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Holiday Cookie Exchange {Get all the Details}

You’ll love these holiday cookie exchange recipes! Easy chocolate caramel pretzels, chewy molasses cookies and traditional shortbread done two ways.

As mentioned on week 3 of the Holiday Countdown, I decided to partake in my first ever cookie exchange this year. Because the weeks leading up to Christmas can be busy, I decided to keep it small-scale.

I thought it would be fun to share a couple of my family’s favourites and, in return, taste something new without having to make it. I was certain my friend Sandi would be up for it. She’s always in the kitchen whipping something up and has a natural talent for creating something amazing (check out her home decorated for Christmas). Let’s just say the cookies she brought for the exchange didn’t disappoint!

Let’s start with my holiday cookie exchange recipes…

Chocolate Caramel Pretzels with Pecans

Chocolate Caramel Pretzels with Pecans


Equal number of:

  • small salted twist pretzels
  • Rolos
  • pecans (lightly toasted)


  1. Preheat oven to 300°F.
  2. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and cover with a single layer of pretzels.
  3. Place one Rolo on the center of each pretzel. Bake for 4 to 5 minutes until Rolos are soft, but not completely melted (they will still look whole).
  4. Remove from oven and immediately place one nut face up onto each Rolo pressing down to spread out the chocolate and caramel. Let completely cool before removing from pan.

I used four packs of Rolos which makes 40 pretzels.

You’ll love the chewy texture combined with salty and sweet, along with a bit of crunch. The kids can easily help out with this recipe because they are quick and simple to make. I found it helpful to have an extra set of hands to press the nuts down before the Rolos cooled too much.

How I Packaged The Pretzels

To start, I filled a jar full of pretzels and traced the sealer part of the lid onto an old card. I cut it out and placed it over the sealer before fastening the screwband. I then added a printable reindeer hugs tag and decorative ribbon.

This makes a perfect Christmas gift for that sweet tooth in your life, including teachers, neighbours and work colleagues.

Chocolate Caramel Pretzels with Pecans in Jar

Now let’s get to Sandi’s cookie recipes…

Old-Fashioned Chewy Molasses Cookies

Old Fashioned Chewy Molasses Cookies on Plate


  • 4 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 1 cup light molasses
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • extra sugar and powdered sugar for rolling


  1. In large mixer bowl, combine all ingredients except additional sugar.
  2. Beat at low speed, scraping bowl often, until well mixed (about 2 to 3 minutes).
  3. Cover; refrigerate until firm (at least 2 hours).
  4. Heat oven to 350°F. Shape rounded tablespoonfuls of dough into balls.
  5. Roll in white sugar, followed by powdered sugar. Place 2 inches apart on cookie sheets. Bake for 14 to 16 minutes or until slightly firm to touch.

Traditional Shortbread Two Ways

Traditional Shortbread with Maple Glaze and White Chocolate


  • ¾ cups rice flour
  • 1 ¾ cups flour
  • ½ cup icing sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup firm butter


  1. Blend all the ingredients until uniform consistency.
  2. Roll out to approximately 1/2 inch thick and cut with desired cutters.
  3. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes at 325°F.

Maple Glazed Shortbread

  • ⅓ cup maple syrup
  • ½ cup icing sugar

Whisk maple syrup and icing sugar until smooth. Lightly brush tops of cooled cookies, covering entire surface. Excess icing will drip through the racks. Let stand for 1 hour or until icing is dry.

White-Chocolate Dipped Shortbread

  • 6 ounces of white chocolate

Dip half the cookie into melted chocolate and let cool.

How Sandi Packaged the Cookies

Christmas Cookie Boxes with Tags

Sandi placed tissue paper and the cookies into baking boxes made by Wilton. She then wrapped ribbon around each one and attached a small tag that can double as an ornament.

I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as our families do. I have to send out a special thank you to Sandi. On the day we were supposed to do the exchange, her dog took a turn for the worse and I’m sad to say he is no longer with us. He was a wonderful dog and we’ll all miss him. Christmas is often a stressful time of year for our pets, so make sure you take some time to show yours some love!

Do you have any family favourite baking recipes? I’d love for you to try one of ours and let me know what you think. Happy Holidays!

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Happy baking!

Shauna at Satori Design for Living Blog - Home Decor, DIY, Vintage Finds, Recipes


  1. Wow, these look amazing. Can’t wait to try the maple shortbread. I haven’t seen that one before. Sorry to hear about Sandi’s dog :(

  2. You are making me hungry!  I am going to grab some peppermint bark… that I bought!  Ha!  I would be to afraid to get cookies!  I do not need to eat any more sweets!


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