I opened my mailbox and look what was inside…
My fresh copy of Texasliving!
I was invited by the editor of Texasliving to write an article on how to host a cookie exchange party. If you plan to have some friends over for holiday cheer this year, now is the time to get the snowball rolling!
I have copied the article below to make it easy to read AND below you will also find the recipe for my delicious Cookie Martini and my no fail Sturdy Sugar Cookie recipe.
Enjoy and Au revoir for now! Lorie
Host the Merriest of Cookie Exchanges!
Hosting a cookie exchange party is a fantastic way to have friends and neighbors for a few hours of festive fun. Entertaining with a theme lets you narrow the focus to organize a fabulous event, without a lot of effort. When you bring cookies and friends together good things happen!
Follow a few simple steps and you will be on your way to the perfect cookie exchange for a sweet time had by all.
Be a smart cookie, and secure the date. This is a busy time of year, so to ensure a good turnout, send invitations 3 weeks early and lock your guests down.
Themed invitations are an excellent way to generate excitement and boost party attendance. There are a multitude of printable options available on the web. Feeling creative? Bake a batch of cookies to hand deliver to guests along with their paper invitation. For mailed invitations, think about adding a pinch of cookie sprinkles like confetti inside each card before mailing.
Be sure to include all of the normal party details, in addition, tell your guests to bring 2 dozen of their favorite cookies to share at the party.
Elaborate party set up with trays of food and loads decorations are wonderful if you have the time and resources, otherwise, keep it simple. Do plan to have at least a few savory tidbits to balance the sweets.
A beverage station allows party goers to serve themselves and is a huge time saver for the host. A coffee and tea station work well for a cookie party. If cocktails are more your style, look for cookie inspired recipes on line to carry the motif forward. Mix drinks in advance and serve them from a decanter or pitcher to make party time a breeze and don’t forget to give your glasses a sprinkle rim!
Prepare a cookie table in advance. Furnish serving platters, jars or cake stands to display the baked goods, for an inviting table arrangement. Prepare place cards to detail the cookie flavors.
Cookie Party Games
The BEST Cookie Contest! Organize a BEST cookie contest for an added layer of fun. Conduct the competition by cutting bite sized pieces of each cookie for the guests to taste. Prepare ballots calling for the top 3 choices. When the votes are tallied, give your BEST cookie winners a small prize such as cookie sprinkles, a pretty mixing bowl or holiday cookie cookbook.
Deck the Cookies Instead of providing a cookie of your own for the exchange, set up a decorating station. Bake plain sugar cookies in a variety of shapes. Make frosting in several colors and place it in piping bags or better yet, purchase decorating frosting ready to go. Buy a few small holiday candies and sprinkles for more embellishing fun. Provide pictures of decorated cookies for inspiration, you can copy these from cookbooks or download on line.
Games and Grins Fill a jar with tiny store bought cookies and have a “guess how many are in the jar” contest. The winner gets to take all the leftover cookies!
Goodies To Go
Supply guests with a container to pack and take their shared confections. Purchase paper cookie boxes or think outside the box. Look for pails, tins, even a clay pot lined with tissue paper is a marvelous vessel to stuff with cookies to be taken home and enjoyed.
Host with the Most
Keep a few additional things in mind for hosting a terrific event. Bake several dozen extra cookies just in case you need a few more.
As your friends RSVP, ask for their cookie recipe and organize a packet for each guest. Or think about a themed party favor, like an oven mitt, a cookie cutter or even a cute holiday dishtowel.
Most of all don’t crumble under the pressure of hosting; remember, if you are relaxed, your guests will be too. So keep calm and cookie on!
2 parts vanilla vodka
1 part Amaretto
1 part whole milk
2 parts club soda
Vanilla cake frosting
To garnish glasses, pour sprinkles into a shallow dish. Rub the edge of each glass with a small amount of frosting, press glass rims into the plate with the sprinkles. Shake all cocktail ingredients with ice and strain into prepared martini glasses.
Sturdy Sugar Cookie
1 cup butter
4 cups flour
2 cups sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon almond extract
In a large bowl mix dry ingredients together. Cream butter and sugar together using an electric mixer until mixture is pale and fluffy. Continue to beat and add eggs one at a time. Next, add extracts. Add dry ingredients slowly until combined. Separate dough into 2 gallon zip locks. Flatten dough and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Turn dough out on to a floured surface and roll out dough to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut out shapes and bake on greased baking sheet for 13-15 minutes.