Sweeten this Holiday Season with a New Kind of Gathering – A Cookie Exchange

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This holiday season The Hershey Company invites bakers and sweet enthusiasts to try something new for this joyous time of the year. Spend time with family and friends by hosting an horneando juntas, a fun and delicious cookie exchange to help you welcome the holiday season and get to know your friends’ family recipes from back home and introduce them to new ones.

Hershey Kisses Chocolate BlossomCookie exchanges are a long-standing tradition in theUnited States. It is a great way to begin the holiday season.  Participants bake dozens of their favorite cookie and then take them to a party where guests trade their batch and end up with a variety of cookies from everyone else.

“We are excited to introduce the festive concept of a cookie exchange to Latinos in this country,” said Linda Stahl baking expert from La Cocina de HERSHEY’S®. “The holidays are about traditions and celebrating with your loved ones. An horneando juntas is a great way to share culture, recipes and family customs.”

The experts at La Cocina de HERSHEY’S® have provided tips on how to host a successful and sweet horneando juntas during the holidays.

“When hosting or attending a cookie exchange, be creative with traditional cookie recipes and add your favorite flavors, like sprinkling coconut shavings on top of a chocolate chip cookie. Bring those familiar flavors from back home to your horneando juntas to make it just a bit more special,” continued Linda Stahl.

Horneando Juntas Tips:

  • Invite guests at least two weeks in advance to make sure they have time to prepare and RSVP with the recipe they plan to make.
  • Encourage guests to bring traditional cookies from back home.  Entice them to bake cookies with ingredients such as coconut, guayaba, dulce de leche, among other Latin flavors, that will remind your guests of their or their family’s country. Bringing a piece of home during the holidays is always comforting! And don’t forget to play festive music to start welcoming the holiday spirit.
  • Remind each guest of the total number of people attending the horneando juntas, and ask each to bring at least half a dozen cookies for each person attending the exchange.
  • Encourage them to arrive with an empty, sealable container to take home other guests’ cookies. This is what this horneando juntas is all about. Make sure to have extra plastic bags or containers on hand for guests to transport their cookies home.
  • Involve the kids! Consider hosting your horneando juntas on a Saturday morning and have your friends bring the kids. They will enjoy the cookies as much as you will!
  • Be sure to offer a seasonal beverage, such as hot Hershey’s®Cocoaor ponche de frutas to start welcoming the holiday season.  Also, it is always good to have coffee, tea, milk and juice on hand.
  • Baking one item as a group during the cookie exchange adds an activity to enjoy together and fill the house with delicious warm cookie smell.  And after the horneando juntas you will have plenty of cookies to share as holiday gifts with people important in your life like your children teachers and/or work colleagues. Homemade cookies will show your appreciation for them.

La Cocina de HERSHEY’S® provides heart-warming recipes starring HERSHEY’S® KISSES® Chocolates like Bolitas Magicas KISSES® or Florecitas de Chocolate KISSES®.

Florecitas de Chocolate KISSES®    

  • 42 to 45 HERSHEY’S® KISSES® Brand Milk Chocolates, unwrapped    
  • 1 pouch (17.5 oz.) Betty Crocker® sugar cookie mix           
  • 1/4 cup HERSHEY’S®Cocoaor HERSHEY’S® SPECIAL DARK®Cocoa       
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened          
  • 1 egg  
  • Granulated sugar        
  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Remove wrappers from chocolates.        
  2. Stir together cookie mix and cocoa in large bowl until well blended and no lumps remain.  Add butter and egg; stir until soft dough forms.    
  3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls.  Roll in granulated sugar; place on ungreased cookie sheet.       
  4. Bake 7 to 9 minutes or until set. Do not overbake.  Immediately press chocolate piece into center of each cookie; cookie will crack around the edges.  Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.  Cool completely.    

About 3-1/2 dozen cookies.   

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