The cookies are the star of a cookie exchange , so if you're hosting one, be sure to set out plenty of platters. When guests arrive, give them a serving tray and have them arrange their cookies, placing cards with the name of each cookie nearby. Also stock up on takeout containers and cardboard boxes so everyone has a place to put their newfound treats. I recommend selecting a recipe that produces a large batch of popular cookies like these chocolate-espresso snowcaps coated in powdered sugar. Crunchy peanut butter cookies and spicy ginger cookies are a crowd-pleasing classics, while lemony almond coconut macaroons are chewy and delicious. To check out these favorite cookie recipes, In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, espresso, baking powder, and salt.
With an electric mixer, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg until well combined; mix in cooled chocolate. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture; beat in milk until just combined. Flatten dough into a disk; wrap in plastic. Freeze until firm, about 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Shape dough into 1-inch balls.
Pour confectioners' sugar (about 1/2 cup) into a medium bowl; working in batches, roll balls in sugar two times, letting them sit in sugar between coatings.
Place on prepared baking sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake until cookies have spread and coating is cracked, 12 to 14 minutes; cookies will still be soft to the touch. Cool cookies on a wire rack. Preheat the oven to 350° and position 2 racks in the upper and lower thirds.
In a medium bowl, mix the peanut butter with the sugar, baking soda and egg. Stir in the peanuts and chocolate chips.
Roll tablespoons of the dough into 24 balls. Set the balls on 2 baking sheets, and using a fork, make a crosshatch pattern on each cookie. Bake for 15 minutes, shifting the baking sheets from front to back and bottom to top, until the cookies are lightly browned and set. Let cool on a wire rack. Combine first 6 ingredients in medium bowl; whisk to blend. Mix in crystallized ginger.
Using electric mixer, beat brown sugar, shortening and butter in large bowl until fluffy. Add egg and molasses and beat until blended. Add flour mixture and mix just until blended. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly butter 2 baking sheets. Spoon sugar in thick layer onto small plate. Using wet hands, form dough into 1 1/4-inch balls; roll in sugar to coat completely. Place balls on prepared sheets, spacing 2 inches apart.
Bake cookies until cracked on top but still soft to touch, about 12 minutes. Cool on sheets 1 minute. Carefully transfer to racks and cool. (Can be made 5 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.)Heat oven to 325° F. In a large bowl, combine the coconut, almonds, sugar, lemon zest, and salt. Mix in the egg whites.
Drop mounds of the mixture (each equal to 2 tablespoons) onto 2 parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing them 1½ inches apart.
Bake, switching the baking sheets halfway through, until the edges begin to brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool slightly on baking sheets, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week. i made the espresso snow caps and the coconut macaroons last year and they were a hit.