Have you ever gone to a cookie exchange party? Each person brings several dozen cookies to swap with all the other party attendees – sometimes it’s a dozen, sometimes half. Cookie parties are a great chance to showcase your favorite recipe. They’re also a good excuse to spend some extra time to make fancier sweets. If you like coconut, try making coconut clouds. Mix two favorite dessert flavors with chocolate-cherry thumbprint cookies or chocolate mint crinkles. Then again, what about decorative pinwheel cookies that taste like fruitcake? That’s the idea behind fruity holiday cookies. For a truly unique cookie, bake a batch of stained glass cookies. You don’t have to be invited to a cookie exchange to make these – hold your own mini-party with your kids by making a few of these recipes.
Melted chocolate and old-fashioned oats give these chocolate-cherry thumbprint cookies from The Very Best Baking their chewy texture. Form the dough into individual 1-inch balls and then make a thumbprint in each one. Before baking, place a maraschino cherry in the indents. After they’ve cooled, drizzle the cookies with melted chocolate.
Roll out sugar cookies into shapes and place onto a baking pan. Use a knife or a smaller cookie cutter to make a space in the middle of each cookie. Place a ring-shaped hard candy inside. As the cookies bake the candy will melt. Then once the cookies cool the candy will harden once again making these stained glass cookies from Kraft some of the prettiest around.
Gingerbread isn’t just for houses. These gingerbread trees with lemon icing from Martha Stewart are simple to make. Roll out the gingerbread dough and cut into triangles. Bake the cookies and then create zigzags on each one using icing infused with fresh lemon juice.
Take the standard recipe to the next level with these chocolate mint crinkle cookies from Betty Crocker. Start with a chocolate batter and roll into 1-inch balls, then cover in powdered sugar. Bake the cookies and then while they’re still warm insert a candy cane flavored Hershey’s kiss into the middle.
This post was originally published in 2015 and is updated regularly.