Virtual Cookie Exchange

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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.

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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!



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!

  1. 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.”

  1. Next, pour the sweetened condensed milk on top of the crust in an even layer. Follow that with the chocolate chips.

IMG_5243Say “When Mary and Joseph got to Bethlehem, it was full of people! They were everywhere just like these chocolate chips.”

  1. 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.


  1. 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.


  1. 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.


  1. 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.


  1. 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!”
  2. Place them in the oven and bake for 25 minutes at 360 degrees.
  3. 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!


  • Chelsy Phillips

    Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

    1/2 cup Butter
    2 cups Sugar
    3 heaping tbsp Cocoa
    1/2 cup Milk
    1 tsp Vanilla
    1/2 cup Peanut Butter
    3-3.5 cups Oatmeal

    Bring butter, sugar, cocoa and milk to a boil in a medium sauce pan, on medium heat, stirring constantly. Let boil for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and add vanilla, peanut butter and oatmeal and stir together. Drop by rounded spoonfuls (I use a small ice cream scoop) onto wax paper and let cool.

    These are so quick and easy and my kids love them!

    • Kelsey Lasher

      These sound so yummy and so easy! The perfect combo Chelsy! Thanks for sharing!

  • Alyssa Martin

    White Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Pecan Cookies

    Makes 6 dozen

    1 cup butter
    1 cup light brown sugar
    1 cup white sugar
    2 eggs
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    3 cups all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 1/2 cups oats (oatmeal)
    2 cups white chocolate chips (I sometimes use more)
    1 cup chopped pecans (I sometimes use more)

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease cookie sheets.

    In a medium bowl, mix butter, brown sugar and white sugar until smooth. Stir in the egg and vanilla. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, stir into the creamed mixture. Finally, stir in the oatmeal, white chocolate chips and pecans. Drop onto cookie sheets.

    Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove from baking sheets to cool.
    My husband is a white chocolate fan, so these are his FAVORITE cookies I make! They have a lot of flavor – delicious!

  • Andi Clem

    Melt in Your Mouth Snickerdoodles

    2 1/2 cups (350 grams) all-purpose flour (we use Gold Medal unbleached all-purpose flour)
    2 teaspoons cream of tartar
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    16 tablespoons (226 grams or 2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    1 1/2 cups (300 grams) granulated sugar
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    2 large eggs, at room temperature
    For the Coating:
    1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
    1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

    Mix Dough: Sift or whisk flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and the salt together then set aside.
    In a large bowl, using a handheld mixer on medium speed beat the butter, sugar and vanilla together until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. (Or, use a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment). Reduce speed to low. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
    Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl then add the flour mixture in three parts, just mixing until it disappears. Wrap with plastic wrap and chill dough at least 30 minutes or up to 3 days.

    Make Coating: In a small bowl, mix the sugar and cinnamon together.
    Bake Cookies: Preheat your oven to 400º F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or use silicon baking mats.
    Shape heaping-tablespoon-sized mounds of cookie dough into balls. Roll in the cinnamon-sugar mixture and place 2 inches apart onto baking sheets. (A medium cookie scoop is helpful here).
    Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes, until the cookies have puffed a little and the tops look set. The cookies should be light golden. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. (The cookies will fall a little as they cool).

    These cookies are incredibly tasty! I borrowed this recipe from
    I’m telling you-yummmmm!

  • Rachel Ishmael

    So I just baked these this past weekend. I don’t have a pic but I really loved the texture! I made one batch with milk chocolate chips and another batch with white chocolate chips (because the hubby doesn’t like chocolate)!
    Softbatch Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies
    1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
    1/4 cup cream cheese, softened (use cream cheese in a block or spreadable, don’t use fat-free, light or whipped)
    3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
    1/4 cup granulated sugar
    1 large egg
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    2 teaspoons cornstarch
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon salt, optional and to taste
    2 1/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks
    To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter, cream cheese (measure it by smooshing it into a 1/4-cup measure), sugars, egg, vanilla, and beat on medium-high speed until well-creamed, light and fluffy, about 5 minutes (or use an electric hand mixer and beat for at least 7 minutes).
    Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, optional salt, and mix until just combined, about 1 minute.
    Add chocolate chips and chunks, and beat momentarily to incorporate, or fold in by hand.
    Using a medium 2-inch cookie scoop, form heaping mounds (I made 28). Place mounds on a large plate, flatten mounds slightly with your palm, cover with plasticwrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 5 days, before baking. Do not bake with warm dough because cookies will spread and bake thinner and flatter.
    Preheat oven to 350F, line a baking sheet with a Silpat Non-Stick Baking Mat or spray with cooking spray and place mounds on baking sheet, spaced at least 2 inches apart (I bake 8 cookies per sheet). Bake for 8 to 9 minutes, or until edges have set and tops are just beginning to set, even if slightly undercooked, pale and glossy in the center. Do not bake longer than 10 minutes as cookies will firm up as they cool (The cookies shown in the photos were baked with dough that had been chilled overnight, allowed to come to room temp for 15 minutes, and were baked for 8 minutes, with trays rotated at the 4-minute mark. They have chewy edges with soft, pillowy centers). Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing and transferring to a rack to finish cooling.
    Cookies will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Alternatively, unbaked cookie dough can be stored airtight in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, so consider baking only as many cookies as desired and save the remaining dough to be baked in the future when desired.

