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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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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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Spiced Cookies From Michelle Branch

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.

I still know all of the lyrics from Michelle Branch‘s “Everywhere” from her 2001 platinum selling album, The Spirit Room. She followed up that release with her 2003 album, Hotel Paper. When she and Nashville singer/songwriter Jessica Harp decided to part ways after forming the country music duo The Wreckers, Michelle released a personal EP, Everything Comes and Goes, in August 2010.

While she’s currently in the studio in Los Angeles working on an album, I suspect she’s also finding time to make her delicious Spiced Mexican Wedding Cookies.

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Cookies & Cocktails with the Stars

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.

Whether you’re looking for a fun holiday party idea or are eager to update your annual cookie swap, tune into Cookies & Cocktails at 8 p.m. ET tonight to see how chefs, supermodels and celebrities put their spin on this sweet tradition.

Supermodel Chrissy Teigen, her boyfriend John Legend, and Kelsey Nixon, star of Kelsey’s Essentials, wanted their cookie swap to be more than the typical exchange of bakers’ dozens, and so they called upon mixologist Kevin Denton to add some drinks to the party menu. Beverage pairing enhances many meals — so why not serve cookies with drinks meant to play upon their subtle flavors?

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