| Posted by Tara
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Hand made chocolates and truffles, sugar cookies, whipped shortbread, gingerbread, fudge, cheesecake…oh my!  So many delectable Christmas baking ideas, how does one choose?  And more importantly, who has time to bake them all?

{photo credit} Pink & White peppermint cookies, white peppermint kiss, chocolate peppermint cookies, Gingerbread, Cookie Dough Truffles, Eggnog Cookies

Why not arrange a Christmas Cookie Exchange!?

This is a great way to minimize your time in the kitchen and maximize your cookie selection for the holidays – great for those that want a variety of treats around for the holidays but don’t have the time to to bake them all.

How it works: arrange a group of friends that would like to participate – 6 is a good number.  Let each other know what you will be baking so you have a good variety. Each person bakes 6 dozen of their favorite cookie recipe and packages them up by the dozen to exchange.  Small pastry boxes, take out boxes, or cellophane bags in holiday patterns are a nice touch.

{photo credit} holiday boxes, cello bags

Don’t forget to keep one dozen for yourself! (it IS your favorite recipe, after all)

Get together with your friends to do the exchange. This gathering can be a simple trade or sometimes it’s nice to get together over a festive cocktail and Christmas music to enjoy the spirit of giving. You will each end up with 6 dozen different cookies. Wonderful!!

If you’d rather have a bit more control of your baking selection and have the time, plan a day long BAKEFEST!!  Maybe you want to create the perfect, flavor trifecta – peppermint, gingerbread and eggnog.

My baking trifecta would go a little something like this…

First up, Double Chocolate Peppermint Crunch Cookies.

{recipe} via sweetpeaskitchen.com

OMG. White Chocolate Eggnog Cream Cheese Truffles.  Scratch what I said about chocolate and peppermint.  This is all of your holidays and birthday wrapped up into one delectable treat.

{recipe} via mccormick.com

Gingerbread? Classic. It just wouldn’t be Christmas without it…

{photo} via shewantsher.tumblr.com, {recipe} via recipelion.com for soft gingerbread cookies

Should we drink these cookies or eat them?  That’s right, Starbucks knows they got a good thing going on.

Ok, I can’t help it.  Must. Add. Another.  Can you blame me?  These Pinwheel cookies look spectacular!!

Pinwheel Cookies via ashlemieux.blogspot.com

Just gather your recipes and ingredients, put on the Christmas tunes, brew a pot of your favorite java and get at it!   If you can control your inner kitchen nazi, invite a couple of good friends and share the wealth.  Because isn’t that what Christmas is all about?  Good friends, good times, good food and in this case… GREAT cookies!

Check out our Christmas Cookie Exchange 2012 here…

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