Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Cookie Swap!

Start your ovens! Holiday season means cookie swap time. I've hosted cookie swaps for the past four years as a way to get together with my friends during the busy holiday season and share some tasty treats. Why eat 2 dozen of one kind of cookie when you can hang out with your friends, have fun and have a smorgasbord of cookie varieties?

Last year, I started toying around with vegan cookies. I suffered a bit as a newbie, but I also had some success. I might have given up, but I've got a friend who is an amazing vegan baker and her holiday cookie offerings knocked my socks off! She had the cherry cheesecake cookies I'm making this year, and a bourbon and pecan truffle that is the stuff of legends. So, I'm back at it with this year's offering of vegan cookies:

Eggnog Spritz cookies

I missed the fun of the cookie press because the dough was too sticky, but otherwise bite-size nutmeg-y goodness.

How cute are these cookies! I was too lazy to make my own chocolate covered pretzels, so opted for Whole Foods dark chocolate pretzels (which are vegan.) For the nose, I opted for cinnamon candies. The cookies are chewy delicious. Despite following the recipe my cookies turned out different than the photo with the blog...not sure what happened there, but adorable all the same.

Cherry Cheesecake Cookies (veganize the recipe with vegan cream cheese, earth balance and Ener-G egg replacer and some blueberries.)

The cookies that inspired me to keep at it with learning vegan baking are light cheesecake cookies with a dollop of pie filling. I opted for variety by making some with blueberries. Next time I'm thinking turtle :)

Russian Tea Cakes (aka Mexican Wedding Cookies) 

My dad's favorite cookies and a family tradition. These were easy and tasted great. My fiance's new favorite.

Thanks to my friend, for this tasty find:

Dark Chocolate Cherry Walnut Truffles

These truffles are awesome! They're tart and sweet with a bit of crunch and a flavor explosion. Keep them small and in the freezer or they're a little too soft, but oh so tasty.

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