Looking for creative options for your cookie exchange? Keep reading!
Cookie exchanges are my favorite! They are such a fun part of the season and a close second to the lights that I see all around town. But what can be a disappointment is when you come home with a plate full of chocolate chip cookies and those snowballs that are a mysterious mixture of buttery powdered sugar.
Instead, come to impress! Here are some ideas for non-cookie alternatives for your cookie parties! They are all attainable, many no-bake, and kid-friendly!
Fudge can be adapted so easily! And don’t be fooled because you can even make fudge in the microwave with just a few ingredients. Chocolate fudge can be made with just chocolate, sweetened condensed milk, butter, vanilla, and salt! Or, mix it up and try a white chocolate fudge with peppermint, cookie butter fudge, or mix the flavors together with chocolate and peanut butter.
Again, another surprisingly easy-to-make treat! Flavors can be adapted through the choice of extract that you use, and you can easily color them. But honestly, any kind of homemade marshmallow is a huge treat in hot chocolate. They can stand on their own!
A huge hit when I lived in Kentucky, buckeyes are a deliciously creamy peanut butter mix dipped in chocolate. As long as there are no peanut allergies to be concerned about, these will not last long! And the little ones will love to dip them in chocolate (and sprinkles, if you dare!).
Chocolate dipped pretzels
Sometimes you don’t want to do all the things. Buy some big pretzel rods, dip them or drizzle them with chocolate, and sprinkle away. They are so festive and look great amongst a mix of other festive treats.
This one you have to bake, but they’re still an easy one. A combination of mostly egg whites and sugar, these bake up so light that they are a stellar contrast to the heavier treats.
Okay, these are arguably still cookies. BUT they can honestly be so easy compared to baking batches and batches of cookies! Instead, bake a few 9x13s and cut them to the size you need. You’ll be done in no time!
Caramels, nut candy, homemade peanut butter cups, peppermint patties, buttermints … These range from crock-pot-easy to somewhat labor-intensive, but they can be so fun for an afternoon seasonal activity.
Don’t tell anyone, but you can actually buy the shells pre-made and fill them with … anything really. If you want to go really easy, you can also buy a pre-made pie filling! No one will know and they will be pretty, unique, and yummy.
A few tips:
• When melting chocolate, don’t burn it! Duh, right? Microwave it in a bowl in small increments (30 seconds at half power), mixing between each.
• Put out sheets of wax paper or parchment paper to place your treats on while they set.
• If sprinkling, do your work on a jelly roll pan (cookie sheet with sides) to contain the mess. Or consider using an ice cube tray if you want an assortment at the ready!
• Many flavors can be adapted with the use of different extracts, or consider mix-ins like chocolate chips or toffee. Additionally, dipping your treat in white, dark, or even ruby chocolate can add some jazz!
• Take your time. Baking in big batches can be tiring, and things can be sloppy if you try to do too much. Any of these can sit in an air tight container on the counter for many days, if not longer. Start ahead of time!
• Cookie dough itself can be frozen ahead of time and baked last minute!
And, if you want to do the traditional sugar cookies, check out my previous sugar cookie post for a recipe and tips!
What is your favorite holiday treat?