Cookie Swap book review

I have been lucky to receive a free copy of the Cookie Swap: Creative Treats to Share Throughout the Year book. The book immediately caught my attention, as I have never hold a cookie swap party, or been to a cookie swap party before. So I was very curious to see what this book was all about.

It is written by the author Julia M. Usher who is a celebrated pastry chef, food writer and stylist. You can find eight cookie swap theme parties in the book, along with over 50 different cookie recipes. You can also find decoration and invitation ideas for the cookie swap parties aswell in this book.

The great things about the book, is that I wanted to hold a cookie swap party right away, after a quick browse through the book. I love the fact, that it can be used for so much more than just cookie swap parties. Take small parts from the book and you can hold a perfect tea party, make a fantastic dessert table (just add the cupcakes) or find new inspiration for your iced sugar cookies.

It also have some very sweet crafty ideas, like the gorgeous wedding cake boxes shown in the photo below. The “rescource” list in the back of the book is very detailed, which makes it easy to find cookie cutters and special ingredients.

The less great things about the book is that I that I really miss more detailed step by step directions with photos in the book. Also its a bit disapointing that I could not find any directions for some of the cookies that was pictured in the book, like the owl cookie from the cover.

In my point of view, directions on how to make the creations is just as important, if not more, as having beautiful inspiring photos to look at. The last less great thing is, that it would have been really nice to have some templates for the unusual shaped cookies in the book.

Overall this book a fantastic scource for your next party if you love cookies. Still I think the book is for the more experienced cookie baker/decorator as it can be hard for a beginner to use it, because of the lack of detailed directions.

You can get the Cookie Swap book her:
Cookie Swap UK
Cookie Swap US

Happy Caking!


Photograph by Steve Adams from “Cookie Swap” by Julia M. Usher. Reprinted with permission of Gibbs Smith.


  1. kelly cullinane says

    Hi Louise,
    Thank you so much for your thoughts, I was going to buy this book but I am abit of a beginner when it comes to cookies, so maybe it is best to get something more suitable. Can you recommend anything for people just starting to bake cookies.
    Thanks for sharing

  2. Rita -Greer, SC says

    Here’s a thought Louise…You do the directionals on this book and I’ll buy it! I LOVE your work! And you make it soooo easy to learn!

  3. Vicky says

    That wedding cake cookie display was awesome for either a side type of table or if you don’t like cake.
    Probably more expensive than a cake though. But how fun! Will check the book out as I bet there is more great ideas in there. Thank you for sharing it.

  4. Chrissy Farnan says


    I too have flipped through this book and it looks exciting. I did hold a swap this Christmas and it was fun. I provided cute tubs for everyone to take their treats home.

    I so enjoy your site!


  5. says

    Hi Louise
    You are right its very important to know the directions and that’s why i love your way, but sometimes its a challange to try to do it ourselves
    Thank you for sharing

  6. Becky says

    You’re right, Louise…it’s nice to have step-by-step instructions. For the owl, it looks as if they used a cookie-cutter for the owl’s head (or just cut it out of dough), then decorated the rest with royal icing. The feathers look like frosting using a leaf-tip. If I can find this book in a local store, I’ll look closer at it.
    And if you EVER want a specially made cookie-cutter, let me know. I have a friend that makes them in any shape you want!

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