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This weekend I'm hosting my first ever cookie exchange here in our new state of Minnesota. Out of the 17 neighbors in our subdivision that I invited, I only know one of them. Sounds a little crazy and terrifying, huh? Our neighborhood is pretty new. There are houses going up all the time and those houses are filling up fast. Most of our neighbors who are new to the subdivision probably know just as many people as I do. If it wasn't for our neighbor Marla, who went out of her way to introduce herself and her extended family right away, even before our basement was dug, I would have been feeling even more homesick for my friends than I already was. We left behind some pretty awesome neighbors when we moved out of Wisconsin, but thanks to Marla, we have new equally awesome neighbors that we became fast friends with. Her grandsons play with my son, her son and my husband have been working on home projects together, and her daughter-in-law Jammie is stuck with me. :)
For years and years I knew all of the neighbors around me so living in this new subdivision where I know only one neighbor has been hard on me. Last month I attended my new friend Alison's party (who I met through selling some household items from our last house) and at this party her mother and I got to talking about my new neighborhood. I was telling her how I don't really know anyone around us except one of our neighbors and she suggested I have a holiday open house. I left the party considering this idea but I wasn't sure our house could hold all of the families since we did downsize. I could however, invite the ladies in the neighborhood for a cookie exchange!
And that's exactly what I did. I made invites using PicMonkey by creating a "picture". I then got those pictures developed, hole punched one corner, and then tied a cookie cutter to the invite with some festive holiday ribbon. I even created a board on Pinterest and added the link on the invite for those that were looking for ideas.
I was out shopping at Target for the Glad® Holiday Edition containers for the cookies I am making for the exchange when I noticed a recipe on the back of the box for no-bake Quaker M&M's® Cookies. These cookies would be the perfect exchange cookie for my friend Jammie to bring to my cookie exchange. Being a busy mom of 4 with a full-time job, I knew asking her to bring several dozen cookies to my exchange was a lot to ask so I invited her over to make these no-bake Quaker M&M's® Cookies.
My 17 year old daughter thinks it's "cute" when I hang out with friends so she snapped a couple of pictures of us making the cookies for the cookie exchange this weekend. :)
This recipe makes the perfect, easy no-bake cookie exchange cookie! You can make them ahead of time and store them in the XL Glad® Holiday Edition containers! Plus right now, you can save on each product with Target Cartwheel!
Quaker M&M’S® Cookies Recipe
- 1 cup Quaker® Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
- 1/2 cup peanut butter (I used crunchy)
- 1 bag M&M’S® Holiday Baking Minis
- Optional Mix-in: 1-2 pouches SNICKERS® Bites, 8oz
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Stir all ingredients together in a medium bowl until thoroughly mixed. Cover and let chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Once chilled, roll into balls approximately 1" in diameter.
- Store in GLAD® containers, bags or wraps.
You can find the M&M’S® Holiday Baking Minis and the GLAD® containers, bags or wraps in the holiday section at Target and the Quaker® Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked) in the cereal aisle. The recipe for these Quaker M&M’S® Cookies is right on the GLAD® and Quaker® Oats container too!
Wish me luck this weekend as I host my first ever cookie exchange here in Minnesota! I hope this cookie exchange is the first of many to come. :)
If you have hosted a cookie exchange before and have some tips for this newbie, please share! Next on my to-do list for this exchange is name tags since we're all going to be learning so many new names!