The year is 2020 and the holiday season is in full swing. Socially distanced Halloween was actually not as bad as we imagined, getting to eat turkey in your sweats and live off leftovers was a fun change of pace, and now Christmas looms close - one of the final obstacles between us and the cautious optimism that 2021 holds.
What will Christmas look like this year? Undeniably it will be smaller, with less office parties, less family, and less traveling. You might dust off decorations that didn’t make it up last year to brighten your now not-so-new home office/living room, and even start to miss those delightfully awkward holiday office parties of pre-covid times.
But guess what? There is one thing you don’t have to miss this holiday season. In fact, this year is absolutely perfect for them. More than any other holiday, when I start to see sparkly Christmas lights and smell the irresistible scent of pine candles, I start to imagine plates piled high with spicy gingerbread, snowflake-frosted sugar cookies, caramel shortbreads, those delightful, half cookie half fudge miracles that every grandmother seems to know how to make perfectly, and a hundred other variations of chocolate, spices, caramel, and sugar. As we’re stuck at home, lamenting the lack of family and cheer, you should probably take my advice and bake up some cookies.
Enter the cookie swap! Maybe you never threw a cookie swap party - and I’m not suggesting you start now. However, the spirit behind baking a metric boatload of cookies and sharing some of them with friends and loved ones in exchange for their own little butter-sugar creations might just be exactly what this holiday season needs. So without further ado, let me introduce you to my Bourbon Caramel Brownie Cookies. These cookies are the embodiment of all things delicious - a soft, chewy brownie cookie, a hint of spice reminiscent of gingerbread, and a deceptively simple bourbon caramel that only uses ¼ cup - so the rest of the bottle is all freed up for some good ol’ fashioned holiday imbibing.
In a year where ‘cheer’ has been in short supply, a little holiday spirit goes far right now. Get a few friends together, get on zoom, and bake your blues away - then wrap them up and drop them off! Even if you don’t turn your cookie swap into a zoom party, you can never go wrong with a plate of homemade cookies for those you care about - if you package them well, most cookies are more than able to survive a trip through the post.
So dig out those cookie sheets and throw on a holiday playlist - there’s no better way to de-stress after a long year than baking a mountain of fudgy, chocolatey brownie cookies covered in caramel. Happy Holidays!