Hi, I'm Rachel.

A few years ago I could barely boil water.

True story.

Determined to be a kick ass wife, I developed a love for football and learned to cook in my tiny Jersey City kitchen. I spend my days working in Manhattan, my nights and weekends chasing after a rambunctious toddler, and the hours in between cooking with my husband and feeding my TV habit...oh, and I blog about it all! 

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« My Holiday Movie Musts | Main | Peppermint Chocolate Fudge Oreo Trifle for One »

Virtual Cookie Swap Party: A Whole Lotta Holiday Cookies!

 I am so beyond excited this morning because...

...drumroll, please...

It's Virtual Cookie Swap Party Day! Yippee!!!


A few weeks back, I started working with some other A-mazing bloggers to bring you one gargantuan list of holiday cookies. Sure, I do a whole lotta baking myself, but how much more fun is it to find lots of recipes from other world-class bloggers?! I was over the moon when so many wonderful ladies wanted to participate. In fact, as I type this, I'm taking mini-breaks to do a little happy dance, complete with jazz hands and a little air grinding to boot (I'm pretty sure the entertainment of these dorky dance moves are the single-handed reason why Shaun married me).

How does the swap work, you ask? Each blogger created her very own cookie recipe for the virtual party and will be sharing the recipe on her blog today. I've rounded up the entire list of cookies, complete with some food porn-esque photos below, along with a link to each blog. I hope that you'll check them all out today and leave some comment love!


My cookie for the virtual swap is Soft Frosted Eggnog Sugar Cookies.

I wanted to go a little outside my comfort zone (making cookies look pretty) while still bringing in the flavors of the season (can I hear it for some eggnog?). For quite some time now, I've been eyeing the soft lofthouse cookies. I always, always covet these while food shopping...you know the ones...giant, soft sugar cookies coated in a thick layer of frosting and sprinkles (can't forget the sprinkles). Because if these store-made versions are so good...the real deal must be amaze balls, right?


I used a beautiful recipe from Annie's Eats for the base, and adapted it slightly to make it 'nogarific for the swap. The cookie is super soft, while the frosting is buttercreamy deliciousness. It's all around 'nogtacular, if you ask me!

Soft Frosted Eggnog Sugar Cookies
*Adapted from Annie's Eats
For the cookies:
4½ C all-purpose flour
4½ tsp baking powder
¾ tsp salt
1½ C (3 sticks) butter, at room temperature
1½ C sugar
3 large eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla extract -or- 1/2 tsp rum extract & 1/2 tsp brandy extract to make them eggnog-flavored (I just used vanilla in the cookie part)

For the frosting:
5 cups confectioners’ sugar
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 tsp rum extract
1/2 tsp brandy extract
7-8 Tbsp milk
1/4 tsp nutmeg, if desired
food coloring, if desired
sprinkles, if desired

In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. In the bowl of a mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Blend in the extract of your choice (rum & brandy for eggnog flavor, vanilla for vanilla flavor). Slowly add in the dry ingredients, mixing on low speed until combined. Cover the dough a chill for an hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and scoop 1/4 C of the dough, roll into a ball and flatten slightly on the baking sheet. Leave at least 3 inches between cookies as these really expand! Bake 10-12 minutes or until the cookie bottoms are just slightly browned...these are supposed to be soft so don't overbake them.

Once cooled, make the frosting. Beat the butter on medium-high speed, adding the sugar one cup at a time, adding milk as needed to thin out the frosting. Add the extracts and nutmeg. Once completely combined and fluffy, separate into 3 batches for 3 different colors. Add red food coloring to one, green to another, and leave one as is. Frost cookies generously and garnish with sprinkles!

Though I love the lofthouse look of the red and green buttercream, I do love the simple white version where you can see all the pretty flecks of nutmeg. Yum!


And here's the full, gorgeous & yum-inducing roundup of the rest of the virtual swap! I hope you'll all check out these amazing ladies who I am happy to call my friends, and their wonderfully delicious blogs...I cannot wait to add these cookies to my holiday baking list!