  • Kellie Nelson Clem

    Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Chunk Cookies
    2/3 Cup butter or margarine, softened
    2/3 Cups Brown sugar
    2 large eggs
    1 1/2 Cups old-fashioned oats
    1 1/2 Cups flour
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 1/4 Cups Craisins
    2/3 Cups White chocolate chips or chunks
    Preheat oven to 375. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar together in mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs, mixing well. Combine oats, flour, baking soda and salt in a separate mixing bowl. Add to butter mixture in several additions, mixing well after each addition. Stir in dried cranberries and white chocolate. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 10–12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire racks.

  • Kristen C

    “Miss Janet’s Chocolate Chip Cookies” – a major crowd pleaser!

    2 ¾ cup flour
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 cup butter or margarine, softened
    ¼ cup sugar
    ¾ cup brown sugar (Kristen suggests dark brown sugar)
    1 teaspoon vanilla (Kristen suggests Mexican vanilla, found in the Hispanic foods section)
    1 package (3 ½ oz) french vanilla instant pudding
    2 eggs
    1 12 oz package chocolate chips

    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees (Kristen suggests lining your baking sheets with parchment paper).
    2. Combine flour and baking soda; set aside.
    3. Combine butter or margarine, sugars, vanilla and pudding.
    4. Beat until smooth; add eggs.
    5. Add flour mixture and stir in chocolate chips.
    6. Bake at 375 for 7 to 8 minutes.

    For a special winter treat, use mint baking chips instead of chocolate chips!
    When doubling, only add 1 ½ packages of chocolate chips.

  • Hannah Karr


    3.75 cups all-purpose flour
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp cream of tartar
    1 cup butter
    2 cups sugar
    2 eggs
    1/4 cup milk
    1 tsp vanilla
    3 tbsp sugar
    1 tsp ground cinnamon

    Makes 66- Oven 375

    Grease a cookie sheet. Stir together flour, soda, cream of tartar, and 1/2 tsp salt. Beat butter for 30 seconds; add the 2 cups sugar and beat till fluffy. Add eggs, milk, and vanilla; beat well. Add dry ingredients to beaten mixture, beating till well blended. Form dough into 1-inch balls; rolls in a mixture of the 3 tbsp sugar and the cinnamon. Place balls 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet; flatten slightly with the bottom of a drinking glass. Bake in a 375 oven about 8 minutes or till light golden.

    Super great and easy for holiday treats!

  • M Jackson


    2 eggs (room temperature)
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 1/2 cups sifted flour
    1 teaspoon baking powder

    Beat eggs and vanilla in a small bowl until foamy.

    Add flour and baking powder.

    Work until dough is soft, adding more flour if necessary.
    Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 15 minutes.

    Roll dough out thin and cut into strips with a slit down the middle of each strip. Twist into bowtie shape.

    Deep fry until lightly brown.

    Sprinkle with powder sugar.

    Store in a container without lid covered with a paper towel for up to two weeks.

    This is an old Italian Christmas Cookie recipe passed down from my Nonna. I hope you enjoy it!

  • Bailey Robert

    OH! How could I miss this?!

    Ritz Chocolate + Peanut Butter Cookies

    1pkg Ritz Crackers
    2 pkg Almond Bark Chocolate
    Peanut Butter (creamy!)

    -Spread a generous (or thin, your choice!) layer of peanut butter between two ritz crackers. I typically finish out a package, and each Ritz sleeve makes around 15 cookies.

    -Break the almond bark into squares in a glass mixing bowl, and microwave until fully melted. (First for 1 minute then in 30 second increments, stirring as needed. If it get’s too hot, the chocolate will scald and harden!)

    -Drop the cracker/peanut butter sandwiches into the chocolate and fully cover with chocolate, then set on aluminum foil to dry.

    —These might be the simplest thing you make all year! Enjoy!
    Also, other types of chocolate will work, but almond bark is my favorite 😉

  • Amber

    I’m going to let you guys in on a big secret: there’s refrigerated cookie dough out there and I use it. PLEASE understand, I’m always looking for the fastest easiest way to do things because 1. I’m the biggest procrastinator in the world and 2. I’m kinda lazy. Now do me a favor and don’t tell anyone.

    But here is my family’s favorite Christmas cookie recipe, and while I use refrigerated dough, you can substitute and use your favorite homemade dough, just roll it into a log and refrigerate it before hand to make it easier to slice.

    Rudolph Cookies

    1 roll of refrigerated cookie dough. (Peanut butter works best, but if they’re out, Sugar cookie dough works just as well.)

    Medium package of M&Ms

    A bag of standard twist pretzels. (You can use chocolate covered pretzels if you want too!)

    Just slice the cookie dough. Squeeze it slightly in the middle. Add 2 M&Ms for eyes and a red M&M at the bottom for the nose (you can add brown for a nose too, if you don’t want them all to be Rudolph). Press the pretzels in for antlers and then bake as directed on your cookie dough package.

    They really are adorable. I couldn’t find my picture of them on facebook, so I stole this photo from the internet, but they are so cute! My favorite part is getting the kids in to help. They love to put on the decorations! (I will say I’m OCD so we never use yellow or orange m&ms because those aren’t real eye colors. I have the kids separate the M&Ms into 3 bowls: Red in bowl 1, brown, blue, and green in bowl 2, and orange and yellow in bowl 3. Bowl 3 is for sharing and eating while we make the cookies.)

  • Shauna Jared

    Here is mine! :)