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I’ve made it an annual tradition to host a cookie exchange for my friends and family!  It is a great way to get together, mingle and eat COOKIES!  I love cookies, and this way I end up with a great variety for Christmas!  While most of mine will end up going to work with my hubby, I have to try at least one of each!  ;)  Below, I’ve shared my cookie joy with you, links to recipes, or the recipes themselves of all the cookies that attended this year’s exchange!  Enjoy!!

Molasses Ginger Sugar Cookies

3/4 C. shortening

1 C. sugar

1/4 C. light molasses

1 egg (slightly beaten)

2 C. sifted flour

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp each: cloves, ginger, salt

Melt shortening, add sugar, molasses and egg.  Beat well.  Add dry ingredients.  Mix well.  Chill 1 hour.  Form into balls, roll in granulated sugar.  Placed on greased cookies sheet.  Bake at 350 for 8-10 min.

El’s Ginger Snaps

¾ cup shortening

1 cup sugar

1 egg

4 Tbs. molasses

2 cups flour

2 tsp. baking soda

2 tsp. ginger

1 tsp. cinnamon

¼ tsp. cloves

½ tsp. salt

White chocolate chips and candied ginger (optional)

Sift the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and salt together; set aside.  Blend the shortening and sugar together well.  Add the egg and molasses.  Add the flour mixture next, in small batches.  Chill dough for about 20 minutes to make it easier to handle.  Roll into balls (use a small cookie scoop for even sizes).  Roll balls in granulated sugar and place on a cookie sheet (a parchment lined sheet makes removing the cookies and clean up easy!).

Bake at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes.  Cool cookies on a rack.

For an optional garnish, frost half of the cookie with melted white chocolate and then sprinkle with candied ginger that has been chopped fine.  (Personally, I love them plain!)

Makes about 3 dozen small cookies.

Lime Cookies

Cookie: 1 stick lightly salted butter

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 egg, beaten

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

finely grated rind of 1 lime

2 tbsp fresh lime juice

Filling: 3/4 stick unsalted butter, softened

1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

1 tbsp grated lime rind

2 tsp fresh lime juice

Preheat oven ton 350.  Grease two large baking sheets or line with nonstick baking parchment.  Beat the butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl until pale and fluffy.  Beat in the egg, flour, lime rind, and lime juice.

Place 12 equal sized spoonfuls of the mixture onto the baking sheets, allowing 3 inches all round for spreading.  Flatten the mounds of mixture a little using the back of the spoon.  Bake the cookies in the oven for about 12-14 minutes, until pale golden.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the sheets for one minute to allow the cookies to firm, before removing with a thin spatula to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the filling, in a small bowl beat together the butter and confectioners’ sugar until soft and stir in the lime rind and juice for a soft frosting.  Sandwich the cookies together with the filling.  Store them in an airtight container.  (recipe makes 12 BIG sandwiches, it was suggested you might make 24 smaller ones instead!)

Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Recipe on the Ocean Spray website… linked here

Pecan Tassies

3 ounces cream cheese, softened

½ cup butter, softened

1 cup flour

2/3 cup chopped pecans

¾ cup brown sugar

1 egg

1 Tbs. butter, very soft

1 tsp. vanilla

¼ tsp. salt

Blend the cream cheese and butter together, add the flour and mix until combined.  Chill the dough for at least one hour. Shape into 2 dozen balls (about one inch size) and press into tart tins (1 ¾ inch size).  Place on a cookie sheet.

Put half of the pecans on the pastry.

Beat the brown sugar, egg, butter, vanilla, and salt together until smooth.  Spoon the filling into the tarts.  Top with remaining pecans.

Bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes.  Cool and gently remove from pans.

Tip: don’t over fill, they will rise while baking.

Makes 24 tassies

Lemon Wreaths

Recipe on Martha Stewart… linked here

Chocolate and Cream Cheese Marble Fudge Bars

for the chocolate base: 1 1/2 sticks lightly salted butter

3 oz semi-sweet chocolate

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1 cup packed dark brown sugar

2 eggs, beaten

1 cup all-purpose flour

6 drops vanilla extract

topping: 1 1/4 cups cream cheese

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1 egg, beaten

4 drops vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease a shallow 7×11 inch baking pan and line with waxed paper and then grease again.

To make the chocolate base; melt the butter and chocolate in a small saucepan over a gentle heat, taking care not to boil mixture.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the light and dark brown sugars with the eggs until well combined, then whisk in the melted butter and chocolate mixture.  Stir in the flour and vanilla.  Pour the mixture into the prepared pan.

