Skip to main content

Guest Post: Easy, Cheap Christmas Presents

Today’s post is a guest post by Lisa E. at Sweet as Sugar Cookies.

Christmas will soon be upon us and, if you're like me, you're already thinking about all the people you want to give gifts to. The list is probably a little long - friends, teachers, neighbors, the mailman, the paperboy, etc., etc. But, let's face it, sometimes (okay, a lot of the time for me) it just isn't possible to buy gifts for every person who has touched your life.

At the same time, you don't want to forget them, especially during this time of year. My solution? Bake up some cookies, wrap them up pretty, and then give like there's no tomorrow to as many people as you choose. I've even got a great recipe that you can use and it won't cost too much to make them because you only need four ingredients, that's right, I said four. Did I mention that they're chocolate too? Plus, you can add whatever you want to them to make endless types of cookies. It's a great way to use up all those little odds and ends in your pantry that you don't want to toss, but that aren't enough for an entire cookie recipe. So, without further ado, I present to you, Sparkling Cocoa Drops.


The recipe comes from the book Desserts4Today by Abigail Johnson Dodge. The dough comes together as easy as 1-2-3 and the cookies themselves are amazing. They are as fudgy and rich as brownies even though they're made with cocoa powder instead of melted chocolate. Here's some of the variations I came up with (they can be seen in the picture below from left to right):

  1. Peanut butter and chocolate - "ice" the cookie with some microwaved peanut butter
  2. Black Forest cookies - add dried cherries and chocolate chips
  3. Mexican Hot Chocolate cookies - roll the ball of cookie dough in cinnamon-sugar
  4. Sweet and salty - sprinkle the cookie with a little sea salt before baking
  5. Chocolate pumpkin thumbprints - press a pumpkin spice Hershey's kiss into the baked cookie while it's still warm
  6. Surprise cookies - wrap the cookie dough around Butterfinger Snackerz

Use your imagination to create whatever cookie you choose. You could add different types of chips, nuts, Oreo cookies, or chopped pretzels to the dough. Or, throw in a little flavoring like orange or mint. You could also make thumbprint cookies using raspberry jam or drizzle your finished cookies with caramel. The possibilities are endless. So, when you feel that spirit of giving stirring in you, remember this:

4 simple ingredients = endless delicious cookies = 1 incredible Christmas gift

Sparkling Cocoa Drops (adapted from My Kitchen Addiction and Desserts 4 Today) 1 c. granulated sugar, divided 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature 1/3 c. unsweetened cocoa powder 1 c. all-purpose flour mix-ins or flavorings of your choice Preheat the oven to 350F.
Line two cookie sheets with parchment or nonstick liners.
Place 1/4 cup of the granulated sugar in a small bowl and set aside.
Beat together the sugar, softened butter, and cocoa powder in a mixing bowl with a hand mixer on slow speed. Once the mixture is combined and fluffy, add the flour and continue to mix until just blended, for about 1 minute.
Using your hands, roll the dough into 1-inch balls (approximately 1 Tbsp. of dough). Once the balls of dough are shaped, roll them in the reserved sugar (if desired) and then place them on the prepared cookie sheets, spacing them about 1 1/2 inches apart. (I'd recommend that you not flatten these cookies as they tend to spread a lot in the oven if you do - like mine did).
Bake the cookies until the tops look dry, for approximately 11-12 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, and then transfer to a rack to cool completely. Serve immediately or cover and store at room temperature for up to two days.

Lisa is an Asian girl, born and raised in Hawaii.  She shares that some of her fondest childhood memories are of her mother baking in the kitchen and always having delicious treats waiting for them when her sisters and she got home from school.  She believes she inherited her love of cooking and baking from her mother and now, whenever she goes home for vacations, she’s the one who has goodies waiting when her mom comes home from work.  Lisa created her blog, Sweet as Sugar Cookies, because she wanted to share some of her favorite family recipes as well as her love of the kitchen with others.  Lisa loves blogging because it gives her the opportunity to get to know other bloggers and "virtually" cook/bake along with them no matter where in the world they are. 


  1. Yummy I have added this to my Christmas count down - What a great way to share some Christmas love without breaking the bank.

  2. This sounds great for Christmas gifts! You are right, there's just too many people that's on the 'list', this cookies would definitely bring some smiles!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Extravagantly . . . A Personal Post

There haven't been many personal posts from me in quite some time. I find I can't schedule them; I simply have to wait until it comes pouring from my emotions through my brain and into my fingertips.

Apparently today, I have something to say.

I've been reading a really challenging book with an unusual title. Brace yourself - it'sGod and Boobs by Angie Schuller-Wyatt. Yep, Schuller, as in Robert Schuller of the Crystal Cathedral. It's written by his granddaughter. I was a little wary when I received a copy to review. Honestly I was afraid it was going to be irreverent at best and unbiblical at worst. But I haven't found that to be true. In fact, I've been very surprised to find it challenging and encouraging of me as a believer and as a woman - fully and completely, a woman.

One of the things that it mentioned is how often we misinterpret the verse "Guard your heart for out of it are all the issues of life." Growing up this verse was used regularly …

A Christmas Post

This year as Christmas has approached, I have found myself thinking of Mary. Being the mom of three boys, I think it’s easier for me to put myself in her place . . . and yet, who can imagine what that was really like?
I grew up in a very conservative group of believers who eschewed any focus on Mary in order to counteract what they saw as “worship” of Mary by Catholics and Episcopals and some other more liturgical beliefs.
But you can’t deny Mary had an experience that no one before her and no one after her will ever have. She had a unique relationship with Jesus. She was his mom.
Think about the facts as real life and not some story in a book you’ve heard a million times.
Mary was barely a teenager.She had never had sex.An angel appeared to her and told her she was having a baby.Mary is pregnant in a society that KILLS unwed mothers.Mary may have only barely known Joseph as their engagement was likely arranged . . . and he was probably much older. She had to go to this man and try to …

AMAZING Disney Fish Extender Gift Ideas

Being new to the Disney traveler's world meant being new to the FE world . . . and as we researched how we were going to participate in the FE that is a part of our cruise, we came across a lot of good FE ideas so I thought I would share them.

Disney Earrings - there are all kinds and many of them are one-of-a-kind but these are a novelty that I know I would love to get as an FE from someone else

Vintage Mickey Mouse Earrings - $3.99 MindieMay
Disney Character Clothes Pins - These would work well to close bags that hold other FE gifts or you could put a magnet on the back of each one and everyone could use them as note holders on the walls of their stateroom. Super cute - this vendor does a really good job with them.
Disney Character Clothes Pins-  OneMoreSunshine
Wave Phone Holders - If you need more information on what these are, you can see my previous post Top 5 Disney Necessities. Basically these are simple holders for a phone that Disney provides which is a cross between a cell p…