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.

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

1

package (12 ounces) dark chocolate chips

1/2

teaspoon McCormick Pure Peppermint Extract

Place whole milk, condensed milk, chocolate chips and peppermint extract in slow cooker. Cover. Cook 60-70 minutes on high, or until chocolate is melted and mixture is heated through, stirring every 15 minutes.

Reduce heat to warm or low to serve.

Find more holiday recipes at McCormick.com.

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