Christmas is a time for cookies. Lots and lots and LOTS of cookies. I try to avoid cookie eating for most of the holidays because I know when I get up to Pittsburgh to celebrate with my husband’s family, all bets are off. My husband’s aunt makes DOZENS of cookies. All different types, all amazingly delicious. Containers of cookies are there in the kitchen when you wake up in the morning, on the table during the afternoon, right next to the area you need to help prep dinner. You really can’t escape them. It’s not exactly a problem. I want to work up the courage every year to ask how much butter she goes through during her baking marathon, but then I always shy away. I really don’t want to know. I think there is such a thing as too many cookies, especially during the holiday. Though I also firmly believe your cookie tolerance expands during those last few weeks of Christmas, allowing you to eat so much more than you could or should. Though one cookie I could never tire of are Peppermint Pals.
It was around this time last year, that I started getting seriously jealous of some of my bloggie friends. They were getting boxes of cookies sent to them from across the country. From complete strangers! Apparently, they were all in on it together and well aware of the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap. I signed up immediately last December, and as with most things, completely forgot about the program until the emails started pouring in a few weeks ago.
The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap is hosted by Love & Olive Oil and The Little Kitchen. I’ve participated in food swaps and penpal programs in the past but this was way different. First, you have no idea who your cookies are coming from until they actually arrive. Each blogger is assigned three recipients to send cookies to. Bake a dozen cookies for each, then send them off. Then one day *BAM!* Cookies on your doorstep. I’m generally a bigger fan of giving than receiving, but those unexpected cookies always happened to show up when most needed.
For my first Bakin’ Friends package, I couldn’t just be ordinary. I needed something fun and different, a way to show I was worthy to be invited into their special club. When I heard the secret ingredient was sprinkles, I was honestly crushed at first. Sprinkles means cupcakes! There was no way I was attempting to send cupcakes through the mail—they barely make it to New Jersey via car safely. The second most logical option was cookies. Sugar cookies with royal icing and sprinkles.
I was a bit sad that my Foodie Penpal this month was a reader so I didn’t really get to read about her reaction to the goods I sent her. Sure, she sent me a very sweet thank you, but it’s just not the same as reading a public thank you full of pictures and happy food consumption. My penpal loved both sweet and salty things and was especially fond of potato chips. She bragged a bit about how she could eat anything because she worked out so much. So I took her bragging as a challenge and decided to make her the most sinful, salty treat I could think of—Potato Chip Cookies.