Cookie Exchange

My mother wasn’t a big cook and except for the holidays, she wasn’t much of a baker either. On the holidays however she pulled out all the stops. We made many kinds of cookies and then they were used as gifts for our teachers, the minister, the postman and relatives. This is a tradition that I’ve continued in my life. I do nice trays for my milkman, my hardware store and my library in addition to having cookies all through the season.  If you invite me over during December, I show up with a plate of assorted goodies.

About 10 years ago my boss asked me if I knew anything about cookie exchanges as she thought it would be a nice “morale booster” at the office. I didn’t know a thing but thanks to the magic of the internet I because knowledgeable over night! Despite having 15 kinds of cookies on my front porch (it’s cold out there) I now organize the office cookie exchange every year.

Then this year a good friend of mine decided to do a cookie exchange and asked if I were interested. I enjoy her parties and know a lot of the same people she knows so I said “Sure.”  So now I have two cookies exchanges on the calendar despite a porchful of holiday treats.

There were quite a few of us today. We drew numbers, went around the room and told the “story” of our cookies and then split into groups and took 2 dozen cookies in each of three rounds.  A little different protocol than the classical exchange but pretty good for the big number of folks who were there.   We also had beverages and other appetizers to keep us going.  The stories were hilarious and the company fabulous.

Guess I’m taking cookies to the office tomorrow.

What holiday cookie would you take to a cookie exchange?

34 thoughts on “Cookie Exchange”

    1. Yes I do have a milkman. I started getting milk delivery when YA was little because I hated always having to run out to get milk. Or Yo-J, she really liked Yo-J. It made my grocery bill go down because who goes to the store to get milk and just gets milk? And now it’s just convenience because he brings milk and frozen waffles and cheese and even ice cream if we want it.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Russian Tea cakes, Serena kakor, krumkakor, Swedish Milans, spritz, anise platchen, springerele, there are others but I can’t think of them right now. I will make cookies this weekend to send to daughter and to mother in law, along with stollen and potica.

    Liked by 2 people

      PREP: 10 MINUTES
      COOK: 10 MINUTES
      When I make sugar cookies, this is the only recipe I use. I’m convinced there is no better. The taste is out of this world, and the dough rolls and keeps its shape beautifully.

      3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
      1 cup sugar
      2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
      2 egg yolks
      Zest of one medium lemon (about 1 1/2 teaspoons)
      Icing and decorations of your choice, if desired

      1.Cream sugar and butter together in a large bowl, beating until well incorporated.
      2.Add the egg yolks and lemon zest. Beat until well mixed.
      3.Sift the flour over the wet ingredients, and mix just until combined.
      4.Knead together very gently until it forms enough of a ball to plop onto a piece of plastic wrap. Work the dough just enough to get it to stick together, but be careful not to overdo it. (Honestly, I get so paranoid about overworking the dough that I pile the crumbs onto the plastic wrap, fold it up around the mound, and press it together that way.)
      5.Completely wrap the dough with the plastic wrap.
      6.Chill dough for three hours.
      7.Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
      8.Roll out dough – I go as thin as 1/8 inch, but I prefer about 1/4 inch thick. Cut into shapes, adding additional flour as necessary to avoid sticking.
      9. Place cookie shapes on a cookie sheet (no need to grease) and bake for about 8 minutes, just until the cookies start to turn pinky beige around the edges.
      10. Let cool for a couple of minutes on the baking sheet, then move to wire rack to cool completely.

      Eat plain or decorate with sugar cookie icing.


  2. Well, if I was invited to a cookie exchange today (and I won’t be), I would bring what I call Cardamom Snowballs – basically I made Mexican Wedding Cakes using the recipe from king arthur flour website and added cardamom to the cookie dough. Yum. Why those particular cookies? Because those are the only ones I’ve made so far.

    If I was invited to a cookie exchange (which I won’t be) after I’ve made more goodies (which may or may not happen), then it’s a tossup between the aforementioned Cardamom Snowballs, Chocolate Truffle Cookies (very chocolately -when I open the tin, the chocolate aroma is almost as good as eating it), Nutmeg Logs (with real rum, not rum flavoring), and Ginger Hottentots (or another ginger cookie). The coffee-walnut toffee I make always gets a “wow” reaction but it’s too fussy for me to make enough for a cookie exchange.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I have a recipe for a little chocolate cookie that has a candied cherry on top, covered with chocolate frosting. I haven’t made the recipe for awhile because it’s sort of fussy, but it’s the sort of thing you make for a cookie exchange because it’s likely to be different from what everyone else brings. I think they were called chocolate cherry surprise cookies, or something like that.

    My sister and I are discussing the possibility of making rosettes this year on Christmas Eve. We had a several-years-in-a-row Christmas Eve rosette tradition decades ago. It went by the wayside because usually one or both of us had to work on Christmas Eve. This year we both happen to be off.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. we are doing a traditional fondue on christmas eve this year. cheese meat and veggie fondue bowls. got a new tempura recipe i can hardly wait to try, simple rice flour and club soda. the club soda makes the stuff puff.
    truffles arent cookies and they are kind of fussy but what a payoff
    need orange from grand marnier, baileys, captain morgans rum,
    coconut liquor, cherry kirsch and ameretto. i love the liquors flavors ad remember frangellica and the candy called chicken bones?

    Liked by 2 people

  5. We don’t do much with cookies. Daughter is gluten free and she and Kelly bake GF chocolate chip once in a while.
    I make Sp K bars a few times / year.
    And bread. I give a lot of bread away around Christmas but it doesn’t really work for an exchange type thing.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I would probably make a healthy, no-bake cookie/bar thing. I admire people who do all the baking, but I refuse to participate on health and diet grounds. I’ve already gained 5 lbs in the last month That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. We used to make lots of different cookies but we’ve tapered off considerably. We would either have cookies hanging around until March, or we would eat way too many cookies and neither alternative is ideal. I used to make cardamom bread wreaths from the Sunset cookbook too, but at Christmas, with the overload of food choices, they didn’t get eaten before they went stale.
    Robin made some chocolate chip orange biscotti last night and we will probably make some roll-out cookies for the granddaughters to decorate with too much frosting, plus the aforementioned Mexican Wedding Cakes from King Arthur flour, but I expect that will be it.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I would like to be the blog’s cookie taster and try a bite of each of the cookies mentioned. I might make my grandma’s Kringla (which I’ve described here before) and dress it up with some green frosting and red hearts or something.

    tim asked: “remember frangellica and the candy called chicken bones” I do not. What are they?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Baking holiday cookies has never really been part of my Christmas tradition, I suspect partly because mom never baked – not ever, not even once. I have baked the occasional Danish Christmas cookie over the years, but it’s been a hit and miss proposition based on a sudden impulse. I find most Christmas cookies too sweet, but I’ll admit there are some that I like. Besides, I have friends and neighbors who are way better bakers than I am, and they are generous with their cookies! Lucky me!

    If I were to go to a cookie exchange I can think of only two cookies I’d bother with (and that probably wouldn’t garner me an invitation). I love “brunkager” and “klejner,” two very traditional Danish cookies. Here’s a link to a good klejner recipe:

    Denny’s, the bakery in Bloomington that bakes Danish whole grain pumpernickel also make brunkager (though they call them marjonger). Chances are that if have brunkager in the house they’re from Denny’s.

    Liked by 1 person

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