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Easy Holiday Cookie Swap Recipes

The holidays are coming!!! We have now hit full-out holiday planning time. This holiday season I want to accomplish few things:

  1. Spend quality time with friends and family
  2. Eat yummy food
  3. Do all of this as cost-efficiently as possible

One of my ultimate favorite holiday traditions was to make tons and tons of candies (turtles, peanut butter balls and FUDGE) with my grandmother and cousins. This tradition ended as we all moved away and started our own families. However, last year I decided to bring it back and have a candy making party with my friends. I quickly realized – making candy is A LOT of work.

Yet, I still want to do something to celebrate the holidays with my friends. Thankfully, an idea came up at the office – COOKIE SWAP! So I am going to share my tips for making a cookie swap easy.

Cookie Swap Easy-ness Tips

  1. Schedule it early – like today. Nothing is worse than trying to coordinate schedules last-minute. Since this is a friend occasion, we are going to get together in early December, before family obligations and travel takes over the schedule.
  2. Use existing decorations – I already have holiday decorations. I’m not buying anything new but just making sure the decorations are up early so I can have my party early. (Plus I’ll get to enjoy the decorations for a longer period of time).
  3. Instead of me buying all the supplies and getting all the recipes and creating a huge mess in my kitchen (like last year’s candy making experience) – everyone is bringing something, already cooked, to share.
  4. Our cookies will be our gifts to each other – no need to try to find awesome but inexpensive gifts!
  5. I’ll have cost-effective TakeAlongs on hand so people can easily bring home the cookies they want.
  6. I am getting tips from Pillsbury® on how to create easy, cute cookies for the swap. I’m even sharing some recipes with you below! 🙂

Jingle Bell Cookie Pizza
Prep Time: 20 Min Total Time: 1 hr 55 Min
Makes: 16 servings

  • 1 roll (16.5oz) Pillsbury® Refrigerated Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • 1 ½ cup miniature marshmallows
  • ½ cup red and green candy-coated chocolate candies
  • ½ cup hot fudge topping, heated, if desired


  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 12-inch pizza pan with shortening, or spray with cooking spray. In pan, break up cookie dough into pieces and press out dough evenly in bottom of pan to form crust. Bake 12 to 17 minutes or until golden brown
  2. Sprinkle marshmallows and candies evenly over crust. Make 2 to 3 minutes longer or until marshmallows are puffed. Drizzle hot fudge topping over top. Cool completely, about 1 hour. Cut into wedges to serve and store.


Christmas Tree Sandwich Cookies
Prep Time: 40 Min Total time: 1 hr
Makes: 12 sandwich cookies

  • 1 package (13 oz) Pillsbury® Ready to Bake!™ SHAPE™ Christmas Tree Sugar Cookies
  •  ¾ cup vanilla frosting (from 1-1lb container frosting)
  • Candy sprinkles


  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Bake cookies as directed on package. Cool completely, about 15 minutes
  2. For each sandwich cookie, spread 1 tablespoon frosting on bottom of 1 cookie. Top with second cookie, bottom side down; press together gently. Roll cookies sandwiches in sprinkles to cover edge of frosting center.


Peppermint Crunch Sugar Cookies
Prep Time: 1 Hr 10 Min Total Time: 1 Hr 10 Min
Makes 36 cookies

  • 1 roll (16.5 oz) Pillsbury® Refrigerated Sugar Cookies
  •  ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups white vanilla baking chips or semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 8 round hard peppermint candies, crushed (1/4 cup)


  1. Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, break up cookie dough. Stir or knead in ¼ cup all-purpose flour until well blended. Shape dough into 36 (1-inch) balls. Bake 10 to 14 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 5 minutes.
  2.  In small microwave bowl, microwave vanilla chips (or semisweet chocolate chips) and 1 tablespoon vegetable oil uncovered on Medium (50%) 2 to 3 minutes, stirring once halfway through microwaving, until melted. Stir until smooth.
  3. Dip half of each cookie into melted chip mixture, allowing excess to drip off; place on waxed or parchment paper-lined cookie sheets. Sprinkle each with about ½ tablespoon crushed candy. Let stand until set.


Frosted Reindeer Cookies
Prep Time: 40 min Total Time: 55 Min
Makes 32 cookies

  • 1 roll (16.5 oz) Pillsbury® Refrigerated Sugar Cookies
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup vanilla ready-to-spread frosting
  • 64 small pretzel twists
  • 64 semisweet chocolate chips (about ¼ cup)
  • 16 gum drops, cut in half


  1. Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, break up cookie dough; work flour into dough until well blended. Shape cookie dough into triangle-shaped log. (if dough is too soft to cut, place in freezer for 30 minutes)
  2. With a thin, sharp knife, cut dough into 32 (1/4 inch think) triangular slices; place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet
  3. Bake 7 to 11 minutes or until set. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 15 minutes
  4. Frost cookies with frosting. Place 2 pretzel twists on each triangle near corners for antlers. Lightly press 2 chocolate chips into each cookie for eyes and 1 halved gumdrop for nose. Store between sheets of waxed paper in covered TakeAlongs containers


*Jingle Bell Cookie Pizza, Christmas Tree Sandwich Cookies, Peppermint Crunch Sugar Cookie and Frosted Reindeer Cookie (c) 2012 General Mills.  Recipes used with permission.

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  5. Carol Hoffmann November 16, 2012 at 6:32 pm #

    These are darling. I copied them but would have liked to have been able to print the recipes with the pictures on it.

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