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46 Reviews
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars better than most
I have bought other less expensive books and really was not happy in the overall book to begin with and then disappointed in the content; but as they say you get what you paid for.

I must say that this book was worth every penny. If you love to bake for your family or friends and enjoy all the oooohhhss and ahhhs when you present them with your creations, this...
Published on June 27, 2010 by Ms. E. Marie

versus
70 of 71 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lovely to Look At But Difficult to Use
Cookie Swap contains over 50 cookie recipes and is organized into eight themed parties which feature five or more different cookie varieties. The book contains sumptuous photographs of each cookie and each party. The reader is treated to a visual feast of all the cookies in the group, imaginatively arranged for optimal impact. The photographs and layouts are top rate and...
Published on November 28, 2009 by M. Hill


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70 of 71 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lovely to Look At But Difficult to Use, November 28, 2009
This review is from: Cookie Swap: Creative Treats to Share Throughout the Year (Paperback)
Cookie Swap contains over 50 cookie recipes and is organized into eight themed parties which feature five or more different cookie varieties. The book contains sumptuous photographs of each cookie and each party. The reader is treated to a visual feast of all the cookies in the group, imaginatively arranged for optimal impact. The photographs and layouts are top rate and any magazine would be delighted to feature them.

Party planning and design are the main emphasis in the book. That is not to say there aren't some good cookie recipes in the book because there are, but 50 plus recipes are not very many and some of them are quite basic with ingredients identical of recipes I've used for years although the names given to the recipes are more imaginative - like the Butter Horn cookies I make are called Sugar Between the Sheets in this book.

Fondant is used to decorate a number of the cookies, and the taste of fondant simply isn't very good. Unlike a cake enrobed in fondant which has a crumb coat of delicious butter cream frosting under the fondant, there really isn't anywhere to go with a cookie. Either you eat the fondant or the cookie is for display not consumption.

Additionally, detailed directions for decorating each cookie are not always provided. On the cover of the book, in the upper left-hand corner is a cute owl cookie. I paged through looking for the cookie. I finally found a photograph of a small display tree with cookies hanging from the branches. On the tree was a tiny picture of the owl cookie which although so prominently featured on the cover appeared as an afterthought within the confines of the book. The accompanying text referred the reader to a gingerbread recipe somewhere in the book and the appliqué technique instructions in another area. More ease of use would have been appreciated. I prefer not to turn to two or more different areas in a cookbook to make a cookie recipe.

The ink used for the recipes is pale aqua. I have good vision yet that color is difficult to read, particularly when the book is laid on a countertop and viewed from a standing position. I suspect the ink color is chosen to deter people from photocopying the recipes, but that protection should not come at the expense of the actual purchaser of the book. While the book was on the kitchen counter, in an effort to read the recipes, I had to repeatedly lean down to get closer to the page, and at one point grabbed a magnifying glass to make out the fractions. I grew impatient with the whole process - the publisher made it difficult to actually use the book. The index was done in a smaller font size than the recipes but since black ink was used, it was easier to read.

The hard work in creating this book is obvious, and the cookies are beautifully decorated. I'd recommend the book if the buyer is searching for a cookie swap party planning book, but not if cookie recipes are the main area of interest.
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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars You Can't Eat a View, November 18, 2009
This review is from: Cookie Swap: Creative Treats to Share Throughout the Year (Paperback)
This is the second time I've reviewed this book. The other review was either omitted or lost in the ether. At any rate, this cookbook reminds me of a restaurant that had the most wonderful location, overlooking a river. But as was stated by a restaurant critic, you can't eat a view!

Upon reading the absolutely glowing reviews of this book I immediately purchased it locally as it was not then available through Amazon. It IS a beautiful book. As several have noted, it looks great on a coffee table or in a bookholder decorating your kitchen. But I've never seen such a collection of truly unappealing recipes with strange ingredients. Further the details as to decorating the cookies so that they look good enough to swap or sell at your church's bake sale are MIA. Perhaps the writer anticipates a very experienced cookie decorator to be reading the book. I wasn't even tempted to try the recipes and found the book a new happy home.

I had to wonder if the other reviewers are friends or fans of the writer. The reviews were so over the top raves that I wondered if they were inspired by something other than actual appreciation for the content of the book.

