I brought home store bought cookies. This is my confession of they day. Don’t act like you’ve never done it before. These were perfectly frosted honey cookies made by the talented bakers at Harmons Grocery Store, and they were good. My husband said they were the best store bought cookies he’s ever tasted. So, what did I do? Of course I came up with a homemade version. These cookies are made with less sugar more honey and frosted with a honey butter cream. Special thanks to Harmons for the inspiration.
(love this photo from our cookie exchange by Caroline at ArmelleBlog.com)
As you’re making your cookies this holiday season, keep Harmons in mind if your a Utah local. They have tons of great ingredients including high quality chocolate, local flour, several types of sugar for dusting, decorating, and baking, along with pre-made frostings if you don’t have the time for that extra step. And if you want to add a few party trays to your cookie exchange gathering, Harmons has you covered there too.
Every year for the last 4-5 years I’ve participated a cookie exchange. Its just something I do around the holidays. Come with a few dozen of one cookie and leave with a few dozen of a variety of beautiful homemade Christmas cookies. This year, I contributed to a small cookie exchange by bringing these new favorites, honey frosted cookies.
You only need a few things to host your own cookie exchange. Here is what you need:
An invitation – do an evite, a handmade snail mail invitation, or just a mass email (make sure to get rsvps!)
A place to gather – make it a place convenient to most people and make sure you have a long table to line all of the cookies up on.
Cookies – tell the guests to bring 2 dozen and then divide 24 by the number of attendees so that you know how many cookies each person should take from every batch
Packaging – Its always fun too leave with a cute box, tied up with ribbon. Perfect for gifting some of those cookies you just gathered.
A cause – my friends and I always like to take up a donation to a good cause. Have every guest donate $5 or so to one cause and bring some information so everyone can learn about the causes being contributed to
This year I’d love to draw your attention to one specific cause and it’s one near and dear to the heart of the cookie. Milk. Milk is the least donated food to local food banks. This year I’d love to encourage you to donate money or milk to those who need it. Here are a few quick facts.
• Milk is one of the most requested items at food banks, yet it is rarely donated.
• Of the 46 million Americans food banks serve, the average person gets less than 1 gallon of milk per year.
• The entire dairy industry from dairy farmers to dairy processors has come together and joined with Feeding America food banks to help get milk to those who need it most.
I think this year we had the most beautiful spread yet! Here are the cookies we exchanged:
Chewy Chocolate Ginger Cookies by A Bountiful Kitchen
Pumpkin French Macarons by Armelle Blog
Frosted Honey Christmas Cookies by Vintage Mixer
Peppermint Ganache Cookies by Harmon’s Grocery Bakers
Melted Snowman Cookies by One Sweet Appetite
Here are a few of my past cookie exchange recipes:
Ginger Creams (2009)
Christmas Cut Out Cookies (2010)
Chewy Chocolate Gingersnaps (2012)
- 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 large egg
- 2 1/4 cup whole wheat pastor flour, or all purpose
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup butter
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon heavy cream
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
In a stand mixer, cream together the butter, sugar, and honey for the cookies.
Add in the honey, mix to combine, then add in the egg.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Slowly add them into the sugar and butter mixture.
Refrigerate the dough for 10 minutes before baking for best results.
Spoon out by heaping tablespoonfuls onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes.
Let cool for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to further cool.
While the cookies are cooling, cream together the butter and honey in a stand mixer. Slowly add in the powdered sugar. Continue to whip the frosting until its light. And the heavy cream at the end.
Fill a pastry bag or plastic bag with an end cut off. Pipe the frosting out onto the cookies and quickly garnish with sprinkles before the frosting sets.