Friday, December 18, 2009

A Favorite Tradition... Sarah's Annual Cookie Swap

Cookie Party at the Lake House, December 2006
Individually wrapped cookies with recipe

I love the holidays and the traditions we have set over the years. One of which is my annual cookie swap party that is always the Saturday before Christmas. I started hosting this party 9 years ago in my very first apartment in Stamford, CT, and just about every year or every other year as I moved through life and apartments the cookie party moved with me, which made it exciting for the guests as every year it was in a new place; from Stamford, to the Upper East Side in Manhattan, to Hoboken, a Lake House in CT and finally a more permanent stop at our home in East Hampton. I can't believe the number of times I have moved in the past 9 years!

However despite the moving address the party has remained the same, and has become a favorite tradition for me and some of my closest friends and family. The holidays and weeks leading up to them are some of the busiest of the year, so for me this is a day I look forward to all season, when we can get together, catch up, celebrate and relax.

Sarah's Annual Cookie Party Lunch Menu
  • Jamie's Cranberry Spinach Salad
  • Two Soups (which for the past 8 years I always made myself, but this year I just couldn't resist the temptation and ease of having a master make them for me. So I asked Andrew Madsen from the Mystic Soup Co. to create two of my favorites) shhhh.... don't tell my guests I might still be able to get credit.
  • Stuffed Breads (Buffalo Chicken, Spinach and Cheese, Pepperoni)
  • Panerra Bread (Three Cheese, Whole Grain)
  • Christmas Sherbert Punch (half gallon of minute maid fruit punch, 1 liter of ginger ale, 1/2 gallon of rainbow sherbert, you can also add Champagne if you wish)
  • Baked Brie in Puff Pastry with Raspberry Preserves
  • Fresh Fruit Platter
  • Coffee/Tea
Rules of the Swap

The Details:
A cookie exchange is no ordinary party! No one arrives or leaves a cookie exchange party empty handed. For this special occasion, you must bring an assortment of things:

1. 6-Dozen Home Baked Cookies: It is best if you bring cookies that will hold their shape well. That means: NO soft icings and No refrigerator cookies, because they are likely to get smooshed in transit.

2. Based on the final number of guests attending it is best to individually bag them. I.e. with 6 dozen and 12 guests baking it would be 6 cookies per bag. This helps to keep the cookies fresh and prevent them all from tasting like each other.

3. Recipes: Please send me a copy of the recipe you will be making for the exchange as soon as you decide.

4. Please bring 15 copies of your recipe for people to take during the swap.

5. Also, please bring an extra plate of your cookies so that people could sample them before we do the swap.

Please RSVP! Let me know what type of cookie you will be bringing. I would like to ensure that there are a wide variety of cookies baked, so have more than one idea in mind in case someone has already chosen your first choice.

Happy Baking!

Other Cookie Swap Tips and Ideas from a baking expert.


CJSTYLES said...

what a GREAT idea!!!

Anna Sawin said...

Love this! We need recipes posted later, please--for us slackers who haven't even thought about what kind of cookies to make this year!

EST said...

Delicious - what a fun and yummy way to get together with people around the holidays!

TRUE Event said...

Thanks ladies. I will absolutely share the recipes. Every year they get better and better. But I am still a huge fan of the traditional ones. My selection this year, Coconut Cream Cheese Pinwheels, was a first place winner on Martha Stewart Living Television, look out ladies.