Blackberry Peppermint Chocolate Striped Cookies & the 18 Reasons DIY Dessert Holiday Cookie Swap

by Irvin on January 9, 2012 · 10 comments

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So is everyone completely over Christmas, New Year’s and the Holidays? Your tree is pulled down, all the ornament’s put away, the bright twinkly lights wadded into a ball, to be detangled next year, and your “seasonal” plateware stored in the back of the closet, not to be seen for 11 more months? Yeah, well, not in this household. In fact, I just celebrated Christmas with my family this past Saturday, as my sister and brother-in-law couldn’t fly out here from the East Coast until this week to celebrate with our family. AJ and I used this as an excuse to keep our tree up (ok, I used it as an excuse, because I loathe for the holidays to end) and even though we now, officially, can take down the tree, AJ and I have yet to celebrate our own Christmas and exchange our presents. Even after 11 years together, when I suggested that maybe we skip presents for each other, AJ had a look of horror on his face, and I quickly backed down and said, of course I would LOVE to still exchange presents (and I do love buying presents for him, I just wanted to simplify things). However, that means, on this blog, it’s still the holiday season, and hence, it’s completely legitimate for me to blog one more time about the holidays. Like the annual 18 Reasons DIY Dessert Holiday Cookie Swap, where I brought these crazy Dr. Seuss-ian looking Blackberry Peppermint Chocolate Striped Cookies.


Dr. Seuss would be proud of these Blackberry Peppermint Chocolate Striped Cookies

This was our first DIY Dessert event in the beautiful new 18 Reasons space and it couldn’t have gone better. Our fearless leader Rosie, the Executive Director was there to greet my co-leader Melanie and me when we got there to set up. Rosie had brought some traditional spicy pfeffernüsse which are an awesome Danish (or Dutch I can’t remember) cookie. They translate to Spicy Peppernut and I probably could have eaten them by the handful if I wasn’t trying to pace myself for the evening. Melanie had brought Chocolate Toffee Cookies which were divine. I grab one to eat and one to take home. Our first guest brought Douglas Fir Orange Zest Sugar Cookie. Melanie took a bite of the cookie and exclaimed “Holy cow! That tastes like Christmas.” And it did. It really did.


Pfeffernüsse (Spicy Peppernut) cookies by Rosie, the Executive Director of 18 Reasons. Say what?!?!


Chocolate Toffee Cookies by my co-leader of DIY Desserts Melanie


Douglas Fir Orange Zest Sugar Cookies that tasted like Christmas.

There were definitely some sophisticated flavored cookies happening at the Holiday swap. People seemed to really love the Persimmon Cookies with the walnut and rum raisins cookies. The Coffee Cardamom Crisps were truly delightful, with a great flavor. But the one that everyone raved about was a wheat free Chocolate Raisin Gin and Pecan cookie. In fact, another attendee contacted 18 Reasons to see if she could get the recipe. Thankfully I had snagged the email of the person who made it, and I hope that the recipe was exchanged. Gin raisins. Brilliant.


Persimmon cookies with walnuts and rum raisins


Coffee Cardamom Crisps cookies..


Wheat Free Chocolate Raisin Gin and Pecan cookies (for grownups only!)

Peppermint showed up a couple of times with the Peppermint Snow Brownies (technically not a cookie, but I am definitely not going to complain about brownies) as well as Peppermint Whoopie Pies which were brought by the same family who brought the Coffee Cardamom Crisps. Obviously that family had excellent taste!


Peppermint Snow Brownies


Peppermint Whoopie Pies.

Butter cookies were well represented with cute Vanilla Sugar Cookies with sprinkles (brought by the same person who brought the chocolate gin raisin and pecan cookies), as well as Butter Cookies with lemon glaze, labeled ¡Coyotes Locos! as they were cut out in the shape of coyotes (I want that cookie cutter). Even more fun were chunky thick butter cookies sandwiched together and labeled Yo-Yo’s. So adorable!


