A Holiday Cookie Exchange with Louise Roe

Hollywood Hills, CA

Growing up, our family friends threw a huge holiday cookie exchange at their home in Scottsdale every year.  I always looked forward to going with my mom and sister and would come home with a huge assortment of homemade cookies to nibble on throughout the week!  If you’ve never been to or heard of a cookie exchange – it’s where guests bring a plate full of their favorite cookie (only 1 type!) and everyone lays their cookies out on one long table.  Each guest picks up a cookie tin and fills it with a variety of delicious cookies to take home with them!  It’s so fun to swap recipes with other guests (many of them have been passed down for generations!), get baking secrets, and of course taste test all of the different treats.

I went to lunch with my dear friend Louise Roe (the talented and gorgeous TV host, writer, blogger and mommy to be!) the other week and was telling her we should throw a cookie exchange for the holidays.  She had never been to one, so I knew we had to re-create one of my favorite childhood traditions together!

We met at her beautiful home in the Hollywood Hills and laid out an assortment of delicious cookies; Mexican wedding cookies, gingerbread cookies, chocolate chip… This is such a sweet tradition to do with girlfriends, kids, cousins, nieces, nephews and something that I’m looking forward to continuing for years to come.  See below for the yummiest ginger chew cookie recipe!

Chewy Ginger Cookies

Ingredients:
3/4 Cup Butter (softened)
1 cup Sugar
1 Large Egg
1/4 Cup Molasses
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 ground cloves
1/4 tsp salt
*additional coarse turbinado sugar, for dusting

Directions:
1. Preheat Oven to 350 Degrees
2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
3. Beat in the egg and molasses.
4. Combine flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt.
5. Gradually add the creamed mixture and mix well.
6. Refrigerate dough for up to 1 hour, until it begins to harden
7. Roll into 1 1/2 inch balls, then roll into remaining sugar.
8. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets.
9. Bake for 10-12 minutes until puffy and lightly browned
10. Remove and place on wire racks to cool.

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Jessica Alexander Photography

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