Holiday Treat Exchange


I look for every opportunity to entertain, especially around the Holidays and amid all the hustle and bustle, creating a special time to enjoy with my friends is one of my favorite traditions. This idea came to me after putting together a charcuterie board for a neighborhood gathering. What if I swapped the traditional meats and cheeses with fun, holiday baked goods and other sweet treats created by my guests— a twist on the traditional exchange!

When planning the party, allow your guests ample time to determine and let you know what they wish to contribute. Taking it a step further and ask that they share the recipe and ingredients list for the item they want to bring. Along with ensuring no desserts are duplicated and guaranteeing a yummy variety, create recipe cards for each guest to take home as a gift.

As hostess, you should ensure the essentials are ready by choosing and having the containers and packaging ready for assembly. Be sure the container you choose has ample space to accommodate the items. Consider creating a signature cocktail and be sure to add a holiday flare. Choose a color palette and theme for your table spread and create a vibe that makes sense for the age group you are hosting.

Set the tone with holiday music and enjoy a simple, edible gift exchange!

Here we used a blue and red palette to carry throughout the table setting. I filled ornaments with wine and set them inside of the glasses on the buffet ready to grab and pour. I carefully selected extra filler candies like green and red gumdrops, peppermint sticks, rolled creme- filled wafer, candied nuts, ginger snaps, fresh sprigs of rosemary, and sugared cranberries so that my guests could fill their boards full of festive color. These Christmas tree shaped Kraft containers went perfectly with the vision I had in mind. Cellophane bags and pretty ribbon and tags made for a simple finishing touch!

Snowcapped Cupcake Cones


  • 12 sugar cones
  • 10 oz white, vanilla melting wafers
  • Prepared chocolate cake in 9×13 cake pan (box or preferred method)
  • Powdered sugar (garnish)


Prepare each cone by pushing the open side of cone into prepared chocolate cake to bottom of pan, filling the cone with cake. Brush off excess cake from sides and bottom to ensure they will stand. Melt vanilla wafers according to package directions. Drizzle tops of cones with melted wafers. Before serving, sprinkle a light dusting of powdered sugar.



  • 6 tbsp butter
  • 6 cups crispy rice cereal
  • 16 oz package of mini marshmallows
  • Red m&ms (nose)
  • Brown food gel or icing
  • Candy eyeballs
  • 4” lollipop sticks (optional)


In large pot, melt butter. Add marshmallows, stir until completely melted. Remove from heat, add crispy rice cereal. Pour mixture into a greased 9×13 inch pan, gently pressing into pan. Allow to set before cutting (preferably 12 hours). Cut into 16 even pieces.

With a small amount of icing on the back of the m&ms and eyeballs place the nose and eyeballs. Next, pipe on the antlers with the icing. Optional, add a lollipop stick adorned with a ribbon.

Oreo Truffles


  • 30 regular oreos
  • 1 (8 oz) package of cream cheese – softened
  • 1 (16 0z) package of vanilla candy coating
  • Holiday sprinkles of choice


Place whole cookies in a plastic bag and smash them with a rolling pin until they are a fine powder. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until soft and fluffy. Add crushed Oreos and beat until combined. Scoop mixture out using a tablespoon scoop, then roll into balls and set them in rows on a wax paper lined baking sheet. Place the Oreo balls in the freezer to harden – approximately 30 minutes. Once Oreo balls are frozen, prepare vanilla candy coating according to package instructions.

Dip hardened Oreo balls into the melted candy coating and place back on the baking sheet to harden. While candy coating is still wet top with desired sprinkles or toppings.

Chocolate Snack Mix


  • 4 cups chocolate Chex
  • 4 cups Rice Chex
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup hot cocoa powder
  • 1 (11.5oz) bag milk chocolate baking chips
  • 1.5 cups mini marshmallows
  • 1 cup chocolate nonpareils
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup crushed peppermints – larger chunks


In a large bowl combine both plain a d chocolate Chex. In a separate bowl combine powdered sugar and hot cocoa powder. Microwave milk chocolate baking chips in microwave safe bowl at 15 second intervals, stirring each time until fully melted.

Pour melted chocolate onto Chex cereal, stir until well coated. Pour half of the sugar mixture and half of the Chex cereal into a one gallon bag, close and gently shake to cover the Chex cereal with the powdered sugar. Remove from bag and spread onto wax paper lined baking sheet to cool. Repeat with remaining Chex cereal and chocolate. Add cooled Chex cereal, mini marshmallows, chocolate nonpareils, and white chocolate chips to a large bowl and mix. Top with crushed peppermints.