Christmas Cookie Party Perfection

The next best thing to baking cookies for many home chefs is baking cookies with friends. Dust off your favorite recipes, create a festive playlist and fill your home with the tantalizing aroma of baked goodies for the ultimate Christmas cookie party.

Turn things up a notch and swap classic sugar cookies for these festive Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies. Along with those tasty treats, don’t let your guests go thirsty. Add peppermint extract to a slow cooker hot chocolate so guests can sip and be merry throughout the party.

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Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies

1 2/3    cups flour

1/3       cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2    teaspoons baking powder

1/4       teaspoon salt

1/2       cup (1 stick) butter, softened

1 1/4    cups granulated sugar

2          eggs

1 1/2    teaspoons McCormick Red Food Color

1          teaspoon McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract

1/2       cup confectioners’ sugar

nonstick cooking spray

In medium bowl, mix flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt; set aside. In large bowl, beat butter and granulated sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, food color and vanilla extract; mix well. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until well mixed. Refrigerate 4 hours.

Heat oven to 350 F. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in confectioners’ sugar to completely coat. Place 2 inches apart on baking sheets sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.

Bake 10-12 minutes, or until cookies are puffed. Cool on baking sheets 2 minutes. Remove to wire racks; cool completely.

Slow Cooker Peppermint Hot Chocolate

1/2       gallon (8 cups) whole milk

1          can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk

(Family Features)

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