My First Cookie Swap Party

First Friday of the month: Food / Baking

Happy New Year, everyone! =)
I hope you all had a wonderful holiday break filled with memorable feasts. May we all crave for more epicurean delights and share new foodie discoveries this year. This is my first blog feature for 2017 and it happens to be Foodie Friday, so let's start with something festive and delicious to welcome the new year, shall we?

I am so thankful for my fair share of gastronomic adventures the past year. There were a few standouts that made me appreciate good food even more, and the creativity and hard work poured into making them. One such experience was my participation in a cookie swap, an annual holiday party hosted by my friend Michelle Aventajado of Momma 'N Manila. Please read about Michelle's Cookie Swap story here and see how beautifully she planned everything in her home with the help of her creative and supportive husband and daughter. I'll bet you'll be impressed too!

Disclaimer: I did not bake any cookies to swap.

Mahilig lang ako sa cookies (and food in general). Hindi kaya ng powers ko ang mag bake ng 11 dozens -- dozens, not pieces ha, so I declined to be a baker/swapper. Mish then asked me to be a judge instead. Now that's any foodie's dream! Of course, I said yes, even though I didn't know what to expect, kasi nga I never attended one before.  I just want to eat and have fun!

Expect nothing less when Mish hosts a party. I already had first-hand experience as a guest during the Mothers Who Brunch events she organize together with another kitchen diva, Sabrina Go of Sinfullysabrina.com, who also participated at Mish's annual cookie swap. From the invitation to table settings, mood music to giveaways, recipe cards and the mouthwatering brunch buffet, everything was well-executed.

Brunch pa lang bongga na! But we all know the main event is the actual tasting, choosing the winners, and cookie swapping. Each baker gets to bring home one dozen of each cookie entry! Sarap!

Eto na. My main objective for this first post is simply to begin on a sweet note -- and let you drool over the scrumptious cookies lovingly home-baked for the #MnMCookieSwap.

In no particular order, here are the 8 official cookie entries for #MnMCookieSwap 2016:

Ginger's Cream Cheese Almond Cookies

Gia's Three C's Thumbprint Cookies

Maggie's Apple Walnut Cookies

Badoy sisters' Rosemary Lemon Olive Oil Cookies

Lizette's Ginger Molasses Chocochip Oatmeal Cookies

Michelle's Raspberry Pinwheel Cookies

Sabrina's Black Sesame and Pistachio Oat Cookies

Tina's Matcha Shortbread Cookies

My fellow judges and I thoroughly enjoyed every bite of each cookie. Grabe, lahat masarap, promise! We all had a very difficult time picking out favorites coz the cookies were all very different. According to the Aventajados and the participants, kami daw ang pinaka quiet and serious set of judges compared to the past years' judges. Actually, na-pressure lang ako kay chef, hahahaha! We all had pen and paper to take down notes and we did use them to "grade", compare and deliberate on each cookie for the three awards. Thanks, Tina, for these snapshots... nahuli mo kami, heehee. We really took our roles very seriously. =)


And the final verdict...
Overall Best Cookie
Sabrina's Black Sesame and Pistachio Oat Cookies
First unanimous choice - it's unique mix of ingredients worked well and wowed us in taste

Best Presentation
Michelle's Raspberry Pinwheel Cookies
The only cookie with a festive theme and pretty pinwheel shape that's meticulously made

Most Creative
Gia's Three C's Thumbprint Cookies
Unexpected mix for a chocolate cookie, made super moist and chewy with caramel and coconut

That's me with winners Sabrina, Gia, and Mish, with judges Michelle Cu-Unjieng and chef Neil Ramos -- all happy and oh so full!

Sab was generous to share her winning recipe so we can all try it. Visit www.sinfullysabrina.com and drool over her food posts and recipes!
(I told her I will just order from her if she decides to sell them. I'm serious!)

I have to congratulate all these homebakers again, who labored in the kitchen for days and baked dozens and dozens of delicious cookies to share with everyone. Lucky me, I get to eat, drink, be merry, and enjoy the yummy baked goodies too! Thank you, Mish, for having me as judge and making my first ever cookie swap experience so much fun and memorable.

I'd love to know your thoughts on this post.  If you enjoyed this, feel free to share it!
Get instant updates:
My Mom-Friday on Facebook
Follow @mymomfriday on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat
Also on Google Friend Connect, or Subscribe Via Email.
I try my best to reply and answer any questions you may have on each entry so check back if you've left one. Thank you and do visit again!
(Comments with links will automatically be flagged by Disqus.)