Cookie Exchanges -2011

Cookies  (baking and eating) are one of the most favorite Holiday traditions among families. It is also quite a lot of work to bake and decorate them. And if you are like me, one who makes about 12 different types of cookies, it’s a multiple week-long process. December is usually very busy for me baking up dozens of yummy treats to share with family and friends.

This year though, I had a buffet of other Holiday events, I had to trim down my Cookie To-Do list to accommodate everything. I managed to only attend/host two Cookie Exchanges, teach three cookie decorating classes and bake only six different types of cookies. I am sure this sounds like a lot going on but it’s very much a slim down version of my usual schedule.

I do love cookie exchanges as it allows me to share my cookies and also taste some amazing cookies I may not have had before, or would try normally. Plus you get to take home a variety of cookies! Who can complain about that?!?!? Not I!

This year I made traditional decorated sugar cookies for both exchanges.

Let’s visit this years cookie exchange events…

Cookie Exchange #1 – The Work Cookie Exchange

I was so very excited when I heard that there was going to be one at work. I had heard that we had a lot of wonderful bakers at work and was looking forward to the sampling. When the group got together, I was very surprised that we had zero duplicates of cookies and there were 12 of us. Everyone did such a fantastic job with the variety of bar cookies, traditional cookies and creative ingredient cookies. I sampled every one and can honestly say I loved every single one! This rarely happens. Someone even made a date cookie and I absolutely do not like dates. However this cookie bar was a perfect balance of cookie and dates (not overwhelming) which really made me reconsider dates and possibly figs in general.

 

Tara's Sugar Cookies

Cookie Exchange #2 – My Baking Group Cookie Exchange

I organize a Holiday baking group with Meet-up.com and I usually hold an annual cookie exchange. This year was the 3rd one. Again, variety of cookies, whats not to love right? This year was my favorite one to date. Not only did we have a great variety the socializing, exchange of cookie tips and horror stories and other chat was just a riot. I usually host these at my home but this year I held it at a local Starbucks that had a meeting space available to the public. Coffee and cookies… YUM!

The unique thing about this cookie exchange is that I also set-up a table filled with frosting cookies and decorating tools so that participants could decorate cookies. These cookies would be taken to a local shelter, senior home or church. I believe there is something special about receiving baked items especially when it is a surprise and not expected.  I wanted to pass this feeling on to others.

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For recipes or questions about any of the items posted, please send me an email at tara@taraskitchenonline.com.

Happy Holidays!

-Tara

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