Saturday, December 02, 2006

cookie exchange

Today was our annual neighborhood cookie exchange. I've been hosting it for five years now and it's a lot of fun. What I like the best is that it is not a "let's play Martha and impress the neighbors" kind of party. As I say in the invitation, if you don't have time or inclination to bake from scratch try whack-and-bake or buy cookies. What's more important is that you come.

This year we were very lucky, no duplicates; one year three people brought the same cookie! It was a small crowd with only 10 of us but lots of fun, chatting, munching, catching up with each other and taking a break before the crush of the holidays is upon us. My family is, of course, thrilled to have me host this since they love the different types of cookies that we get.

The rules are simple, bring a double batch of cookies, COUNT your cookies so you know how many you have, bring a container to get your hoard share home with, and come have fun.

I made gingersnaps (although I think they should be called ginger thins since they are not very crispy). It was the first time I had made this particular cookie and I didn't realize how many it made. I got 152 cookies out of a double batch, whew. The recipe comes from a dear friend who made them last year and then was gracious enough to share.

Melt 3 sticks of butter (no counting calories, this is the holidays)
mix together with 2 C. sucanat (or brown sugar)
add 2 eggs
add 2 t. baking powder, 2 t. cinnamon, 1 t. ginger, 1 t. cloves (I left out the cloves since my husband doesn't like them)
add 4 C. flour (I used fresh ground soft white so had to use 5 C.)

Let sit in fridge for 20 minutes while preheating the oven to 350 F

Make small balls, roll in sugar and bake on ungreased cookie sheet 8-10 minutes
let cookies sit 1-2 minutes on cookie sheet before transferring to cookie rack

The other cookies that we had this year?

turtle fudge chippers
peppermint candy canes
pecan nut balls
coconut macaroons (made by hand!)
brown sugar nut shortbreads
oatmeal lace wafer sandwiches
cocoa crinkles
creamcheese jam triangles

We listened to holiday music and it spurred me on to dig out the holiday linens and books from the attic so I've got a bit of a start on the holiday decorating thing.

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