One long-ago December, in a frenzy of cookie baking, I persuaded my teaching colleagues to attempt a holiday cookie exchange. So, we set up shop with several dozen of our favorite holiday cookie recipe in one of the classrooms and, after ooohing and ahhing over the selection, filled our containers with holiday cookies to take home.
Of course, the ultimate in community cookie exchanges can be found here in New England in the nearby Town of Wellesley, Massachusetts. Susan Mahnke Peery, formerly the food editor of Yankee Magazine, authored the book, The Wellesley Cookie Exchange Cookbook, and not only shares some of the delightful heirloom recipes from the Wellesley cookie exchange, but also outlines the logistics of a cookie exchange and shares some of the treats served by the hosts. The book, mostly found in used book stores is worth seeking out as the collection of cookies can’t be beat.
I recently excavated a jar of raspberry preserves from the back of the fridge, so, of course I needed to search for a way to use it up. Out came my dog-earred copy of the Wellesley Cookie Exchange cookbook where, I discovered a classic Thumbprint cookie recipe. The recipe made a batch of crisp short cookies which I covered in almonds and, after baking, filled with preserves. This recipe also withstood our usual substitution to accommodate our granddaughter’s egg allergy.
The Internet is filled with variations on this theme (chocolate! Nutella!), but I have to admit that the sweet preserves were a nice change.