Mid-winter Christmas Cookie Swap

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I absolutely love blogging – the brainstorming, baking, photographing, writing, planning… everything! I especially love getting to know some of my lovely readers and blogging buddies through their comments, emails, Facebook comments and tweets – it’s a whole lot of fun!

The one downside of blogging is that a lot of the time your online blog friends are just that – online. Which is why I was absolutely thrilled when Lydia from Lydia Bakes invited me to the cookie swap she was planning – a group of bloggers catching up over cookies and tea, swapping cookies and taking home a bundle of delicious baking; what’s not to love?

While I was of course looking forward to gorging myself on cookies (who wouldn’t look forward to that?), I was especially excited to catch up with some old and new blogging friends: Courtenay and Melissa from Baking Makes Things Better, Amanda from Here Comes the Sun and Danelle, photographer at A Couple of Night Owls and blogger at Danelle Bourgeois. I’m sure you’re already familiar with some of them, and those that you aren’t – you should be, you’ll love them!

After several weeks of anticipation and months of planning on Lydia’s part the ‘big day’ came on Saturday. As cookie swaps are traditionally held at Christmas in the US, Lydia went with a mid-winter Christmas theme and designed an absolutely stunning dessert table to rival – isn’t it gorgeous?

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As guests we had it nice and easy – pick a cookie, bake it and bring them to share! It took me a bit of pondering before I came up with what I wanted to bake, but I’m so glad I put the effort in – the cookies were delicious!

What did I come up with? Rich white chocolate and raspberry crinkle cookies! Packed full of melted Whittaker’s chocolate and a generous helping of freeze dried raspberries (which are as of Friday my new favourite food – all the flavour of raspberries, the crunch of lollies and practically guilt free; amazing!) I’m sure you’re going to love these ones – click here for the recipe.

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Everyone’s contributions were unbelievably delicious – it was a mission eating so much sugar in one sitting, but we diligently worked our way through them. Lydia made one of my favourite American cookies, Browned Butter Snikerdoodles; Courtenay made Sprinkle Sandwiched Cookies (even popping some on sticks to make cookie pops!); Melissa made Monte Carlo Biscuits and Chocolate Sprinkle Cookies which were unbelievably eye catching; Danelle made beautifully rich Chocolate Truffle Cookies; and Amanda – not being a baker – brought along some delicious teas for us to wash the cookies down with. It’s fair to say we were absolutely spoilt for choice – those girls are talented!

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After a good couple of hours catching up and talking blogs we packed up the remaining cookies to take home and share with our significant others. Little Ink kindly provided us with beautiful boxes, ribbons and chalkboard tags to package the cookies up in – I’m sure you’ll agree they looked unbelievably cute and totally gift-worthy!

A massive thank you to Lydia for organising the cookie swap – I know everyone had an amazing time. Bring on the next bloggers catch up!

Kirsten
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