Apple Butter Chewy Cinnamon M&M Cookies by Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie

Candy Cane Shortbread Cookies by Hailey @ Naked Cupcakes

Toffee Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies by Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean

Butterscotch Blondie Bars with Peanut-Pretzel Caramel by Alex @ Yums & Loves

White Chocolate Chip Red Velvet Cookies with White Chocolate Buttercream Frosting by Kimberly @ The Peach & The Pit

Sour Cream Cookies by Emily @ A Nutritionist Eats

Milk Chocolate Almond & Toffee Cookies by Lauren @ Keep it Sweet

Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies by Susan @ Oliepants | Yummy Goes in My Tummy

Nutella Cream French Macarons by Joanna @ Drizzle of Sunshine

Minty White Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars by Katie @ Cookies and Crafts

Hot Chocolate Cookies by Sarah @ Baking Serendipity

Irish Cream Oat Cookies by Julie @ Savvy Eats

Whole Wheat Dark Chocolate Chunk Buckwheat Cookies by Caitlin @ Cait Plus Ate

White Christmas Cookies by Katie @ Haute Apple Pie

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies by Madison @ Espresso and Cream

So there you have it. A whole lotta holiday cookies!

Which ones will you be trying?

What is your all-time favorite holiday cookie?

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    Response: Lee Trotman
    The Avid Appetite - The Avid Appetite - Virtual Cookie Swap Party: A Whole Lotta Holiday Cookies!

Reader Comments (20)

Oh my...these all look AMAZING!! I'll take one of each, please!

December 6, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterlauren @ spiced plate

Ok, time for me to go check out every single cookie! So happy to be included in all of this deliciousness!

December 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLauren at Keep It Sweet

I told my friend Katie about this swap and she made the Minty White Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars...but for some reason didn't fully comprehend it was 100% virtual, no mailing of items required and for me, being that I am traveling, now I wish I had done it! Something in the fine print was lost on me...whoops :)

Thank you for organizing this and ALL the cookies look...amazing!!

Oh yum!! I love egg nog!! I can't wait to try your sugar cookies :) thank you again for setting this up, all of those look so amazing! I have my work cut out for me this weekend, I want to try them all!

December 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHailey

Yum! Thanks for inviting us to the party. Those nutella macarons and the Irish cream oat cookies sound particularly delish!

December 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKatie @ Haute Apple Pie

yay! thanks for putting this together. so fun. i've got some great new ideas!!

Awesome list!! I've been looking for an eggnog cookie recipe without using actual eggnog, since I can't get into it to drink and don't want to buy a huge carton of it. I'm making your cookies SOON!

December 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKatie

aww sorry Averie! I think that means we'll just have to do another desserty swap sometime soon ;)

December 6, 2011 | Registered CommenterRachel

I love your cookies! I keep meaning to make those babies.

December 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterErin

They all look so delicious! Thanks for including me!! Can't wait to try all of these...first up might have to be Nutella Macaroons!!

December 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKimberly

This is heaven. Can't wait to check out the recipes.
Might have to redo some of our yearly favoites.

December 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSandy

yay, so glad your virtual cookie swap was a big hit! so sad i couldn't join this year but i hope you do another one soon because i'll definitely be able to join at a less-busy time of the year. can't wait to read through all the great recipes!

December 6, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteramy @ fearless homemaker

Wow, what a great list! THanks for organizing, it looks like I've got some baking to do now!!! :)

What a fantastic idea! I love cookie swaps of all kinds, and this virtual one is just as yummy. :) I would love to eat every single one of these cookies (twice), but those Hot Chocolate Cookies are calling my name. Mm!

My all-time favorite holiday cookies are the seven-layer Italian rainbow one--my neighbor makes us a homemade batch every year and I hoard them all! :)

December 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTara @ Chip Chip Hooray

thank you for orgainzing such a fun swap! what a great idea! I'm loving every recipe! your cookies look perfect, I love a soft baked cookie slathered in frosting!

December 6, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteralex

All of those cookies look amazing!! I love the idea of the virtual cookie swap! Do you do the swap every week?

December 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKim @ Eat, Live, and Blog

Hi Kim! This is the first one I've organized and did it just for this one time...but....it's getting such a great response that I'd be open to doing another themed swap after the new year...if so, I will keep you in mind!

December 6, 2011 | Registered CommenterRachel

Yay for your cookie swap! So much fun! Thank you so much for posting all these wonderful recipes. It was also nice to "meet" such wonderful bloggers. I wish we did this for real and got to meet (and taste the cookies). Thanks for setting this up!

December 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJoanna@DrizzleofSunshine

Hi Rachel! I found your blog awhile ago through my sister Katie (Haute Apple Pie)...just wanted to tell you I love it! Thank you for all the fabulous cookie ideas!!! I'm definitely going to make some of these! Glad to have found some new food blogs to check out as well! :)

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterkellie

Aww thanks Kellie! So happy you found us and are liking the cookies :) Love your sister and all the HAP ladies - they are my domestic idols!

December 7, 2011 | Registered CommenterRachel

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