Today is National Cookie Day!
For a girl who loves cookies, it’s definitely a day to celebrate!
I thought it might be nice to share some tips on hosting a COVID-19 cookie exchange, one that keeps participants socially distanced and safe.
A Simple How-To Guide
Define your group of participants. Make sure everyone contributes a different type of cookie. Agree in advance on how many cookies each baker will make for other members in the group. Generally, bake one dozen cookies for each participant (including yourself). If there are six participants, then each person should bake six dozen cookies.
Bag the cookies by the dozen.
If all your participants live in the same area, the safest route is to have everyone do a drive-and-drop, leaving cookies at the homes of participants. Or, you could ask out-of-town participants to mail cookies. There are several varieties that do well in the mail and have a good shelf life. Then set a time for a Zoom call and celebrate virtually with cookie tasting and an afternoon or evening of visiting. Since much of the party will be digital (from the invitations to the celebration), think about asking participants to submit their recipes ahead of time and compiling them into a digital recipe book (a pdf works great for this).
During the virtual event, ask each participant to share something about the recipe they chose, any tips or tricks for making the recipe, why it’s a holiday favorite, etc.
You can even pick a theme for the party and have participants dress in ugly sweaters or go holiday glam.
If someone in your group is really talented at baking, you might have them stage a little cooking show (nothing too involved or lengthy, something short and fun would be perfect).
Guests could also submit a favorite song to share and the host can create a holiday playlist.
While everyone is baking the cookies, encourage them to add a few extra dozen to share with frontline workers.
Here’s a recipe for a delicious little cookie I enjoyed receiving at a cookie swap a friend hosted years ago. Happy eating!
2 6-ounce bags of white chocolate chips
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6-ounce bag of slivered almonds, finely crushed
1 1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
In a large bowl, melt chips and cream in the microwave, warming in 30-second intervals until smooth and melted. Do not overheat!
Stir in vanilla extract and almonds.
Spread in a greased 8×8 baking pan.
Chill for an hour then cut into one-inch squares. Roll each square into a ball, then roll in coconut.
Keep chilled until ready to serve.