‘Tis the season for cookie exchanges! The saying says that it’s better to give than to receive, but when you show up to a holiday cookie exchange, you magically get to do both. My first exchange of the year is this weekend, and I’ve been searching high and low for less traditional treat options to make and take.
My requirements for exchange-ability:
- easy to package individually in a cute little baggie or box with a tag, because I will want to get crafty
- quick to make or, if they take longer, tasty enough that I’ll want to make extra to keep around the house
- hard to screw up, so I can make them in large batches with consistent quality
- made from relatively common ingredients I can get at any major grocery store without issue
So, without further ado – here are my top 10 cookie exchange-friendly holiday recipes, plus an bonus recipe that’s a spin on a perennial holiday favorite.
1. Chocolate-Dipped Christmas Oreo Cookie Pops, Flour on my Face
Easy to make, and easy to wrap in cute little individual cellophane bags tied with curling ribbon and hand-cut and -stamped tags. If you’re into that sort of thing.
2. Peppermint White Chocolate Pretzels, Hello Homebody
Sweet and salty in one delicious package. And peppermint means you’ll end up with that amazing wintry fresh breath feeling after eating them. Also – only three ingredients!
3. Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies, Raining Hot Coupons
I love red velvet, and I love cookies. What’s not to love about this recipe? Certainly not the fact that boxed cake mix is a main ingredient and total cooking time is less than 10 minutes.
4. Lemon Sugar Cookie Sandwiches, I Am Baker
Lemon is another favorite flavor, and this recipe dishes it out in a whoopie pie-esque form.
5. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownie Bombs, The Domestic Rebel
I mean, come on. They’re called BOMBS. There’s cookie dough with chocolate in it, surrounded by a layer of chocolate, coated in another layer of chocolate, and then rolled around in even more chocolate. I think they might taste a bit like chocolate.
6. Apple Pie Fries, Oh Bite It
These super-portable pie sticks work great alone, but try taking it to the next level and get little to-go condiment cups and package these beauties with the caramel sauce to score some bonus points with your friends.
7. Party Popcorn, She Wears Many Hats
Another tasty three-ingredient wonder. And you can sprinkle them with just about anything! Peppermint would be great here, or cinnamon.
8. Cake Batter Chocolate Bark, How Sweet It Is
Peppermint bark is so predictable. Why not bring everyone what amounts to a crunchy cake instead?
9. Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Cheesecake Pops, Food Network
The most time-consuming and labor-intensive recipe on the list, but you end up with cheesecake on a stick. Consider rolling your pops in crushed up walnuts or peanuts before the chocolate coating sets to make them even tastier (if that’s possible).
10. Cinnamon Roll Sugar Cookies, Picky Palate
Easy to make, easy to eat. Just don’t confuse them with being a breakfast food unless you want to spend your day on a massive sugar high.
11. Gingerbread Fudge, Crazy for Crust
My biggest issue with gingerbread cookies, and cookies in general, is that I like them super-soft and most times they end up “overcooked” or too dry for my tastes. Making gingerbread into a chewy, yummy fudge solves this problem completely.