The Best Holiday Cookie Swap Ever

December 9th, 2008 · Tags: Behind the Scenes · Food · Italy

Ok, maybe not ever, but in my time in Italy, yes. And we’ve only just begun…(cue music). Now that I’ve waded into the waters of cookie swapping and dragged some Italian friends with me, I know that next year will be even easier!

So many cookies, so little time. I included a little non-sugar at the party in the form of Pugliese taralli, and some fresh cut vegetables with the Caramelized Onion Dip from 101 Cookbooks (very good – I made it with only Greek yogurt thinned with a little milk since we don’t have sour cream here in Italy).

In the middle, some aptly-named “Trees Company” cookies with a sprinkling of nutmeg and cinnamon on top in the form of little Christmas trees. Behind them, cookies named “Si mangiano con gli occhi chiusi” – “Eat me with your eyes closed” which were a mix of oatmeal and ginger and very good.

Cookies on the Table for Holiday Cookie Swap

The crowd favorite, and the most American cookie of the bunch: Super Chunky Peanut Butter Cookies with M&M’s.

Super Chunky Peanut Butter Cookies with M&M's for Holiday Cookie Swap

One of my contributions: French Macarons with Dark Chocolate Mint Ganache. There’s the recipe!

Macarons with Dark Chocolate Mint Ganache for Holiday Cookie Swap

Sablés Breton with pistachios from Pierre Herme’s Cookbook.

Sablés with pistachios from Pierre Herme's Cookbook for Holiday Cookie Swap

Another one of my cookies, Cranberry Coconut Shortbread Bars which are extremely ugly but are delicious and were a favorite at the party. They are GOOD, trust me. I’ll be posting that recipe, too. (next to the World Peace Cookies I posted in a Virtual Hug for Barbara from Winos and Foodies)

Cranberry Shortbread Bars (next to World Peace Cookies) for Holiday Cookie Swap

Another one of my cookies, Jam Thumbprints, my mom’s recipe, mixed up a bit by rolling them in some Bronte pistachios. I’ll post that recipe, too.

Bronte Pistachio Jam Thumbprint Cookies Cookies for Holiday Cookie Swap

The other end of the table. Some of the cookies were still in boxes and hidden. You can see the back-end of the “Eat me with your eyes closed cookies” and in the blurry foreground (sorry!) we have the Burrotini Burrosi al Sapore di Burro (basically: very buttery cookies) and the Tozzetti di Mamma direct from Procida (an island near Capri).

The piled-up Cookies for Holiday Cookie Swap

Nevicati: “Snowed” Cookies – don’t you love the little sugar balls? Yum.

Nevicati Cookies for Holiday Cookie Swap

Madeleine di Jardinier (Madeleines from the gardener). I probably didn’t spell that right, corrections welcome. made by a native French with candied violets. In the background, her buttery sugar cookies with sesame seeds and chocolate.

Madeleine di Jardinier Cookies for Holiday Cookie Swap

See a favorite cookie here? What cookie would you bring to a cookie swap?

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10 responses so far ↓

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  • 1
    MyMelange // Dec 9, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    You are really making me salivate over here Sara!! I would say it WAS the best cookie swap ever. Such a great, fun and fattening idea. Wish I had enough friends here that would pull it off. I would bring rugalach or walnut crescents!

  • 2
    Marie // Dec 9, 2008 at 2:12 pm

    What a fantastic swap Sara! I’m sure it will become a tradition! The table looks great!

  • 3
    Brooke // Dec 9, 2008 at 3:29 pm

    YUM! Everything looks delicious. I made the Pignoli recipe last night, so good. I can’t wait to make the French Macarons with Dark Chocolate Mint Ganache. Hope you’re well!

  • 4
    maryann // Dec 9, 2008 at 4:11 pm

    What a spread! I must be in cookie heaven! Merry Christmas xox

  • 5
    Marla // Dec 9, 2008 at 4:19 pm

    What a fab display and what an exchange. Wish Milano wasn’t so far away!

  • 6
    anne // Dec 9, 2008 at 4:24 pm

    That is just amazing. never heard of a cookie swap. I think it become a tradition :-)

  • 7
    Scintilla // Dec 10, 2008 at 10:22 am

    Proud Italian Cook posted on this yesterday. Looks fantastic- I wish that they had the same thing on this side of the world.

  • 8
    anna l'americana // Dec 13, 2008 at 2:59 am

    All of them please!

    don’t tell me you made those macarons – they are perfect! i want one so bad right now i can’t think of anything else!

  • 9
    Ms. Adventures in Italy // Dec 14, 2008 at 1:23 pm

    Thanks everyone! I am definitely looking forward to next year…and maybe some interim swaps in the middle :)

    @anna, yes I did make them :) I think I have to tweak the colors still.

  • 10
    howtoeatacupcake // Dec 16, 2008 at 4:37 pm

    I really love the “snowed” cookies. And the sables look interesting! Very fabulous photos. Wish I could’ve been there! :P

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