Smart Cookies

Kids making cookies at Kasson Public Library

Some co-workers and I were talking about our favorite cookie recipes earlier this week, and discussed setting up a cookie swap for the holidays. It should come as no surprise to you, however, that libraries are way ahead of us. And why not? Cookie swaps are a great way to bring people into your library while having them do most of the work.

Chinn Park Regional Library in Prince William, Virginia, combined a recipe exchange with a cookie contest. Cookie bakers were each invited to bring in seven dozen of their cookie of choice for tasting, along with the recipe, and cookie lovers were invited to indulge and vote.

Boyd County (Ky.) Public Library District hosted a similar cookie swap, with participants asked to bring six dozen of their favorite cookie. They are also offering a program for aspiring cookie bakers; instructors from the culinary program at a local community college will share their tips for great holiday cookies.

Cookie swaps not your thing, or looking for programming for younger audiences? Here are a few more cookie-related programming ideas.

Sixth through twelfth graders will be able to create cookie gift jars at Huntley (Ill.) Area Public Library. The jars will contain layered dry ingredients for several different types of cookies; all the recipients will have to do is add the wet ingredients, mix, and bake.

Kasson (Minn.) Public Library combined cookies and storytime. Kids helped make and shape no-bake cookie dough for a delicious post-story treat.

Wamego (Kans.) Public Library is offering a cookie decorating night for local teens. Cookies and frosting will be provided, and teens can bring their favorite cookie decorations for an extra touch.

Urbandale (Iowa) Public Library offered Cookie Decorating 101. Taught by a baker from a local bakery, the class included all supplies, including cookies.

Johnson County (Ind.) Public Library held gingerbread house and cookie contests. All ages were invited to enter. Prizes were awarded to the best in each category for kids and for teens and adults.