This post was sponsored by Country Crock®. All opinions are my own.
If you are a chocolate orange kind of person, you are going to go crazy over these chocolate orange cookies. Even if you don’t like chocolate oranges you need to try these– they might change your mind (they changed MINE)!
I will be completely honest here– I am not a fan of orange in my baked goods (orange rolls, orange sweet rolls, orange pastries… etc.). I’m not even the biggest fan of chocolate oranges but I went out on a limb here and created these chocolate orange cookies because for some reason they seemed like they would be a tasty combination. Let’s just say I might be converted to the chocolate-orange thing after these cookies. They were seriously to die for! The chocolate and orange combined with a fudgy cookie base with chunks of chocolate orange made these chocolate orange cookies out-of-this-world good.
If you want to “wow” people this year with a new, different Christmas cookie, the Country Crock® Make It Yours™ cookie recipe is the one for you. It’s the only cookie recipe you’ll ever need. SUPER easy and will definitely “wow” your friends and neighbors. Just make the Country Crock® base cookie recipe and stir in a few easy mix-ins. BOOM. Double Chocolate Orange Cookies.
Coming up with these fun mix-in ideas for this delicious Country Crock® Make It Yours™ base cookie recipe has reminded me of getting together with friends during the holidays for a Cookie Exchange Party. It is so fun coming up with creative cookie ideas – especially when you can share your ideas and cookie creations with friends and family. I love getting new ideas for my own baking and I especially love sampling the cookies! It’s relatively easy to throw a party together. The benefits of saving time on baking and having so many cookies to deliver to friends, neighbors, and co-workers after the party is totally worth the effort.
- 1 cup Country Crock®
- ¾ cup packed brown sugar
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- ¾ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. baking soda
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1 chocolate orange chopped (milk or dark depending on preference... I used dark but I love dark chocolate)
- 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips
- 1-2 tsp. orange zest.
- Preheat oven to 375°. Mix brown sugar, granulated sugar, Country Crock spread, egg, egg yolk and vanilla into a large bowl until well mixed. Stir in flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda, and cocoa powder until blended (dough will be soft and creamy).
- Add chopped chocolate orange, mini chocolate chips, and orange zest. Mix until well combined.
- Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets 3-inches apart. Bake 10 to 12 minutes until edges are lightly golden. Cool 1 minute on wire rack; remove from baking sheets and cool completely. Makes about 4 dozen.
How to throw a Cookie Exchange Party
- Decide the size of the party and the amount of cookies you want to exchange. This is completely up to you as the host or hostess. If your objective in throwing the party is to save on your own holiday baking time so you can have a variety of cookies to deliver to friends, neighbors, and co-workers over the holidays, you will want to invite a larger number of people and ask them to bring 6 dozen cookies. If you invite 12 people and they each bring 6 dozen cookies, you will have 864 cookies of all different varieties! This is so fun! If you package up one of each cookie in a decorative container, you will each have 12 plates of boxes or cookies to take home. Each person at the party can decide how they want to package their cookies, and how many cookies they would like in each gift box. If your objective is simply to get together and enjoy time with friends and family while eating cookies, you may only require each person bring a dozen cookies so that you can all try the cookies and take a plate home to your family. This would work great for an office cookie exchange as well or a children’s cookie exchange.
- Send invitations out to your guests.You will want to give your guests plenty of time plan and prepare for the party. Remember the holidays are a busy time for everyone, so giving plenty of notice will be appreciated. I suggest at least a 3 week notice. You can mail a homemade invitation or save time and money with an email or Facebook invite.
- Set clear expectations for your guests.In order for everyone to have a good experience at that party and feel things are fair, let your guests know up front what they are expected to bring, and what they can expect to take home. You are the host or hostess, and you can set the rules. Here are some expectations you will want to address in the invitation in addition to the date, time, and place of the party:
How many cookies should each guest bring?
Do you want the cookies to all be homemade or can they be purchased at a bakery if your guest doesn’t bake?
Do you want your guests to specifically bring Christmas or holiday cookies, or is a plain chocolate chip or peanut butter ok (I would recommend that they all be seasonally appropriate – this Country Crock® Make It Yours™ cookie dough recipe is perfect because you can creatively mix-in so many fun things!)?
Should the guests bring their own containers to take home cookies, or will you provide them at the party?
How do you want your guests to bring their cookies to the party – on a plate or platter, in a basket?
Do you want your guests to let you know by a certain date what kind of cookies they will be bringing? This will help you if you want to make place cards on the display table.
Should they bring a copy of the recipe or email their recipe out to the guest list before the party?
- Ideas and Preparations for the Cookie Exchange.
Prepare a display table or tables for the cookies your guests will bring with festive tablecloths and place cards. This will make it easy for your guests when they come in with their cookies. *IMPORTANT – to keep things sanitary, you will want to provide tongs for the cookies and a hand-washing station or anti-bacterial soap or gel. No one wants to go home from the party with the flu bug!
If you are providing containers for your guests to place the cookies in, set up a separate table with the plates, boxes, or bags. Consider providing tissue paper, plastic wrap, holiday ribbons, bows, and gift tags for your guests to decorate their cookie packages. If guests have been asked to bring their own containers, provide a table for them to place their store their packaged cookies on until it is time to go home.
Provide refreshments for your guests. If the guests will be eating the cookies they bring, some hot cocoa and/or cold milk would be a delicious addition to the cookies. If the cookies are only intended to package up and take home, you can make an extra batch of your own cookies to serve. Depending on your budget, time, and energy, you can decide if you want to serve more elaborate refreshments – like holiday appetizers or desserts, or just keep it simple with cookies and milk.
- Relax and Have Fun!
Turn on some holiday music, relax, and enjoy the time being creative with your cookies and visiting with your friends!