We are baking cookies today!
In the past I have participated in Cookie Exchanges and I think they are magnificent. The idea of only having to bake a baker’s dozen of one type of cookie and yet you leave the exchange with eleven more varieties to share with family and friends is splendid. I also admire the fact that there is often sampling of the cookies over conversation with the other women; it is nice to chit-chat and catch-up on everyone’s lives.
This year I did not attend a Cookie Exchange, I think life simply got in the way. To say I am disappointed is an understatement. I do not miss the cookies, although they are a nice bonus, I miss the conversation with friends while we sip on wine and discuss the latest happenings. Through my dismay I am finding comfort in the book The Christmas Cookie Club. Below is a description of the novel from the authors website.
Mark your calendar. It’s the Christmas Cookie Club! Every year on the first Monday of December, Marnie and her twelve closest girlfriends gather in the evening with batches of beautifully wrapped homemade cookies. Everyone brings a dish, a bottle of wine and their stories. This year, the stories are especially important. Marnie’s oldest daughter has a risky pregnancy. Will she find out tonight how that story might end? Jeannie’s father is having an affair with her best friend. Who else knew about the betrayal, and how can that be forgiven or forgotten, even among old friends such as these? Rosie’s husband doesn’t want children, and she has to decide whether that’s a deal breaker for the marriage. Taylor’s life is in financial freefall. Each woman, each friend has a story to tell, and they are all interwoven, just as their lives are. On this evening, at least, they can feel as a group the impulses of sisterly love and conflict, the passion and hopefulness of a new romance, the betrayal and disillusionment some relationships bring, the joys and fears of motherhood, the agony of losing a child and above all, the love they have for one another. As Marnie says, the Christmas Cookie Club, if it’s anything, is a reminder of delight. The Christmas Cookie Club is about the paths Marnie and her friends have taken, the absolute joy they take in life. Ultimately, The Christmas Cookie Club is every woman’s story. Celebrating courage and joy in spite of hard times and honoring the importance of women’s friendships and the embracing bonds of community, you’ll see yourself and some of the ingredients of your own story.
In-between each of the Chapters the author has provided history on the ingredients used in Christmas Cookies, such as flour, sugar, almonds, etc. Each chapter focuses on an attendee and also begins with that Cookie exchange attendee’s cookie recipe. I know I have been raving about this book to family and friends, I am just elated to find a novel that I can’t put down and it addresses an exciting Christmas event. An event that I unfortunately did not attend this year, so, I will be living vicariously through the Christmas Cookie Club book. (Please note: I am not receiving any endorsement, I am just sharing a great book with great friends, nothing more).
So, in an effort to at least add to my own recipe book and maybe make a few new friends I would like to launch a Virtual Cookie Exchange. Granted we can’t conveniently exchange real cookies but we can share recipes, photographs of cookies/baking, and stories about cookies, traditions, and more. So pour yourself a glass of wine and let the Virtual Cookie Exchange begin.
I will be making thumbprint cookies for the virtual cookie exchange.
Thumbprint Cookies Recipe
- 1 cup of butter (2 sticks or 8 ounces), room temperature
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 2 cups of flour
- 3/4 cup of your favorite jam
- Cream the butter and sugar on high-speed for about 3 minutes.
- Separate the eggs. Add the yolks and vanilla extract to the butter mixture.
- Add the flour and salt. Mix until just combined. Place the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes and preheat the oven to 350F.
- Roll the dough into balls about 1 inch in diameter. Place the balls on parchment lined cookie sheets.
- Press down with your thumb to make a small well in the center of the cookie. Do not press too hard or the cookie will fall apart. Fill with 1/2 teaspoon of jam.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes or until slightly firm. Allow to cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheet to firm up before moving them to a wire rack to finish cooling.
- Makes 2 dozen cookies.
I came across some really cool ideas that I think I will try next year and wanted to share.
These are adorable and the kiddos would get a kick out of them.
These looked really neat too and easy thanks to the cookie cutters.
Then these just blew my mind, they are gorgeous. I am not sure if I will ever have the patience to produce such a beautiful cookie.
Please share your cookie traditions; do you make them with your children, girlfriends, grandparents? What kind of cookies do you make one and contribute to a cookie exchange or lots of different kinds of cookies? Feel free to link your post or simply post a comment below.
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