#CookieSwapNYC for City Harvest {2013 ed.}

Just a few of the many amazing cookies and treats at #CookieSwapNYC 
This weekend, some of my New York City blogging/baking friends and I gathered at The Coffee Foundry  for some sweet holiday cheer - as you can see from the photos, there sure was plenty of cheer to go around! 

Some of you may remember that similar events were held the last two years (if not, see here & here) - and though I've always enjoyed the amazing food, the larger event made it difficult to chat with more than a few people. It was also a tad overwhelming (and intimidating) to me to be among so many talented bloggers and bakers. So, I decided to carry on the tradition of swapping cookies for a cause - but at a smaller, more intimate venue.

The Coffee Foundry was the perfect space for about 30 of us to gather and catch up over cookies and coffee. We enjoyed various hot beverages prepared by Norm, and his staff - and judging by all the #CookieSwapNYC photos on Instagram, we were all lovin' the latte art. It made the event that much sweeter. Many thanks to The Coffee Foundry for sponsoring the event!

Chocolate-y treats baked with Divine Chocolate
Speaking of sponsors, Divine Chocolate was so generous to provide us with their Mint Chocolate and Ginger Chocolate Thins to sample during the event, as well as take-home treats in the form of their new Milk and Dark Chocolate Mixed Nuts (available exclusively at Whole Foods). Not only that, they donated a Holiday Gift Box to raffle off and a few cans of cocoa powder for The Coffee Foundry to use to serve their hot chocolate and mocha during the event. Divine also partnered with four bloggers to create chocolate-y treats especially for the swap - Jennifer of Bake or Break, Ruthy of Omeletta, Connie of Urban Bakes and Angela of Mind Over Batter. [They will be sharing recipes to their divine cookies and brownie in the coming week so keep an eye out!]

Zugar Haus was another sweet sponsor for this event - they provided each guest with a take home box filled with a few of their signature holiday treats! They also donated one of their Holiday Gift Boxes for raffle. Their cookies and confections make such a sweet gift as they are so carefully packaged, ready for gift-giving. Have them ship some adorable gingerbread men to your family and friends for the holidays or any special occasion. {Use code "CookieSwap" for 10% off their Holiday Gift Box!} 

This year, we partnered with City Harvest - the world's and New York City's first food rescue organization, dedicated to feeding the city's hungry men, women and children. They work with various food purveyors such as restaurants, grocers, manufacturers, and farms in order to collect excess food and distribute to those in need throughout the 5 boroughs.

I reached out to City Harvest's manager of volunteer services, Brittany - whom, I met last spring at the NYCCAH conference to come share a bit about how we, as food bloggers can help the community. Not only can we raise awareness and funds for the organization, we can also use our cooking/baking knowledge to teach New Yorkers how to cook healthy meals for themselves and their families via their nutrition education programs. City Harvest has many opportunities for volunteering, find out more at their website: www.cityharvest.org/volunteer.

We were able to raise $320 for City Harvest, as well as raise awareness of the needs of this city. Many thanks to all of the bloggers and bakers who supported the event by contributing baked goods, making donations, and inviting their friends to participate in baking for a cause!

Read more about the Cookie Swap from fellow bloggers (will update as posts are published):

Bake or Break
Jennifer Baker 
Mind Over Batter
The Experimental Gourmand
Urban Bakes

PS - I will be sharing a recipe later this week for the cookies I brought to the swap - gluten-free brown butter cherry-almond oatmeal cookies! whew, that's a mouthful. Stay tuned!