’t think they are worth it. When I discovered that one of my favorite brands, Pepperidge Farm, sold puff pastry shells I was pretty excited.

Today I have a recipe for you that is perfect for holidays and it comes together in a flash! You can make the pudding in advance and you’ll have dessert on the table in less than 25 minutes.

Or use instant pudding and whip up an awesome treat for unexpected guests that drop by during the holidays.

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Not only will your guests love this dessert, you will keep your kids busy watching the shells “puff up” in the oven!

Pudding Puffs

Pudding Puffs

Ingredients

  • Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Shells
  • 1 box instant pudding
  • Milk (for the pudding)
  • Whipped cream

Instructions

  1. Bake pastry shells according to the directions.
  2. While pastry shells are baking make pudding.
  3. Set pudding in the fridge.
  4. Remove pastry shells from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes.
  5. Remove tops, discard or eat them.
  6. Place one large scoop of pudding into each shell.
  7. Top with whipped cream.
  8. Serve.
http://thehappyhousewife.com/cooking/pudding-puffs/
puddingpuffs

You can find more delicious recipes and learn more about Pepperidge Farm’s puff pastry line on their Facebook page.

 

I’m always looking for ways to spark new creative ideas with my recipes.  I hope you enjoy this recipe and don’t forget to check out more recipes at www.puffpastry.com

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Pepperidge Farm® Puff Pastry. The opinions and text are all mine.


This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.