Make the topping.  Beat together the cream cheese, sugar, egg and vanilla until the mixture thickens to a spooning consistency.  Randomly place spoonfuls of the mixture over the chocolate mixture in the baking pan and, using the tip of a sharp knife, make swirling patterns drawing the knife through the two mixtures to combine lightly.  Bake in the oven for about 40-50 minutes, or until the mixture is firm to the touch and the tip of a sharp knife comes out clean when inserted into the center of the cookie mixture.  Cool in the pan and cut into 12 equal sized bars.  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Chocolate Bliss Cookies

1/4 cup butter, room temperature

8 oz cream cheese, room temperature

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

1 box (~18oz) chocolate cake mix

chocolate chips

powdered sugar

Blend butter and cream cheese.  Add egg and vanilla.  Mix well.  Add cake mix.  Fold in chocolate chips.  Chill if desired.  Roll into one inch balls and roll in powdered sugar.  Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 12 minutes.  Let cool 5 minutes and transfer to wire rack.

Cherry Cheese Tarts

For crust mix:

2 cups graham cracker crumbs

6 Tbs. melted butter

½ cup sugar

Spoon teaspoon of the crust mixture into paper lined mini-muffin tins.  Press the crumbs down with a pill bottle or similar.

For filling mix:

1 pound of cream cheese

2 eggs

2 tsp. vanilla

2/3 cup sugar

Spoon the filling onto the crust.  Bake the tarts at 350 degrees for 15-30 minutes (depending on the size of your tin) or just until the tops start to brown.

Top the tarts with one cherry from a can of cherry pie filling.  You can also use blueberry pie filling.

Makes about 48 tarts.

Espresso Brownies

1 cup (2 sticks) butter
2 1/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 1/4 cups cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon espresso powder
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used dark chocolate chunks instead)

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9×13 baking dish.

In small saucepan over low heat, melt butter completely. Stir in sugar and continue cooking for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Do not allow sugar mixture to boil.

Pour butter mixture into a large bowl or stand mixer, beat in cocoa powder, eggs, salt, baking powder, espresso powder, and vanilla extract. Mix until well combined.

Stir in the flour and chocolate chips until well combined.

Pour into prepared pan and bake for about 30 minutes, until a tester comes out mostly clean. The edges should be set and the center should still look slightly moist, but not uncooked.  Cool on a wire rack.

Espresso frosting:

2 sticks of butter (room temp)
Between 1-3 c. Powdered sugar (start w/ 1 cup and add more to get fluffy/solid consistency and sweet)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 c. Cocoa powder (unsweetened)
2 tablespoons extra finely ground espresso

(Mix well in a stand mixer)

Shave a bar of dark chocolate and sprinkle over frosting.


(recipe coming soon)

Lemon Bars


3 cups flour

¾ cups butter

Cut butter into flour like mixing a pie crust.  Press into a greased 10 x 15 inch jelly roll pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

Filling – mix:

¾ cup coconut

¾ cup chopped nuts

2 ¼ cups brown sugar

¾ tsp salt

3 eggs

3 tbs flour

1 ½ tsp vanilla

Spread the mixture over the warm crust.  Continue baking for 10-15 minutes until the top is evenly browned.  Cool completely.

Frosting – mix:

¼ cup melted butter

Juice and rind of one lemon

Powdered sugar – enough to make the frosting a spreadable consistency.

Cut into bars.

Nutella Stuffed Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies with Sea Salt

Recipe on Ambitious Kitchen Blog… linked here

Hazelnut-Dark Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

Recipe on A Spicy Perspective Blog… linked here (subbed hazlenuts for pistachios in original recipe)

Chai Pumpkin Spice Thumbprints

Recipe on Pass the Sushi Blog… linked here

Peanut Butter Rolo Blondies

Recipe by Two Peas and their Pod… linked here

Rocky Road

1 12oz. package of semi-sweet chocolate chips (Nestle’s work great)

1 14oz. can of sweetened condensed milk (Eagle Brand)

2 Tbs. butter

2 cups dry roasted peanuts, or other nut of your choice

1 10 ½ oz. package of miniature marshmallows

Line a 9×13 pan with wax paper.  In a large bowl, combine the nuts and marshmallows, set aside.  In a heavy saucepan over low heat, melt the butter, chocolate chips, and condensed milk. * Remove from heat and stir well.  Pour the chocolate mixture into the nuts and marshmallows. And gently stir to combine.  Press the mixture into the pan.  Chill at least 2 hours to set.  Lift out of pan then cut into squares.  They can be stored loosely in containers, but put wax paper in between layers so they don’t stick together.

*The above  are the original directions, but I now microwave the chocolate as follows:

Put the chocolate chips in a Pyrex measuring cup (Quart size) Add the butter and then the sweetened condensed milk.

Microwave for 1 minute on high. Stir, microwave, another 30 seconds, stir until smooth and shiny and the butter is melted into the chocolate. Pour over nuts and marshmallows.


Hope you enjoy all these delicious recipes!!


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