One of the best things about the holidays is the food. I know, I’m a food junkie anyway (have you read any of my books? LOL) but around the holidays my addition gets worse. I’ve been to cookie exchanges where I bring my prize cookie, only to find out someone else had the same recipe. But with rum.
Who needs the stress of baking and hoping your cookies pass your friends’ muster? Because believe me, they are judging you. At least in a kind and caring Christmas kind of way.
It’s been a while since I’ve been to a Christmas cookie swap. I’ve shied away from them for a few reasons. One, I don’t have time to make 12 dozen cookies to take with me. And two, I don’t have a large family close by to give away the cookies I bring back. And what if you have a cookie bomb? Those would go right into the trash at my house.
I also know several people who are wigged out at the thought of eating something that didn’t come from a commercial bakery or their own kitchen.
Instead, I want to suggest the Christmas Cookie recipe swap. It can be done in person or virtually, but in person would be more fun. Here, you make and bring two dozen cookies to share. And copies of your recipe for every attendee. The party has twenty-four participants? You get twenty-three new recipes to try in your own kitchen.
You get all the fun of eating, drinking, and sharing Christmas cheer with a lot less stress and work.
If you’re 1600 miles, give or take, from your loved ones and you want to pull off a virtual Christmas cookie recipe exchange, do the following. Set the event up on Facebook as a party. Set a date/time for people to post. Explain the idea in the invite, then on the night planned, go crazy. Remind participants to not only post their recipe, but maybe a cool video showing how they made the cookies. Or a photo of the finished product.
Most of all, which ever way you host your party, make sure to have fun. The holidays are about love and sharing than perfection.
Here’s the recipe I’d bring for sharing… What about you? What would your Christmas cookie recipe be?
Easy Almond Cookies
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Cream the following:
- 3 tbsp butter, softened
- 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- Add in:
- 1 egg
- ½ tsp almond extract
- Mix the following dry ingredients in a small bowl:
- 1 cup flour
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- Mix the wet and dry ingredients, then add:
- Form the dough into small balls.
- Roll in 2 tbsp sugar, then put on greased (with spray oil) or parchment-papered cookie sheets.
- Bake for 10 minutes, cool on baking sheet for 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.
Makes about 2½ dozen, depending on the size of your cookie balls.
Guidebook to Murder –
“I’m buying a rifle to keep those carpet baggers off my land.” Miss Emily declared.
Mission to Murder-
Some people like to hear their own voice.
If the Shoe Kills-
The holidays were supposed to be a time of goodwill, celebration and community. You couldn’t tell that by the glares going around the table…
Dressed to Kill-
As soon as we entered the store, I knew my aunt was dead wrong.
Killer Run –
Josh Thomas was on a rant and the creamy chocolate dessert was the only thing keeping my mouth shut instead of pointing out the flaws in his reasoning.
Murder on Wheels –
Yep, that’s me. Jill Gardner, coffeehouse/bookstore owner and mad geocacher.
Tea Cups and Carnage-
“I want to help. I ran a snow cone machine before, do you all have a snow-cone specialist?” Kathi clapped her hands together…
Hospitality and Homicide –
“We’re so glad you chose South Cove as the place to write your next book.” He held out the key.
Killer Party –
“Throw me a book and the room service menu and I’ll see you when we check out.”
From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lynn Cahoon’s Tourist Trap series, Jill Gardner has left her book-and-coffee shop behind to spend Thanksgiving week in coastal Oregon. But before the feast can start, foul play interrupts their vacation . . .
When Jill and Greg join another couple, Blake Jennings and Kathi Corbin, for a weeklong camping trip, Jill is delighted to have a few days to take in the beauty around them before they dive into the Thanksgiving holiday. When the foursome take the off-road vehicles out on the dunes for a local adventure, they find an unexpected treasure—a ring attached to the hand of its prior owner. Can Jill and Greg solve the mystery before they join the woman buried in the shifting sands?
Praise for The Tourist Trap Mysteries
“Murder, dirty politics, pirate lore, and a hot police detective: Guidebook to Murder has it all! A cozy lover’s dream come true.” —Susan McBride, author of The Debutante Dropout Mysteries
“Lynn Cahoon has created an absorbing, good fun mystery in Mission to Murder.” —Fresh Fiction