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Cookies sweeten holiday memories
holiday cookies 1
Snowmen, Santas, Christmas trees, pumpkins, and turkeys are just some of the many different holiday-inspired decorated cookies available at local business Lisas Cookie Jar. - photo by CARA HALLAM / The Journal

How to host a cookie exchange

Next time you have a holiday gift to give, why not host a cookie exchange? Your friends can bake their favorite recipes to trade with the group—and you'll all walk away with a homemade treat to share.

Step 1: Invite family, friends and cookie connoisseurs over for a cookie exchange. Make it clear that each person is to bake and bring only one type of cookie to share with each member of the party.

Step 2: When your guests RSVP, have them let you know what kind of cookies they'll be bringing (so there aren't any duplicates) or assign them a cookie recipe to bake and bring.

Step 3:Make sure each guest brings an empty container so that they can easily take their treats home.

Step 4: Depending on how many people attend, each guest should bring either a dozen or half a dozen cookies for each member of the party.

Step 5: Don't forget to ask everyone to bring copies of their cookie recipes to share—once the tasting ends, the recipe swapping always begins!

— Courtesy of Hershey Kitchens; for cookie recipe ideas, visit

With Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner, the smell of freshly baked cookies may start to fill homes as holiday prep begins. While planning your own holiday festivities, cookie decorating can be a fun — and delicious — way for the whole family to spend quality time together.

Although cookie decorating might at first seem like a simple enough task, local business owner Lisa Fernandes of Lisa’s Cookie Jar says that it can easily turn into quite the job, and a messy one at that.

“Definitely do not wait until the last minute,” said Fernandes, who makes hundreds of holiday inspired cookies throughout the season. “It’s a lot of fun but can also take a very long time, and get really messy. Make sure to have a lot of space available, because it often ends up taking over your entire kitchen.”

Primarily using royal icing, Fernandes decorates all sorts of holiday inspired cookies by hand. Her business is filled with scores of various cookie cutters with shapes ranging from gingerbread men to acorns.

“Throughout the holiday season, we sell all kinds of different holiday decorated cookies,” said Fernandes. “We have Santas, poinsettias, ornaments, snowflakes, Christmas trees, cookies that look like mini pumpkin pies; all sorts of different shapes.”

Using numerous styles of cookie decorating supplies such as edible glitter, many of Lisa’s cookies look almost too beautiful to eat.

“The edible glitter is really popular,” said Fernandes. “We put it on the snowflakes so they sparkle. Those are always really popular during the holidays.”

While Lisa’s Cookie Jar decorated specialty cookies are generally made from shortbread, other delicious options include chocolate chip, snickerdoodle, s’more cookies, oatmeal raisin, and many more.

Although she currently does not sell cookie decorating kits, Fernandes said that it is an option they have considered doing throughout the holiday season. If your holiday cookie plans become more than you can handle,  Lisa's Cookie Jar will accept  custom-decorated cookie orders throughout the next two months.

Lisa’s Cookie Jar is open from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and is located at 115 S. Broadway.