Winter Food Festivals

Baking, Christmas, Holidays, Recipes
on December 1, 2006
Christmas Cookies
Mark Boughton Photography / styling by Teresa Blackburn

The cookie swap has been a holiday standard for many of us. But New Hampshire’s Mount Washington Valley may lay claim to the ultimate cookie swap—one that involves 17 inns over an entire weekend.

The cookie “tour,” as it’s called, started in 1996 when a group of innkeepers, wanting to fill empty rooms during the slow December season, came up with the idea of offering tours and homemade cookies. Ten years later, the tour boasts 300 participants, 17 inns and, most important of all, dozens of yummy cookies.

Many of the inns bundle up the cookies in handy “to go” packages, while others pair them up with hot chocolate or coffee to be eaten next to the fire.

But you don’t have to trek to New Hampshire; start your own cookie tour or swap with friends and family. To get you started, here are three of our favorite recipes from the New Hampshire cookie tour. They travel well and eat well too. For a list of inns participating in the annual event (with contact information), visit

By Fran Folsom, a writer in Cambridge, Mass.