Quickly approaching are the crisp snowy evenings when people gather, drink booze and make many varieties of Christmas cookies together, or bring their pre-baked treats to trade. In theory, it works GREAT. In reality… you typically have a few dozen cookies that all taste like the 2 peppermint cookies and 7 pieces of peanut butter and maple fudge on your platter. Fail.
Tis the season of ‘sharing’ and aside from sharing germs whilst you pass the giant bottle of Fireball whiskey around for slugs, your cookies are all sharing flavors too. Have you ever tasted a Peanut Butter Maple Mint Chocolate Chip Cookie? I have, and it is not good.
So I’m leaving you with a few tips to get an A+ at your Cookie Swap… and to leave with a platter of goodies that all taste like they should! Then a few of my favorite cookie recipes, suitable for taking to a Cookie Swap.
Christmas Cookie Swap Do’s and Don’ts:
1. Bring Packaging Materials: Bring plenty of packing materials ie: plastic wrap, aluminum foil, and gallon sized zip topped bags. It is inevitable that someone will bring Peppermint Fudge or Peanut Butter Cookies, so you can wrap each of these treats separately, first in plastic, then in foil.
2. Bring a Recipe You Trust, and A COPY: Bring a recipe that doesn’t share its flavor, and is a recipe you know will taste delicious. I don’t know about yours, but when choosing their treat on the communal plate, my family gravitates to the best cookie, not the most ‘holiday’ cookie in flavor or appearance. Also, if you bring copies of your recipe or label your goodies, everyone will know what they are getting. (Also, if you are the party host, kindly ask around to see there are allergies that need to be worked around, such as a peanut allergy etc. If you have a copy of the recipe, people can double check that your treat is safe as well.)
3. Avoid the universal plate. The biggest fail occurs at a Cookie Swap when all treats are mounded on one another on the communal plate. That is the peak time for flavor sharing!
4. Think outside the box. Don’t discredit a delicious bar recipe when searching. One cookie exchange I went to even had a full size (frozen) cheeseball, with crackers as one of the take home items! It was wonderful, and I was so thankful to have something to take to a party down the road.
5. Enjoy the time you have with friends and family. With the world the way it is these days, we should all be thankful to even consider having a cookie-swap or other festive gathering in warm homes with an abundance of food, safety, joy and laughter. Enjoying life’s simple pleasures is the greatest gift any time of year.
Cristen’s Cookie Swap Approved Cookie and Bar Recipes:
English Toffee Cookies
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Sea Salt and Chocolate Picnic Bars
Blue Tin Butter Cookies
Sugared Raspberry Jam Tea Cookies
Giant Chocolate Chip Cookies
Dutch Letter Bars
Cream Cheese Surprise Chocolate Chip Cookies
Oatmeal Fudge Ribbon Bars
Pretty Oreo Pops or Cream Cheese Mints (just wrap the mints please!)
With Caution: Take these cookies, but appropriate gear (plastic wrap) to prevent flavor sharing!
Soft Ginger Spice Cookies