Cookie exchanges during the holidays are a long-standing tradition in the U.S., but a fairly new concept to Latinos. Horneando juntas – baking together – is so fun, though! It’s such an easy way to catch up with friends, share your favorite recipes, and bring home a few new ones. The holidays are all about traditions and celebrating with your loved ones, and this is a great way to share culture, recipes and family customs.
At a traditional cookie exchange, participants bake a few dozen of their favorite cookie and then take them to a party where guests trade their batch, ending up with a variety of cookies from everyone else. If you don’t want to keep all the cookies – knowing how crazy we all eat during the holidays – set some aside for your local fire station, your child’s school, or deliver them to elderly neighbors. It’s such an easy thing to do, but means a lot to the recipient. If you have some time this month, invite a your family and friends over for an ‘horneando juntas!’
If you’re not sure where to start, the experts at La Cocina de HERSHEY’S (Hershey’s Kitchen) have some advice on how to host a successful and sweet ‘horneando juntas.’
Cookie Exchange Tips
- Invite guests. At least two weeks in advance to make sure they have time to prepare and RSVP with the recipe they plan to make.
- Be creative. When hosting or attending a cookie exchange, be creative with traditional cookie recipes and add your favorite flavors, like sprinkling coconut shavings on top of a chocolate chip cookie.
- Celebrate traditions. Encourage your Latino friends and family to bring traditional cookies from back home. Entice them to bake cookies with ingredients such as coconut, guayaba, dulce de leche, among other Latin flavors, that will remind your guests of their or their family’s country. Bringing a piece of home during the holidays is always comforting! And don’t forget to play festive music to start welcoming the holiday spirit.
- Set the rules. Remind each guest of the total number of people attending the horneando juntas, and ask each to bring at least half a dozen cookies for each person attending the exchange.
- Be prepared. Encourage them to arrive with an empty, sealable container to take home other guests’ cookies. This is what this horneando juntas is all about. Make sure to have extra plastic bags or containers on hand for guests to transport their cookies home. I always have some pretty ribbon and gift tags, in case participants want to gift the cookies to someone else.
- Involve the kids! Consider hosting your horneando juntas on a Saturday morning and have friends bring their kids. They’ll enjoy the cookies as much as you will!
- Be a good hostess. Offer a seasonal beverage, such as hot Hershey’s Cocoa or ponche de frutas to start welcoming the holiday season. Also, it is always good to have coffee, tea, milk and juice on hand.
- Make a little extra. Baking one item as a group during the cookie exchange adds an activity to enjoy together and fills the house with delicious warm cookie smell.
- Everyone loves a goody bag! To complement the array of cookies at your horneando juntas, ask that your guests provide their recipes in advance so that you may create recipe books to provide to your guests in commemoration of your party.
Not sure what to make for your intercambio de galletas? Try some of the great recipes from La Cocina de HERSHEY´S including:
- Florecitas de Chocolate KISSES, delicious cookies topped with HERSHEY’S KISSES
- Bolitas Mágicas KISSES, delicious cookies rolled in powdered sugar
- Polvorones de Limón y Coco, for those who prefer lemon and coconut fruit flavors
- Galletas de Chocolate HERSHEY’S y Menta, for a hint of mint
- Galletas de azúcar, a classic recipe
- Cuernitos de HERSHEY’S HUGS & KISSES
These florecitas look yummy, don’t they? I’ll be trying this recipe this weekend!
Florecitas de Chocolate KISSES
- 42 to 45 HERSHEY’S KISSES Brand Milk Chocolates, unwrapped
- 1 pouch (17.5 oz.) Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix
- 1/4 cup HERSHEY’S® Cocoa or HERSHEY’S® SPECIAL DARK Cocoa
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
- 1 egg
- Granulated sugar
1. Heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove wrappers from chocolates. (Kids can help with the unwrapping!)
2. Stir together cookie mix and cocoa in large bowl until well blended and no lumps remain. Add butter and egg; stir until soft dough forms.
3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar; place on ungreased cookie sheet.
4. Bake 7 to 9 minutes or until set. Do not overbake. Immediately press chocolate piece into center of each cookie; cookie will crack around the edges. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. Makes about 3-1/2 dozen cookies.
Need help getting started? Enjoy this coupon – save $1.00 off when you buy two (2) HERSHEY’S® KISSES® bags (7.5 oz or larger) and start planning your horneando juntas today! Visit Cocinahersheys.com for recipes, gift ideas and more.
Giveaway has ended.
Win supplies to host a cookie exchange of your own! The giveaway prize will contain:
- (1) bag of HERSHEY´S KISSES Chocolates
- (1) can of HERSHEY´S Cocoa
- (1) $10 Visa Gift Card for the purchase of additional recipe ingredients
- Mixing Bowl
To enter to win this, please share in a comment:
- Your favorite cookie recipe,
- What you like to bake during this joyous time of the year,
- OR how you plan to add your own flair to an ‘horneando juntas’ cookie exchange.
For extra entries:
- Subscribe to my feed by reader or email (or let me know if you already do). 1 entry
- Tweet about this giveaway one time using the Tweet button below, or copy this: #Giveaway! Win a Hershey’s baking prize pack from #MyBlogSpark at The Domestic Buzz! http://thedomesticbuzz.com/?p=15370 #TDB – 1 entry
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Giveaway entry period ends Wednesday, December 21st, 2011. US entries only, one person per household. Leave a separate comment per entry and a valid email address. Winner, chosen at random, has 3 days to claim their prize. Disclosure: The Hershey´s product, information, recipes, and prize pack have been provided by The Hershey Company through MyBlogSpark.