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Monday, December 16, 2013

A Perfect Cookie Exchange

It is not to often that I use the word perfect. But yesterday’s cookie exchange was magical, delicious, lovely and well….perfect! During this busy holiday season I love the idea of making just one type of cookie and receiving a variety of delicious cookies in return.

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An online invitation was sent out a few weeks prior to the event. The turn out was fantastic.

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On the entryway table I had nametags waiting for all the guests. In a large group I think this is a nice touch and makes guests feel special and welcome.

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As per my usual fashion I had a bit of fun with the names. Can you sense the holiday theme?

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My table was groaning under the weight of all the sugar. Each guest needed to bring approximately 3 dozen of just one type of cookie, candy or savory delight.

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As the hostess I made Nestle Toll House cookies, Holly Cookies and Spiced Nuts.

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The Holly cookies are really easy to make and have just 5 simple ingredients.

3 tablespoons butter or margarine

2 teaspoons of green food dye

4 cups of miniature marshmallows

6 cups of cornflakes

Candy red hots for garnish

You simply melt the butter on low to medium heat and then add in the green food dye and mix well. Then add in the marshmallows, stirring until they are melted.

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Add in the cornflakes and coat the cereal evenly with the marshmallow mixture.

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Create holly leaf shapes on wax paper and have a handy assistant add the red hot garnish for “berries”.

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Let cool and enjoy!

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The spiced nuts also just take mere minutes to make.

1 large egg white

1/4 cup of sugar

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

1 teaspoon of sea salt (regular salt can also be used)

1/2 teaspoon of cumin

1/2 teaspoon of red cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon of chili powder

2 1/2 cups of unsalted nuts, such as walnuts, cashew, pecan, almond or peanut

1 cup of dried cranberries

Mix the egg white with the sugar and spices, add in the nuts and berries and evenly coat. Line a cookie tray with parchment paper and add a single layer of nuts. Cook in a 300 degree oven for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

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Let cool then store in an airtight container or place in nut cups for instant enjoyment.

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There were so many delicious offerings such as oatmeal cookies and chocolate covered peanut butter balls.

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Peanut Butter blossoms which are Mr. Décor’s favorite.

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Yummy pumpkin muffins were amazingly a weight watchers offering.

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Miss Julie was so clever and brought recipe cards. They were so cute!

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As a parting gift I took simple clear glass ornaments and filled them with various vintage buttons and topped them with a bit of antique lace. A simple tag was tied on with, what else… bakers twine.

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Of course to have a perfect cookie exchange you have to have perfect guests. My apologies for those who had already left or had not yet arrived when this image was taken by my dear Sweet Guy.

From left to right top row:

My dear friend Kristina, the wonderfully crafty Meri, lovely Phyllis, effervescent Marci, delightful Marty, and treasured Ceekay.

Left to right bottom row:

Myself, my daughter, the Fashionista~ who this party could not have happened without all her help, beautiful Sierra, glowing Louise, and winner of the most festive attire, Jenny.

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Tomorrow I will share more party vignettes and easy holiday crafts are coming!

Laura

Linking to:

Between Naps On The Porch , A Stroll Thru Life, Not Just A HousewifeA Bowl Full of Lemons, We Are That Family, Someday Crafts,The 36th Avenue, Ivy and Elephants, Katherine’s Corner, Posed Perfection, Craftberry Bush, Stonegable, Jennifer Rizzo, No Minimalist Here, Country Cottage, The Shabby Nest,Imparting Grace, My Romantic Home, Common Ground , The Charm of Home, Tatertots and Jello, Funky Junk Interiors, Under The Table and Dreaming, Life in Grace, Foodie Friday

17 comments :

Karena Albert said...

Laura, I can see how much fun your Christmas Cookie Exchange party was for everyone! Great holiday cookie recipes!

xoxo
Karena
Scalamandre Giveaway!

Rita C. said...

Your guest favors are such a good idea! And the nut cups look really good. Pinning!

black sabeth said...

so much fun!

Blackberry Lane said...

Good Morning, Laura. What a lot of fun this must have been. Thanks for sharing the great photos and all the festive treats and décor!

Vel Criste said...

What a perfect kind of party for the holidays Laura! Love the name tags and I have to try that yummy recipe! Thanks for sharing!

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Oh Laura, it was such a fun day and so good to see everyone. You always do a party up perfectly and this one was fabulous. I had a wonderful day, Hugs, marty

Jill Flory of Sew a Fine Seam said...

What fun! It's been a few years since I've been to a cookie exchange! Sound like fun to have one again.

Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

I so loved your party!! I had so much fun!! I loved everyone's treats!!! Thanks for having me!!! :)

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Looks like a wonderful group and a great party!

XO

Sheila

Lisa said...

You're right! Perfection! You are such a sweet hostess. I loved the sparkly name tags and your table looked beautiful! And thanks for all the great recipes!

GARAGE SALE GAL said...

YUM!!! The holly wreaths are my favorite and the peanut butter kisses! They all look so good. I haven't been to a cookies exchange in years...
Merry Christmas.
Deb

Sally Kelly said...

LOOKS delicious and SOUNDS like fun! Love those sweet ornaments you made/gave!

Pam @ over50feeling40 said...

I got so many great ideas here! Thanks so much...I will share them with my daughter. I found you through the blog hop and really enjoyed my visit!

BECKY said...

Hi Laura! I'm here from Foodie-Friday. When I saw your photo and the words "perfect cookie exchange," I just had to stop by! Your blog and everything about you is so lovely. And what a fun surprise to see two of my bloggy friends here in your comments: Marty, and Ms. Magpie! Have a blissful weekend!

mamas*little*treasures said...

Hi Laura - another beautiful post indeed! Looking forward to reading more of your inspiring posts in the new year every Thursday at the blog hop at Katherine's Corner. Have a very Merry Christmas! Nina @ mamas*little*treasures

Estelle's said...

Hi Laura! This is just beautiful and so very festive! I am so excited to have discovered your blog and the Cookie Exchange sounds delightful! Cannot wait to browse more and learn what lovely ideas your blog offers! I invite you to visit me also over at Estelle's (http://themainehouse.blogspot.com) What an enjoyable post!

Jemma@athomewithjemma said...

Good Morning,
Visiting from our Christmas In Texas Group, such a lovely gathering and beautiful inspiration, so charming. I love it all.
Looking forward to meeting you in person!
Jemma