Thursday, December 8, 2016

December Food Fest: Do You Cookie Exchange?

christmas cookie exchange

It wouldn't be the holidays without cookies, and Candace from Beth Fish Reads is here today to discuss the plusses and minuses of a Christmas cookie exchange. Bonus: she's sharing one of her favorite Christmas cookie recipes! Take it away, Candace.

christmas cookie cookbooks

One of the holiday traditions I look forward to is our annual cookie exchange. On the first Sunday of December, a friend of mine hosts a boozy holiday brunch and get-together that also includes a cookie exchange. It's a fun tradition and a nice moment to relax before the holiday season descends in full force.

Truth be told, though, I have a love-hate relationship with cookie exchanges. What's the good? Although I bake only one kind of cookie I end up with at least eight different kinds, all baked by other people. That lets me put together a pretty platter for guests with just a minimum amount of work.

christmas cookie exchange boxes

What's the bad? Oh the temptation of having all those cookies! I'm not much of sweet eater, but a plate full of homemade goodies is so hard to resist. Every year I promise myself that I'll sample just one of each kind. That's all. The rest are for holiday visitors. Well, yeah, the best laid plans and all of that.

Still, despite the threatening sugar coma, I can't wait for the festivities--and cookies--to start! Here's the recipe I used this year. I cut three dozen cookies from each pan.

jan habel christmas cookie

Jan Habel

From Betty Crocker's Cooky Book

My notes: This is a Dutch cookie. I used pecans, because that's what I had in the house, and increased the amount to 1 cup. The cookies will seem very soft but they firm up after cooling. I cut 36 cookies per batch.


  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, separated
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 cup very finely chopped walnuts

Heat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 15-1/2 by 10-1/2 inch jelly roll pan. Mix butter, sugar, and egg yolk. Blend flour and cinnamon; stir into the butter mixture. Pat into pan. Beat water and egg white until frothy; brush over dough; sprinkle with nuts. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until very lightly browned. Cut immediately into finger-like strips. Yield: 50 (3 by 1-inch) strips.


  1. Delicious post! I agree cookie exchanges are dangerous -- too hard to resist eating more and more :). Nice to see Betty Crocker's Cooky Book in that pile. I love a pan cookie and will have to try this recipe.

  2. I use to participate in exchanges and another fun exchange is cookie dough. That way the cook can bake when needed. I have saved this recipe for later, it is the perfect size for small families.

  3. I haven't been in an change for ages but they always sound like so much fun. Great recipe I will earmark, or pin, for later. I like the use of pecans, one of my favorites to bake with.


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