Who doesn’t love a cookie swap, especially if it includes some bourbon pecan blondies? Each participant bakes a few dozen of their favorite cookies, meets up with other bakers to exchange and everyone ends up with a varied selection to take home to share. (Sharing is not required!) Christmas Cookie Swap!: More Than 100 Treats to Share this Holiday Season from Oxmoor House offers 100 recipes that will add variety to our holiday baking marathons.
Every year, I promise myself I will start early and every year – two days before Christmas, I’m covered in flour and cursing myself that I’m not going to be able to compile a cookie tray with 40 options. I hope to start earlier this year – time will tell. I do remember one year when my son was small – I did make 30 different cookies, fudge, and bar options for my New York neighbors – those were the days.
This new book covers everything from the cookie basics that include decorating, freezing, how to assemble show-stopping cookie platters and more. I love that there are plenty of recipes that I haven’t come across before: Java Toffee Cookies, Chocolate-Cherry Sugar Crusted Shortbread, Wreath Macaroons, Mississippi Mud Medallions and Eggnog Crackle Cookies are just a few examples.
The chapter on decorating sugar cookies will inspire you to turn out pastry shop window worthy cookies and end up being the envy of the cookie swap. Even if a swap isn’t available in your group of friends or family, Christmas Cookie Swap will deliver plenty of ideas for your own cookie gift giving. The recipes range from gorgeously impressive Pecan Linzer Cookies which are in a square shape and look like stained glass windows, to the simple four-ingredient Easiest Peanut Butter Cookies.
Also included are recipes for fudge, marshmallows, toffee, bark and other sweet options to spread out your cookie trays. Special tips include how to swap out ingredients to make a variation on the recipe and Cookie Rookie tips (for example, be sure to pack brown sugar firmly when measuring) and how to wrap the cookies. Metric equivalents are also given.
I chose the Bourbon Pecan Blondies to make and share with our Sunday Supper family. The blondies came together quickly and were divine – even my husband who isn’t a bar cookie fan kept going back for more declaring their deliciousness. All that brown sugar mixed with the pecans and white chocolate were perfect – and the bourbon helped to cut through the sweetness but was not prominent in the finished product.
It was the perfect blondie. I will be making them again for the holidays along with the Orange Cardamom cookies I made for my last review and hopefully several other cookies including Italian Rainbow Cookies which are favorites of the family – and have no fear, there is a recipe for those in Christmas Cookie Swap!
- Bourbon-Pecan Blondies
- Brown sugar–laden, pecan-studded blondies get an extra boost of “yum” from bourbon.
- Hands-on time 15 minutes Total time 1 hour 45 minutes Makes 32 blondies
- Cooking spray
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ cup bourbon
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon table salt
- 1 cup white chocolate morsels
- 1 cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly coat a 13- x 9-inch pan with cooking spray.
- Beat the butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add the brown sugar, beating well. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Add the bourbon and vanilla, beating until blended.
- Stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt; gradually add to the butter mixture, beating at low speed just until blended, stopping to scrape the bowl as needed. Stir in the white chocolate morsels and the pecans. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack (about 1 hour). Cut into 8 rows by 4 rows.
Total time does not include 1 hour of cooling time.
Editor’s note: This recipe is printed courtesy of the publisher. The author of this review received a copy of the cookbook, Christmas Cookie Swap!: More Than 100 Treats to Share this Holiday Season. No other compensation was received from the publisher. Links to the cookbook are affiliate links.
Many thanks to the publisher Oxmoor House who is also sponsoring one copy of this wonderful cookbook for a giveaway, open to US residents only. Please check out the book on Amazon and leave a comment on the post – What recipe from Christmas Cookie Swap would you try first? – to enter. The rafflecopter has several options for earning more chances to win! The more you do, the better your chances. No purchase necessary. The winner will be notified by email. If the winner does not respond in 48 hours, an alternate winner will be selected.
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Weekday Supper recipes are great for when life gets busy! It’s easy to find them. Search the #WeekdaySupper hashtag across social media or click here for more on our Sunday Supper website. Also check out the Weekday Supper Pinterest board for plenty more ideas and inspiration.