I can do it in 2.5 hours. Well, with a little help from my roommates.
Yesterday was a full on cookie baking impromptu extravaganza, and we’ve already decided it’ll become a holiday tradition. In the future, however, we will send out our invites more than 5 hours in advance. Yes, our attendee turnout wasn’t what we were hoping for, but the process, the treats and the cheerful idea were perfect. I started making a Sweet Talk video, but then the speed baking and giant mess making sidetracked me. Don’t worry though, there’s still a whole two weeks left before Christmas!
See, for the past three years I have been entering the Hershey and Betty Crocker cookie exchange program. Each year, the companies get together and graciously send out 1,000 cookie exchange kits. This year they finally picked me to be part of the program – I was pretty pumped, but due to my recent and upcoming travels to and from LAX & ORD (that was for you, dad), I wasn’t sure when the box would arrive or when I would have time to have the party, hence the impromptu Thursday night fest last night.
I woke up yesterday with what I thought was a great idea. Instead of the traditional cookie exchange, where all of the attendees bring their own batches to the event, we could do something a little different. We asked our guests to bring canned goods to the party instead of baked goods and in return, they would take our baked goods home with them. So the swap wasn’t cookie for cookie, but instead cookie for charity. I love this idea for many reasons. I, obviously, love cookie baking and would always be up for bringing desserts with me to a party but everyone doesn’t feel the same. Some people are time-crunched, others are baked good burners, and some just don’t enjoy the process. But, everyone loves eating cookies, so this way anyone who wouldn’t normally attend the swap might grab a jar of jam or a can of soup and stop over.
The flaw we obviously had was timing, but four roommates with various and varying schedules makes things like this a bit hard to pre-plan, but the event was still successful.
With my helpful elves (Cynthia & Alex), we managed to make all four of the Hershey’s and Betty Crocker recipes in less than 2.5 hours, have a set of cans for donations and had a fun night with cookies and holiday fun.
The recipe cards included in the kit are so adorable, and I was excited that we were able to make all four of them for the party.
First up – Chocolate Snowballs. These were super simple. I didn’t have any chopped almonds or almond extract on hand so I substituted vanilla, but I was pretty pleased with the results. For some reason I thought I wouldn’t like these little powdered sugars mounds, but I ended up loving them!
Next up – a classic, Peanut Butter Blossoms. Linda & Cynthia were pretty excited these were on the list, and I think Alex enjoyed shaping them. Thanks to my helpers, I didn’t have to deal with the dough either, since I have a thing about touching peanut butter. These are very easy and a really good baking project for kids, also with the different kiss flavors out there, there are plenty of different combos to try.
I don’t think a Christmas party should ever go on without the next cookie – Holiday Cutout Cookies. These are your traditional sugar cookie cut-outs, topped with frosting or glazes and holiday sprinkles, they are always a crowd pleaser.
And last, but not least, a twist on a favorite – Double Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies. We were running low on most of these ingredients, which resulted in having to use some sugar substitute and Imperial spread instead of butter, so I’m pretty sure that’s why I got chocolate puffies instead of the expected crunchy version, but let’s be honest, a chocolate cookie filled with chips and kisses is still something you wish you were eating right now.