Serving Up Tradition | Seacrest Country Day School’s Cookie Swap

Meet the savvy moms behind Seacrest Country Day School’s cookie-swap fundraiser and savor their holiday sweets.

Admission to one of the most exclusive girl’s nights out this holiday season is finite but not exactly simple—buy a ticket and bake eight dozen cookies. Since 2006 Ursula Boyd and four of her friends have hosted a cookie exchange, a perennially sold-out fundraiser to support the financial aid fund for Seacrest Country Day School, a leading private academy in Naples. The party is held at a host’s house each year, and the guest list is cut off at 30. Moms wear cocktail dresses and relish a catered feast, live music, games, and, of course, cookies (everyone takes home nearly 100). The night was born as a way to have fun while giving back, but what it has done is drawn people closer.

Seacrest Country Day School - annual holiday cookie swap - tasty holiday dessert recipes

   Helen Ruisi, Seacrest’s CFO, has been to all but one of the previous seven events. “I don’t know another word to describe it other than sweet,” she says. “People obviously put a lot of effort into the cookies. They’re labors of love—you think of memories and the people you’re baking them for.”
We explore the sisterhood of five smart, sophisticated moms behind the annual cookie exchange and get a taste of their yuletide treats.

Click on the thumbnails below for the cookie recipes.

Almond Joy | Elaina Chintakis' Kourabiedes with Almonds Cookie Recipe

Almond Joy

Elaina Chintakis shares her recipe for Kourabiedes with Almonds cookies, a traditional Greek dessert.

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Sugar and Spice | Ursula Boyd's Great Grandma’s Sour Cream Frosted Cookies Recipe

Sugar and Spice

Ursula Boyd shares her great grandmother’s recipe for Sour Cream Frosted cookies, a family tradition perfect for the holidays.

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Laced with Love | Melissa Kruk's Italian Pizzelles Cookie Recipe

Laced with Love

Melissa Kruk shares her recipe for Italian Pizzelles cookies, a delicate and sweet treat.

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Snow Patrol | Kari Wagner's Chocolate-Peanut Butter Melting Snowmen Cookie Recipe

Snow Patrol

Kari Wagner shares her recipe for Chocolate-Peanut Butter Melting Snowmen cookies, a fun a festive holiday treat.

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On a Roll | Daryl Sissman's Cinnamon-and-Chocolate Rollups Cookie Recipe

On a Roll

Daryl Sissman shares her recipe for Cinnamon-and-Chocolate Rollups cookies, a recipe handed-down from her grandmother Rose.

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Cookie photography by Vanessa Rogers

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