This post should have been up yesterday, but Blogspot thwarted my actions. Or maybe my Internet connection did. Regardless, I apologize. I had a WONDERFUL evening surrounded by friends, family, and COOKIES!
The 2nd annual cookie exchange was a big hit! I'm rolling in cookie ecstasy this morning, and I'm pretty sure my husband will gain 12 lbs this week. I had to fight him off to get some photos before he dug into all the goodies.
We had 13 participants, and agreed to make 1/2 dozen for each guest. Last year we did a full dozen and somewhere around the 8th batch my head started spinning like the exorcist, so I knew we had to scale back this time around. :) In preparation for the exchange party, I picked up 13 big cardboard Cub Foods boxes (just $1.09 each!) and labeled them with each participants name.
This keeps everything running smoothly - people bring their batch of cookies however works best (some had bags, some boxes, some even Rubbermaid tubs!), and when they arrive they deliver one package to every carton except their own. Sort of reverse trick-or-treat. Last year I used Costco bags, but they didn't have any in stock this season, and actually the Cub boxes probably offered a little more protection. Cookies were to be packaged in containers that the baker does not need back, like the 3/$1 foil tins I scooped up at Dollar Tree. But boy were my friends creative! These white chocolate cranberry cookies were in holiday goodie bags:
These plastic containers holding butterscotch coconut cookies are actually take out containers from our favorite Chinese restaurant, eNoodle Cafe:
These cute gift bags held chocolate mint cookies, and the recipe was rolled up with a chocolate mint candy cane:
One guest gave me a special hostess gift, putting her Russian Tea Cakes in a cute ceramic jar:
And speaking of cute, OMG are these not the most adorable sugar cookies ever?!?!? This is from the same creative mind that brought you the True Blood Cupcakes, and Alice in the House Halloween costume:
Love them!!! My mom emailed me late that night after opening all her cookies and said "they're like mini works of art!" I wish I had that skill with royal icing, mine always look like I used a trowel.
There were lots more AMAZING treats as well, from dipped cherry cookies to lime coolers, traditional gingersnaps and peanut butter blossoms (my absolute favorites), melt-in-your-mouth sugar cookies, chocolate raspberry bars, and even divinity! I'm so impressed with this bunch of ladies, and we had a great night sipping wine and cocoa, catching up, and trying to keep cookies away from Norm (not all of that was successful).
My favorite moment of the whole evening was when I oh-so-gracefully spun around and knocked someone's plate out of their hand, sending food flying everywhere, and reacted with cat-like reflexes to catch most of the food in my hand. That food was salsa. Have you ever tried to catch salsa? I laughed for an hour on that one.
Overall it was a great night, the cookies are spectacular, and I'm starting to feel like it's the holidays now :) Thanks to everyone who participated, and Happy Holidays to all!