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Party in Five: Wintry Cookie Swap


We here at Cooking Channel love a good party. But throwing a memorable event requires more than just gathering some food and drink. We show you how with just five main “ingredients” (including recipes, big-impact decorating ideas and easy DIY elements) you can throw a party that feels like it has a cohesive theme — minimal work required.

The holidays are all about spending quality time with friends and family, so I love hosting a fun and festive gathering that allows me enjoy their company — not spend an entire day preparing for the event.  This year I decided to host a simple, old-fashioned cookie swap, reimagined to feel like a cozy mountain ski lodge. With an abundance of plaid and both vintage and handmade details, it sets the stage for mugs full of hot beverages and indulgent sweets. The best part about this party concept, though, is that everyone brings their own batch of homemade cookies for potluck-style eats, and by sending printable recipe cards along with the invitation, you’ll have favors ready for everyone (that they’ll actually use).

To throw your own cookie swap, you’ll need five essential ingredients:

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Sifted: Nutella Cookies, Holiday Caramels + More

5 Hot Links We’re Loving:

  1. For this year’s cookie swap, take it over the top with Top With Cinnamon’s nutella and salted caramel-stuffed double chocolate chip cookies.
  2. Instead of fretting over holiday shopping, give your friends something sure to induce smiles: sweet treats. Garnish with Lemon’s recipe for fleur de sel caramels is a good place to start.
  3. Williams Kitchen’s sweet potato hash egg bake is the perfect solution to a no-fuss, delicious breakfast.
  4. If you’re still recovering from the carbo-load of Thanksgiving, treat yourself to Shutterbean’s persimmon butter lettuce salad.
  5. Christmas music is on the radio, so gingerbread is officially okay to make. We can’t wait to try A Pastry Affair’s muffin recipe.

Craving More?

  • It’s time to bring out the holiday cookie cutters and start baking. Your favorite Cooking Channel chefs created their best holiday cookie recipes just for you.
  • When it comes to homemade gifts, Kelsey’s got you covered.

And for Dessert…Stuffing?

Stuffing Cookie Recipe

When we heard the Downtown Cookie Co.’s cookie of the month for November was a Stuffing Cookie, we were skeptical. Can you blame us? Stuffing belongs at the dinner table, not on the dessert menu. Or so we thought.

It turns out that adding stuffing to your cookies can result in a subtle and welcome savory note. Downtown Cookie Co. tested a variety of stuffings before ending on Pepperidge Farm for their recipe. We think it has less to do with the brand and more to do with choosing a stuffing that’s loaded with herbs. The end result reminded us of an oatmeal cookie, with a hint of herbs and loaded with cranberries.

You can order a bag from Downtown Cookie Co.’s website or, if you are feeling ambitious, make a batch at home. They were kind enough to share the recipe:

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Cookbook Giveaway: Tate’s Bake Shop

Tate's Peanut Butter Cookies

Tate's Bake Shop CoverMy husband isn’t a sweets person – and it drives me crazy. An admitted chocoholic, I usually avoid keeping cookies and desserts around our apartment because, inevitably, I’m the only one who eats them (all). There are a few exceptions, thankfully, and one of them is cookies from Tate’s Bake Shop. Ever since we were introduced to the bakery on a trip out to visit friends in the Hamptons, he can’t get enough. They’re crispy, crunchy, slightly salty and irresistible.

Fortunately, you don’t need to have a place in Southampton (or nice friends out there) to enjoy Tate’s goodies. The familiar green-and-white packages are sold in gourmet stores, and Tate’s Bake Shop has finally revealed some of baker Kathleen King’s secrets in a new cookbook. Now I can bake cookies I know I won’t have to devour all by myself. Thank you, Kathleen!

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Happy National Pecan Cookie Day!

National Pecan Cookie Day Zac Young's Cranberry Pecan Oat Cookie Recipe

Happy National Pecan Cookie Day! We’re celebrating the way we celebrate most every holiday: with boozy baked goods. Zac Young’s Cranberry Pecan Oat Cookies with Bourbon Glaze might not be your traditional pecan cookie, but we think it’s the pecan’s toasty flavor + crunchy texture that’s the key to these delicious chewy cookies. These would pair well with a tall glass of cold milk, or for that matter, our Cereal Milk Cocktail.