More kid friendly Vanilla Sugar Cut Out Cookies.


¡Coyote Locos! Sugar Cookies


Butter Cookie Yo-Yos!

There were Peanut Butter Cookies that were anything by ordinary, Brown Butter Sea Salt Rice Krispies that had me sneaking an extra one for my take home box, and someone brought two types of Coconut Dipped Thumbprint Cookies (apricot and raspberry) that were both extraordinary.


The classic peanut butter cookie


Brown Butter Sea Salt Rice Krispies.


Raspberry Coconut dipped thumbprint cookies


Apricot coconut dipped thumbprint cookies

Fellow blogger Melissa of Serving Seconds brought some awesome Chocolate Dipped Potato Chip Encrusted Florentines, which had AJ reaching for seconds. Thankfully the Homespun Lace Cookies that I kept on reaching for were cut small and bite size, which not only made them so super cute but also made them easy to pop a few in my mouth without feeling super guilty. And fellow DIY Dessert regular Jo brought Swiss Almond Hearts that looked as wonderful as they tasted.


Potato Chip Encrusted Chocolate Dipped Florentines


Bite size homespun lace cookies.


Swiss Almond Hearts by Jo.

Spice Cake Truffles were a huge hit (who doesn’t love a cake truffle – which is basically a cake pop with the stick) that sadly went so fast that I didn’t have a chance to take a photo of them! I was totally taken with the Swedish Rosette with sugar and cinnamon. Then again, I’m a sucker for any sort of fried batter like item covered with sugar and cinnamon. Who isn’t?


Swedish Rosettes covered with powdered sugar and cinnamon.


The DIY Dessert Holiday Cookie Swap spread!


The kids were enjoying the cookies immensely.


I'm hanging out with Rosie, helping to serve up some wine.

Everyone seemed to have a blast, and it was a wonderful way to kick off the holiday season. I can’t wait for the next DIY Desserts, the date to be determined. We haven’t even decided on a theme yet, but once we do, I’ll let everyone know. In the meanwhile, I’m going kick back, take one last look at our Christmas tree and listen to A Very She & Him Christmas album one last time before everything gets packed up and stored away for another 11 months. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season.


The table was groaning with cookies and treats for all to take home.


The new 18 Reasons space is awesome and everyone enjoyed it.


My partner-in-crime Melanie showing off her cookie swap bounty.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Deanna B January 9, 2012 at 11:17 am

Those really are cookies Dr. Seuss would be proud of. I love the colors and that looks like such a great event. Someday I will time a visit to my sister in Santa Cruz to correspond with a cookie swap.


Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga January 9, 2012 at 12:29 pm

So you sampled a few cookies this season, eh? 🙂

They all look wonderful!


Belinda @zomppa January 9, 2012 at 3:09 pm

No presents? What were you thinking? I know…cookies! Gosh – all of these look ridiculous. It is Dr. Seuss-esque!


merri January 10, 2012 at 2:27 pm

those are pretty. merry christmas!!


Annie January 10, 2012 at 7:28 pm

Thank you so much! I’ve been hoping you would share the recipe. These look so great. I am def. making them for my next party.

Love the potato chip on florentines idea, too.


Culinary Collage January 11, 2012 at 7:13 am

Those are lovely!!! I’ll have to remember this for next year. I’m trying to stay away from the cookies right now or I’d make these right away!


Brian @ A Thought For Food January 12, 2012 at 7:15 am

Look at those colors! Lovely, Irvin! Can’t wait to give these a try.


Jay @ January 12, 2012 at 1:38 pm

I’m overwhelmed by the magic that is this post. What an ending as well! Stacking dough like


Jonathan January 13, 2012 at 5:54 pm

This looks like so much fun! I’m sure there has to be an event like this somewhere close by. Until I find it, I’ll have to settle with living vicariously through your post. Which btw, isn’t really settling. 🙂


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