Sweet Cookie Swap

 cookie swap

It’s not Christmas without the cookies, so invite your friends over for a holiday cookie swap! Everyone will enjoy sampling the sweets and mingling merrily at this festive gathering. To balance the sweets, set up a savory cheese board for guests to snack on while mingling and exchanging cookies. Serve a variety of cheeses, crackers, nuts, fruit, and honey, as well as a couple of bottles of wine.

cookie swap 

Have each guest bring a batch of their favorite cookie recipe. Before the cookie swap, ask what they plan to bring so you can print out tented recipe label cards. And make sure guests bring their signature cookie recipes so everyone can jot down their favorites on recipe cards. As guests arrive, arrange each cookie platter around the table next to the matching card. The best part of a cookie swap is that everyone gets to take home a selection of goodies. Simple cardboard boxes with handles are ideal for carrying a few of each variety. Tie ornaments to the handles with baker’s twine, and stick our favor tags to the corners of the boxes. Click here to download our printable recipe labels, recipe cards, and favor tags.

 cookie swap

 Our Sparkling Rosemary and Pear Preserves Cookies and Red Velvet Spirals are festive to the holiday season, and give the traditional cookie a fun twist. Both these recipes are sure to be a crowd pleaser at your cookie swap.

Sparkling Rosemary and Pear Preserves Cookies
Makes about 24 sandwich cookies
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Ingredients
  1. 11/2 cups butter
  2. 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  3. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  4. 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  5. 3 cups all-purpose flour
  6. 11/2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  7. 1 teaspoon salt
  8. 3 tablespoons coarse sparkling sugar
  9. 3/4 cup prepared pear preserves
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, beat butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and almond extract with a mixer at medium speed until creamy.
  2. In a separate medium bowl, sift together flour, rosemary, and salt. Reduce mixer speed to low, and gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating until combined.
  3. Place dough between two pieces of parchment paper, and roll to ¼- to 1/8-inch thickness. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  5. Using a 21/2-inch fluted round cutter, cut dough, rerolling scraps as necessary. Place on prepared pans, and sprinkle with sparkling sugar. Using a 1-inch fluted round cutter, cut centers from half of cookies.
  6. Bake until edges of cookies are slightly browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool on pans for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks.
  7. Spread 1 to 11/2 teaspoons pear preserves on flat side of all solid cookies. Place cookies with cutouts, flat side down, on top of filling. Store in airtight containers at room temperature for up to 5 days.
Celebrate Magazine http://www.celebratemag.com/
Red Velvet Spirals
Makes about 30
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
  2. 1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
  3. 21/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  4. 2 large eggs
  5. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  6. 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  7. 41/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  8. 2 teaspoons salt, divided
  9. 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream, divided
  10. 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  11. 2 teaspoons red food coloring
  12. 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  13. 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, beat butter, cream cheese, and confectioners’ sugar with a mixer at medium-high speed until creamy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and almond extracts, beating to combine.
  2. Reduce mixer speed to low; add 4 cups flour and 1 teaspoon salt, beating to combine. Add 1 tablespoon cream, and beat until smooth. Remove half of dough (approximately 3 cups), and set aside, leaving remaining half in bowl.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together cocoa powder, remaining 1 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/2 cup flour. In a separate small bowl, whisk together food coloring and remaining 1 tablespoon cream.
  4. Add cocoa mixture and food coloring mixture to remaining dough, beating to combine.
  5. Place red dough between two pieces of parchment paper, and roll into a 16x14-inch rectangle. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Repeat with white dough.
  6. Using a pastry brush, lightly coat red dough with beaten egg white. Invert white dough onto red dough, pressing gently to adhere both and trimming as necessary to make an even 14x12-inch rectangle. Starting with one long side, gently roll dough into a log. Wrap in parchment paper, and secure at each end. Freeze for 1 hour.
  7. Preheat oven to 350°. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a serrated knife, cut logs into ¼-inch-thick slices*. Place at least 2 inches apart on prepared pans. Sprinkle with granulated sugar.
  8. Bake until edges are lightly browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool on pans for 5 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
Notes
  1. *If logs become too soft while cutting, refrigerate for another 30 minutes or until firm enough to slice.
Celebrate Magazine http://www.celebratemag.com/