I am so excited to attend and host my first Holiday Cookie Exchange. I’ve been invited to one’s in the past but since we usually go home for the holiday’s I’ve never been able to attend one. When my neighbor Lisa came over and asked if I would be interested in co-hosting an exchange I jumped on the opportunity.
How to host a memorable Holiday Cookie Exchange Party:
- Invite 10-20 people. It’s good to invite people from different cultures and encourage them to bring cookies that represent their home country. This way you do not end up with tons of chocolate chip cookies.
- What guests should bring:
- Ask each person to bring up to 5 dozen cookies. (Generally your guest should take home as many cookies as they brought. If you brought 4 dozen cookies, then you get to take home 4 dozens. Now there’s no need to count and monitor, but you could let them know when you invite them)
- Recipe cards
- Ziplock bags or cellophane bags to package their cookies.
- A tin or tupperware to take the cookies home.
- A drink to share
- Set up platters on a large table for each person to display their cookies on.
- Write the name of the cookies on a decorative place card and place it next to the cookies for easy identification. Include whether or not the cookies are nut free.
- As the host, it is nice to provide some salty snacks and beverages for people to enjoy as they’re mingling.
- Turn on holiday music to set the mood.
People were encouraged to make cookies from their home country and while I initially wanted to make Lebanese cookies, I was so exhausted from going to a techno party on Saturday night I just didn’t have the energy to do it. I also figured it would be a bad idea to make cookies that I haven’t made in a couple of years.
The night before a cookie exchange is not the time to experiment with an unfamiliar recipe!
Instead I decided to stick with something easier and make a family favorite, Snickerdoodles! They’re super easy to make and work for kids with nut allergy. The first time I made these in China was for my daughter’s best friend who was allergic to nuts. Unbeknownst to me, they were her absolute favorite. Since then I’ve made these super yummy cookies rolled in sugar and cinnamon a billion times.
Confident with the batter, I decided to substitute the cinnamon-sugar mixture for crushed candy cane. I put 40 mini candy canes in the food processor and crushed them until they were a fine dust. Just a heads up, once you crush them, they tend to get hard fast and you’ll need to stir the dusting regularly so that you can roll the cookie batter in it.
Candy Cane Snickerdoodle Cookies
- 1 cup butter
- 1/2t cream tartar
- 1/2t baking soda
- 2 cups Sugar
- 1 t vanilla
- 2 eggs
- 3 cups flour
- 40 mini candy canes
- Crush candy canes in a food processor. They should be the consiteincy of granulated suagr.
- Beat butter until creamy, occasionally scrapping the sides. Add sugar, tartar and soda. Beat until all combined, scrapping sides occassionally.
- While on low add eggs one at a time and then the vanilla. Scrape edges.
- Slowly beat in the flour.
- Once all combined, cover and put in the refirgerator for 30-60 minutes.
- Shape all of the dough into 1″ balls. Then roll each ball in candy cane mixture, coating all sides.
- Place 2″ apart on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
- Bake at 375 for 10 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire rack and cool.