Have A Cookie Swap Party

Christmas cookies AP

Every year for the past 10 years, Linda Sullivan and Karen Peters have swapped sweets with their gal pals.

Sullivan says, "There's no way you can get the variety of cookies you can get from a cookie exchange. So we thought: Wouldn't it be fun to just get together and exchange cookies?"

Peters adds, "We had a rule early on: No men. No children."

The parties have gotten bigger and better, and have even attracted attention from the likes of Better Homes And Gardens. And it's no wonder: macaroon must-haves, buckeye beauties and windowed wonders - you name it; they bring it.

The Early Show correspondent Melinda Murphy went to one such cookie party and found out there are rules to follow.

Pointing at a tray of cookies, Sullivan says, "They have to be six dozen homemade."

Peters adds, "All of the same variety. They have to be attractively presented and you have to bring an extra dozen that we use for the competition."

Competition, you say? That's right. The cookies are judged in two categories as the gals sample in search of the best-looking and best-tasting cookies.

The following are the recipes of this year's winners:

WINNER BEST TASTE:

Chocolate Chip Surprise Cookies
Makes about 4 dozen cookies

Ingredients

1 bag Reese's Miniatures Peanut Butter Cups
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 bag (7 oz.) Wilton Dark Cocoa Candy Melts, melted

Method:
  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Remove wrappers from peanut butter cups.

  2. In large mixing bowl, beat butter, sugars, and vanilla until well-blended. Add flour, one cup at a time, and blend until smooth. Stir in mini chips. Mold scant tablespoon dough around each peanut butter cup, covering completely.

  3. Shape into ball; place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 9-10 minutes or until set.

  4. Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. Drizzle melted chocolate over each cookie.

WINNER BEST PRESENTATION:

Under The Christmas Tree


This Christmas cookie may be used as a treat, as tabletop centerpieces or individual place settings. Under the Christmas Tree Cookies are made with sugar ice cream cones, sugar cookies, chocolate chips, candy coating, and decorations.

Step 1. Sugar Cookie – the Base of Christmas Tree

Ingredients

2/3 cup oil
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 egg
4 tsp. Milk
2 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Method:
  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.

  2. Cream together until light and fluffy the oil, sugar and vanilla. Add to above the egg and milk. Sift dry ingredients together then blend in above.

  3. Divide dough in half, cover, and chill at least 1 hour. Roll dough into 1-inch balls.

  4. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet at 375 degrees for about 8-10 minutes.

Stept 2. Edible glue to adhere ice cream cones to tree base

Ingredients

1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1 Tbs butter

Method:
Melt together in saucepan-low heat

Step 3. Formation of tree

Immediate upon removing from oven, press treat (gumdrop) into cookie and remove from pan

Spread melted chocolate chips on edge of sugar cookie and then apply ice cream cone onto sugar cookie

Set tree aside on wax paper and allow to cool.

Step 4. Decorating - let the fun begin!

Melt white or chocolate flavored coating.

Spoon/drizzle over cone & immediately decorate before coating cools.

Decorations:
gumdrops (cut in half)
Licorice rope
cinnamon drop candy
popcorn
sprinkles
crushed candy canes
jimmies
any other candy

Finishing Touch: Using a shaker, shake powdered sugar over your village of trees.

Place decorated trees on wax paper to cool.



  • Tatiana Morales

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