I attended my first cookie exchange at a friend’s house just a few years ago.  It was a modest affair–half a dozen of us getting together for snacks and drinks, bringing home a nice variety of wonderful cookies, yet only having to make one kind.  In all honesty, I’m not an enthusiastic cookie baker, but I do love the camaraderie, the recipe-swapping, and, of course, the cookies themselves.

This year, the cookie swap went big-time.  Press-wide.  Some of us started our cookie or candy preparations Sunday, but others were up awfully late last night to prepare for this inaugural swap.  There were 18 participants, with gorgeous and tasty contributions ranging from buckeyes to mascarpone thumbprint cookies filled with fig jam.  It didn’t take long for everyone to dive in and divvy up the treats, and we had plenty left over to share.

In deciding what to make for today’s event, I consulted my beloved Betty Crocker Cooky Book, a 1963 classic passed down from my grandmother, plus all my usual food blog haunts.  I had a list of options.  Then an e-mail offer from King Arthur Flour came in.  Those crafty marketing folks at King Arthur include pictures and links to recipes in their messages, and I couldn’t help but follow through to the blog post about Chocolate Bon Bon Drops.  In addition to cookie instructions, KAF staffer MaryJane Robbins writes about her brush with the famed Wellesley Cookie Exchange, now in its 38th year, if my calculations are correct.  I was so charmed by the whole post that Chocolate Bon Bon Drops became my holiday cookie this year.

At the moment, I’m not keen to bake cookies again soon, but after the fabulous cookies, recipes, and baking talk today, I know I’ll be there for the 2nd Annual University of Illinois Press Cookie Swap.  I’ll keep my Cooky Book handy.

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