If there’s one thing I love this time of the year, it’s making cookies. I know it’s just a silly little thing, but I think, in today’s world, people really like getting homemade cookies.
Normally, I’d make baking dates with friends, or I’d organize a cookie swap.
The idea of a cookie swap is you invite a bunch of friends over for an evening or an afternoon. Each friend brings a certain amount of cookies. I usually say 1 or 2 dozen–one dozen to swap, and 1 dozen to eat.
Then everyone puts out their cookies, and you take home the same amount of cookies you brought. You get to try different types of cookies, different recipes, and it’s always a fun, social event.
Clearly that’s not happening this year.
But you can do a Virtual Cookie Swap.
There’s two different ways you can do it:
Cookie Swap: Each person in the swap bakes the required amount of cookies (1 doz, 2 doz, whatever you decide) and then wraps up that amount of cookies separately for each of the participants. Then you either mail or drop off the packages (safely–no contact). Then you organize a zoom call where you all open a bottle of wine, or even better, make a festive cocktail, and open and try your cookies all at once.
Virtual Cookie Swap (recipes): This will cost you less money in postage. Each person contributes a beloved favourite Christmas Cookie recipe, and the organizer puts them all together in an online “book.” You can use Evernote or OneNote for something like this (it even allows you to create chapters!). Then each of you can choose one or all of the recipes to make yourself. You can still have a zoom party.
Charity Component? One thing you might want to build into your virtual cookie swap is a charitable component. Maybe you’ll all donate to a specific cause, or agree to try to solicit donations for a specific cause. Many charities are suffering this year because of COVID, as they’ve been unable to do their normal fundraising campaigns and events. And this year, people are struggling more than ever. Or maybe you want to make extra cookies and donate them to your local homeless shelter.
You need music! You can create your own Spotify playlist (everyone can contribute their favourite songs) or use one that’s already been built.
Christmas Cocktails. If you wanna get real fancy, add the component of a Christmas Cocktail (for a few of my favourites, click here and scroll down to the bottom of the page) to your party. You can either send out the recipe in advance so everyone can pick up the ingredients, or even make little cocktail kits. A bunch of Vancouver restaurants are also offering ready-made cocktail kits.
I wanted to share with you a few of my personal favourite Christmas Cookie Recipes.
Salted Dark Chocolate Shortbread: super easy to make, these employ the “lazy” method of making shortbread. Few ingredients, but maximum impact.
Easy Spiced Chocolate Christmas Cookies: Again, not hard to make, beautiful result.
Amaretti Cookies (vegan): Amaretti are those meringue-like, crispy cookies you get with your coffee in an Italian restaurant. This is my vegan version, using Aquafaba. Very festive!
Miniature Brownies: This is a Christmas recipe I’ve been making for a minimum of 20 years. They’re so yummy and festive.
Matcha Shortbread Cookies: all the shortbread recipes pack and ship well, but this one incorporates the green colour of matcha, so is extra festive.
Ginger Cookies: These are the real deal. With three types of ginger, they pack a punch!
Vegan Eggnog Cookies: They taste like eggnog! How can you go wrong?