Photo Credit (and the recipe!): Clean Your Plate by Sharayah Colter & Shelly Sherrod
What is it about Christmas time that brings out my sweet tooth? Every other time of the year, it’s essentially non-existent (I’d take a big basket of French fries over cake any day) but when Christmas rolls around, that sweet tooth sees the lights and the glitter and all of the festive fun and just wants to be a part!
Luckily, there’s plenty of opportunity to indulge that sweet, little visitor during the Holidays. From that first slice of pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving to the table after table of deserts at each Holiday party, I find myself wanting for nothing. One of my sweet tooth’s favorite traditions at Christmas is probably cookie exchanges. It’s so fun to whip up my favorite treat and then trade it for a friend’s over some coffee and good conversation. I know that we are all reading from very different places and can’t physically get together over coffee, but why should distance stop us from having a good time together?
In light of all of the sugar being thrown around this time of year, we over here at GLOW thought it would be fun to join in!
We’ve decided to host a Virtual Cookie Exchange.
What’s a virtual cookie exchange? Well, I’m so glad you asked! I’ll get us started by showing you one of my favorite cookies to make this time of year right here in today’s post. After I post my recipe, you all can join in.
Post your favorite Christmas cookie recipe in the comments below to join the “exchange”. When you’re done baking and your house smells like Christmasy goodness, share a photo of your lovely creation on Instagram or Facebook using the hashtag #GLOWcookieexchange, and tag three friends inviting them to join (be sure to link them back to this post)! If you don’t get a chance to bake your cookies, that’s okay! Just post your recipe and share our Cookie exchange graphic below and tag some friends.
Find the recipe to these DELICIOUS cookies in the Clean Your Plate cookbook by Sharayah Colter and Shelly Sherrod.
For anyone who wants to have a good, old fashioned hard copy of these yummy recipes, Sharayah from the Clean Your Plate cookbook (a great gift for anyone on your list if you’re still looking) has been kind enough to design this beautiful and FREE recipe card printable for all of us because there’s nothing like a hand written recipe to bring you back to cozy days at your mom’s kitchen table!
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD
The exchange will be up and running for a full week so we can all take our time and savor all of the deliciousness. When we’re done on Monday, December 22nd, we’ll create a free PDF printable with all of the yummy recipes. Look for this after the New Year. We won’t be able to eat our cookies together, but hopefully by sharing all of our favorites, we’ll be able to share a little bit of the Christmas season with each other! Let’s get cooking and don’t forget to spread the word!
Christmas Story Cookie Bars
In order to make these yummy and, might I add, educational treats, you’ll need a few things. First, the following ingredients:
½ cup melted butter
1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
1 can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk
1 cup chocolate chips (I used dark but you can use whatever you want)
1 cup butter scotch chips
1 cup chopped nuts (I used walnuts but you can use whatever you want)
1 1/3 cup flaked coconut
Star shaped sprinkles
Once you’ve gathered all of these, find a cute little kid, preferably still in his or her jammies with a sweet tooth and a sweeter smile, who is willing to assist you.
My son Judah loves to help me bake. Maybe it’s because he gets to sample the chocolate chips.
If you don’t have a little guy to help, no worries! You can still enjoy these and the story that they tell.
Alright, now that we’re prepped, let me fill you in on these goodies. They’re a variation on your traditional magic cookie bars. I’ve added a few more ingredients in order to use each item in the list above to help illustrate the Christmas story. If you’re looking for a creative way to get the Nativity story to stick in your kid’s heads, use sugar! There’s nothing stickier! This worked like a charm with Judah, my three year old. By the end, he could tell me the whole story as he ate. Just follow the steps below and before you know it, you’ll be feeding your kid’s bellies and hearts!
- Mix the melted butter with the graham cracker crumbs until well blended. Pour it evenly into the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish, pressing it down flat to the bottom. It should look like this.
Say “Mary and Joseph, Jesus parents, had to go on a long trip to Bethlehem. The road was dusty and dirty and probably looked something like this.”
- Next, pour the sweetened condensed milk on top of the crust in an even layer. Follow that with the chocolate chips.
Say “When Mary and Joseph got to Bethlehem, it was full of people! They were everywhere just like these chocolate chips.”
- Say “They tried to find a place to sleep for the night, but there was no room in the inn. They had to sleep in the stable with all of the animals.” Pour the nuts on in an even layer.
- Say “That night, in the stable with all of the animals, baby Jesus was born. Mary wrapped him up in swaddling clothes, and laid him down in a manger. A manger is what animals eat out of. He didn’t even have a bed! But He was still the newborn King and lots of people wanted to come see him. Wise men came from far, far away and brought gifts for baby Jesus. One of those gifts was gold, which looks kind of like these butterscotch chips.” Pour the butterscotch on in an even layer.
- Say “Angels appeared to shepherds who were guarding their flocks that night and told them about baby Jesus too. They wanted to come visit! So the shepherds and their sheep came to see Jesus. Sheep have fluffy white wool that looks kind of like this coconut.” Pour on the coconut flakes in an even layer.
- Say “And you know how the visitors found Jesus? They were told by the angel to follow a special star in the sky that would lead them to Jesus.” Sprinkle the star sprinkles over the top being as stingy or as generous as you want.
- Say “And that’s the Christmas story! These cookie bars can remind us of Jesus because they are sweet just like his love for us!”
- Place them in the oven and bake for 25 minutes at 360 degrees.
- When they’re done, enjoy them with your family and challenge your kids to share the Christmas story with someone while they eat. You’ll be so proud!
Well there you have it, my Christmas cookies. We can’t wait to see what’s cooking in your kitchens! Don’t forget to pass along your recipes and invite others to join.
Let the Virtual Cookie Exchange begin!