It’s time for a cookie party! Today, I’m sharing a new recipe for Walnut Basil Shortbread Cookies, and some tips and tricks from my experience with cookie swaps.
Virtual cookie swap time. No, really, I made lots of different kinds of cookies and am just awaiting all of you guys to come over for our cookie swap! (Or I’ll just be the cookie fairy for the next week while I meet up with old friends.)
This is the weekend and upcoming week of holiday parties and cookie swaps, so in case you’re hosting (or this post inspires you to host! because it’s so fun and easy!), here are some things to consider.
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Naked Juice as part of an ongoing partnership. I was compensated for my time, and all opinions are my own.
Things You Should Think About When Hosting A Cookie Swap
- Is there a sign up sheet? The worst possible outcome is that everyone brings decorated sugar cookies. Been there, and diversity is better.
- Give everyone a target of cookies to make. How many should each person take home? I like to say at least 3-5 cookies of each type, so pick a number and multiply that by how many people are in attendance.
- Are people bringing over baked cookies or dough, or making dough? I’ve been to cookie swaps where we all brought something and then made a festive treat – like gingerbread men – together, without fighting for oven space.
- Are there other snacks and drinks? So that we don’t gorge ourselves on cookies we’re supposed to bring home to share with families and friends, have some drink options or other snacks. Savory is nice when it comes to snacks, and I opted for the Blue Machine 100% fruit smoothie from Naked Juice for a Vitamin C boost this time of year. You can find the multi-serve sizes in your grocery store which are perfect for sharing. Don’t forget some festive cups!
- Do you have to-go boxes or plasticware that you don’t mind never seeing again? Seriously, beware, because you’ll be handing out your favorites to help people get their cookies home. Grab some extras or to-go boxes, or even paper plates and saran wrap will do the trick.
Now, as the cookie swap host yourself, I think you have two options when deciding what to make. 1) Traditional Cookie, or 2) Outrageously Delicious Spin on a Favorite. Here are some of my ideas.
The Best Cookie Swappin’ Cookies (AKA, The Ones That Disappear)
- Oatmeal Cranberry Pecan Cookies (pictured)
- Chewy Spiced Molasses Cookies (pictured)
- 3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Fudge (pictured)
- Almond Mexican Wedding Cookies (not pictured)
- Whole Wheat Marionberry Thumbprint Cookies (not pictured)
- Walnut Basil Shortbread Cookies (pictured) – recipe below!
These Walnut Basil Shortbread Cookies are the fruit of many shortbread making sessions this season, making a whole wheat version of my favorite shortbread packed with nuts and a bit of herb flavor thanks to the basil.
It adds a unique touch to a buttery cookie, and the sugar you roll it in before baking adds a sweet crunch.
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- ½ cup white sugar
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- 1 and ¼ cup raw walnuts
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 teaspoons dry basil
- For rolling: ¼ cup clear sanding sugar
- In a food processor, pulse flour, sugar and butter until resembles coarse sand (about 30 pulses).
- Add nuts, water, and basil and continue pulsing until nuts are small (about 10 pulses).
- Cover the countertop in a piece of saran wrap and move the dough onto it (it won’t hold together yet). Use your hands to wrap the saran wrap around the dough and squeeze it a log.
- Refrigerate 20 minutes while preheating the oven to 350.
- Remove the plastic wrap and roll the log in clear sanding sugar. Slice cookies into 16-18 rounds.
- Bake cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet for 12 minutes or until golden brown. Wait a few minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack to cool fully to avoid crumbling.
Hope this inspires some cookie swapping this season!
Better yet, whip up a ton of cookies and use them as another option for an Edible DIY gift this season (psst.. I’ll take the cookies!).