Don’t worry if you were craving something a bit more traditional: we’ve got you covered there, too.

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Bar Cookies: Or How to Stop Worrying and Embrace Mistakes in the Kitchen

If there’s one lesson sous chef Miriam Garron of our kitchens learned while developing these bar cookie recipes, it would be ‘don’t be afraid to make mistakes’!

Although the self-proclaimed dessert-lover delved into hours of research on baking the perfect bar, Miriam ultimately discovered the key to bar cookie success from an oversight in the kitchen. “The baking soda we bought was in a red can that looked just like baking powder…and so we accidentally used that in testing thinking it was powder!”

Baking soda turned out to be a happy accident that Miriam incorporated into the rest of the recipes. “In my head I was envisioning this perfect shiny surface and golden brown color. And that’s what it was! Baking soda made the cookies rise outwards rather than up for super-density. I never would have gotten that with baking powder.”

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Cookie Monster Takes on “Call Me Maybe” to Score Baked Goods

Cookie Monster
We just saw this video of Cookie Monster spoofing Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe,” and this is crazy, but we think it’s awesome. The furry blue Muppet has a somewhat addictive personality, so his attraction to the habit-forming, Billboard-topping pop song makes sense. Check out the video after the jump, and then bake up some of Cookie Monster’s Famous Sugar Cookies. The recipe makes a few dozen, so you might be willing to share a couple.

Om nom nom nom.

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Star Sugar Cookies

Star Sugar Cookies

I love sugar cookies, but sometimes they are more about the pretty shapes and decorations then they are about the flavor. This recipe is both festive and delicious. I add lemon juice and zest to give the cookies and icing a bit of a zing. The decorating can be as simple as spreading the icing over the cookie and sprinkling them with icing sugar. If you want a more sophisticated look, you can go all out and have a perfectly smooth finish, which takes a little more time, but the cookies are a show-stopper for a 4th of July party.

Star Sugar Cookies
Makes: 60 small cookies or 30 large
Prep time: 30 minutes
Bake time: 8 to 10 minutes
Decorating time: depends on the finish you like
Skill: Easy, but several steps

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Whole Wheat Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Whole Wheat Raisin Oatmeal Cookies Recipe

Whether it’s to fulfill our New Year’s resolutions or a matter of just wanting to comfortably fit into our favorite jeans, most of us want to eat healthier this time of year. But eating wholesome doesn’t have to mean giving up everything that tastes good or denying oneself every sweet treat. Life is meant to be savored and enjoyed, even when trying to get a little healthier.

Sometimes a more nutritious version of our typical sweet treat can be an even tastier alternative. For us, this cookie recipe is one of those instances: A Whole Wheat Oatmeal Raisin Cookie.

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Oatmeal Cookies From Candace Cameron Bure

Gear up for holiday baking with Cooking Channel. Your favorite celebrities, chefs & Food People have opened their kitchens to share their best cookie recipes. From Cookie Monster’s sugar cookies to Kelsey’s Peppermint Meltaways, we’ll keep you baking all season. Visit our All-Star Cookie Swap, then head over to FoodNetwork.com for great takes on holiday baking from Food Network chefs.

Most of you might remember Candace Cameron Bure from her days as DJ Tanner on Full House — at least that’s how I remember her. These days she’s a best-selling author, mother and avid philanthropist. This holiday season, she stars in The Heart of Christmas, which premiered on GMC on Saturday, Dec. 4. Her New York Times best-seller, Reshaping It All, chronicles her lifelong struggle with food and the physical and spiritual changes that she underwent to make the public transformation from chubby child star to one of the hottest moms in Hollywood . Candace is an avid supporter of many causes, such as Skip1.org, Compassion International, Sheraton House and Children’s Hunger Fund, and she’s also the national ambassador for National House of Hope.

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