Again if you want a pretty book for your coffee table or if you like cookies that "aren't sweet" (huh...if you want a cracker make a cracker) or if you like wierd ingredients this is the book for you. If you're looking for something that will have your cookie swap friends begging for your recipes...maybe look somewhere else.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars lots of cookie recipes, November 29, 2009
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This review is from: Cookie Swap: Creative Treats to Share Throughout the Year (Paperback)
I was looking for a book on decorating sugar cookies. Based on the cover, this is what I expected. This book had recipes for lots of different types of cookies. The photos were beautiful and the cookies looked yummy, but this book didn't fit my particular needs. It would be a good book if you wanted many recipes for different types of cookies.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars better than most, June 27, 2010
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This review is from: Cookie Swap: Creative Treats to Share Throughout the Year (Paperback)
I have bought other less expensive books and really was not happy in the overall book to begin with and then disappointed in the content; but as they say you get what you paid for.

I must say that this book was worth every penny. If you love to bake for your family or friends and enjoy all the oooohhhss and ahhhs when you present them with your creations, this is the book for you.

I have loved every page of this book and that is not something I say all that often. I am a true believer that anything can be made better. I will be waiting for the next book to see what they can o to top this one. I know I will be using this book for many many years
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great cookie book for those who are willing to be patient and learn, June 26, 2010
This review is from: Cookie Swap: Creative Treats to Share Throughout the Year (Paperback)
This is a great book for those interested in baking and cookie/treat gift giving. There are recipes for everything from wedding to halloweens; with creative decorating ideas and skills. Not necessarily a beginner cookie book, but if you are willing to learn and open up your creativity you are going to enjoy this book!!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sneak Peek at Cookie Swap, October 18, 2010
This review is from: Cookie Swap: Creative Treats to Share Throughout the Year (Paperback)
Length:: 3:54 Mins

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not what I thought, May 14, 2014
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This review is from: Cookie Swap (Kindle Edition)
The cookies were very labor intensive and not very appealing. Would not recommend for quick or large parties. And rating a product for Amazon requires too many rules!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Cookie Swap Review, February 26, 2013
This review is from: Cookie Swap: Creative Treats to Share Throughout the Year (Paperback)
The illustrations and images are wonderful and makes you oohs and aahs as you flipped the pages! The only minus points I would give is that this book is definitely not for beginners because it doesn't show you the steps / procedures except text text text.. Again, if you are a beginner or learning to decorate, this book may not be for you.. But worth investing if you want ideas OUTSIDE of the box, because this book has fantastic ideas!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars great!, May 11, 2010
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This review is from: Cookie Swap: Creative Treats to Share Throughout the Year (Paperback)
the book is great. it provides many extra tips and advice, fantastic design and gift ideas for any season or party.
the recipes are tasty, and having the resources pages on where to get specific food supplies is a great idea and very helpful in finding what you want, and what is on offer.
i will be using this book many times over
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book; great ideas!, November 15, 2010
This review is from: Cookie Swap: Creative Treats to Share Throughout the Year (Paperback)
Cookie Swap presents the exciting idea of having year round cookie swaps instead of relegating them only to the holidays. Ms. Usher explains her first experience with cookie swaps as a young child where she saw and devoured dainty, pink flower cookies, only to find that she got to bring a whole plate of them home, as her father so kindly informed her. From then on, she was hooked and she offers all kinds of helps to assist you in planning and pulling off successful cookie swaps any time of the year.

The author likens the cookie swap to potluck dinners, as both are very easy to host; and with cookie swaps the guests get to take home a variety of treats as an extra bonus! A section devoted to tips for baking all types of cookies successfully is included, as well as suggestions for invitations, centerpieces and more. I loved the themed container ideas for guests to carry home their treasures in.

There are ideas for eight themed parties, with lots of tips to make your party extra special for your guests. Each party could play many different roles, from birthdays to showers, depending on what your special occasion is. The book starts with Valentine's Day, with all kinds of lovely ideas, including cupid cookies in cotton candy clouds. For Spring, there is a butterfly tree, charming Easter bonnet cookies, and even the author's beloved pink daisies (plus much more)!

There are three themes for Summer, with some of my favorite ideas being: cute bikini and umbrella cookies, floral garden pots to bring home garden themed treats and darling "tiers of joy" mini wedding cake cookies (that my daughter says we "have" to have at her eventual wedding). School days, Halloween and Christmas get-togethers follow, with all kinds of delicious treats to share. There are many stunning decorated cookies, as well as more simple ones, all ranked in difficulty for your ease of use. Of course, you can supply your own favorites, but Cookie Swap provides excellent suggestions and is filled with hints for planning and enjoying your party. Cookie Swap: Creative Treats to Share Throughout the Year makes me want to have all my parties in the future be potluck/cookie swap parties, with less work and more fun!
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Cookie Swap: Creative Treats to Share Throughout the Year
Cookie Swap: Creative Treats to Share Throughout the Year by Julia M. Usher (Paperback - August 1, 2009)
$19.99 $15.66
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