Treat Yourself and Your Friends

AUTHOR:  Karen Mayfield
DATE:  12/06/2020

I have never been much of a baker...

Kept it simple with boxed cake and Toll House premade cookie dough. The holiday season always puts me in the mood for a wide variety of baked goods, but I do not always have the time. For the past few years, I have been a part of a cookie exchange and it is a time I look forward to most. A cookie exchange is when you get a group of people and each person makes a different cookie or treat to exchange. You box a certain amount of your treat and then have a gathering to hand out your treats and collect one from each person in return. Not only do you get a sampling of new and unique treats, but now you don’t have to spend a large amount of time baking. Plus, you have a little something to bring to that special holiday gathering.

Obviously, this holiday season is looking a lot different than it has in the past, but it does not mean you have to skip the cookie exchange plans! I made arrangements with a few friends to continue our cookie exchange but in a socially distant manner. We decided to set up a date to have a virtual cookie party on a Sunday evening. All we have to do is make sure that we deliver our cookies to each other by the morning of our virtual party. Then at party time, we can snack on our cookies, sip on hot cocoa and play some virtual games. The only downside of this plan will be all the extra cookies sitting around the house from the lack of parties we normally attend. Well… maybe that isn’t so bad!

Any Sweet Will Do!

Maybe cookies aren’t your thing. That’s okay! We have had people make Oreo truffles, peanut butter truffles, fudge, and peppermint bark. Any type of yummy treat can help bring us closer even when we have to remain distant. Personally, I make the same cookie every year, raspberry almond thumbprints. Below is the recipe from Cooking Classy that I follow. They come out PERFECT every year and are a favorite amongst the group!

Scroll down for recipe!

raspberry almond thumbprint cookies.

Photo obtained from

Cookie Ingredients

  • 2 cups + 2 Tbsp (300g) all-purpose flour*
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, cold and diced into 1 Tbsp pieces
  • 2/3 cup (140g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam

Glaze Ingredients

  • 1 cup (124g) powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 2 - 4 tsp water


For the cookies:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). In a mixing bowl whisk together flour and salt, set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, blend together butter and sugar until combined (it will take a minute or two since the butter is cold).
  3. Mix in almond extract then add in flour blend until mixture comes together (it will take a bit of mixing since the butter is cold, so be patient, it will seem really dry and crumbly at first).
  4. Shape dough into 1-inch balls, about 1 Tbsp each, and place 2-inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. 
  5. Make a small indentation with thumb or forefinger in each cookie (large enough to fit 1/4 - 1/2 tsp of jam). Fill each with 1/4 - 1/2 tsp jam. 
  6. Chill in refrigerator 20 minutes (or freezer for 10 minutes). Bake in preheated oven 14 - 18 minutes.
  7. Cool several minutes on baking sheet then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

For the glaze: 

  1. Whisk all glaze ingredients together in a small mixing bowl, adding enough water to reach desired consistency. 
  2. Pour or spoon mixture into a sandwich size resealable bag, cut a small tip from one corner and drizzle over cool cookies. Let set at room temperature then store in an airtight container.

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Karen Mayfield

Assistant Director for CPR, Risk Management & Student Employee Development


153 Alumni Arena

Phone: 716-645-3996