|Posted by holmfamilycookbook on December 12, 2011 at 9:40 AM|
A sample of the wide variety of cookies and candies from this year's exchange: chocolate crinkles, double orange, snickerdoodle biscotti, shortbread, English toffee, lemon drops, chocolate balls
Three years ago I blogged about a Christmas cookie exchange 11 of my coworkers and I started that year at work. At the first exchange we were wowed by the French chocolate bark our coworker Louella brought for the exchange. She neatly packed the bark into twelve small green glass bread pans. The wife of another coworker brought chocolate Christmas mice, which were also a hit. Click here to read about the first exchange
That year I brought the spritz cookies that my family and I make at a yearly spritz cookie making party. To read about the cookie making party and see the recipe, click here.
Last year, I was not into making cookies for the exchange, so I made homemade peanut brittle. Believe it or not, peanut brittle is quicker and easier to make than cookies. Click here to learn how to make it and get the recipe.
I spent some time this past weekend prepping for the third annual cookie exchange. I made muddy buddies, a snack mix, instead of cookies. And, as I am writing this blog, it is 6:30 a.m. and I have potatoes baking in the oven for the luncheon we have in conjunction with the cookie exchange. The first year we had a taco and taco salad bar at the luncheon. I made easy picante chicken in a crockpot for the tacos and salad. Click here for the recipe. Last year we had a baked potato bar. When the call went out this year for ideas for the luncheon some people wanted tacos again, others wanted baked potatoes. There were no suggestions for anything new, so we are having a taco and baked potato bar.
It's now 9:30 p.m. and I'm feeling a bit queasy from all of the decadent sweets that I ate today. The variety of cookies and candy that my coworkers made for today's cookie exchange was incredible. There were snickerdoodle biscotti, lemon drop cookies, shortbread, English toffee, oatmeal raisin cookies, double orange cookies, chocolate mint chip cookies, and chocolate crinkles. Louella wowed us again this year with some chocolate balls made from an Ina Garten recipe. Besides the wide assortment of cookies and candies, there was also a variety of packages that the cookies were packed in.
A sample of the cookie packagings
9 cups Corn Chex, Rice Chex, Wheat Chex, or Chocolate Chex cereal (or combination)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Measure the cereal into a large bowl and set aside. In 1-quart microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter uncovered on high for 1 minute; stir. Microwave about 20 seconds longer or until mixture can be stirred smooth. Stir in the vanilla. Pour the mixture over the cereal, stirring until evenly coated, and taking care to not break the cereal. Pour into a 2-gallon resealable food-storage (Ziploc) plastic bag. Add powdered sugar. Seal the bag; shake until well coated. Spread on waxed paper to cool. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator.
NOTE: If you don't have a 2-gallon resealable Ziploc bag, use two 1-gallon bags. Put 1/2 of the cereal mixture and powdered sugar into each bag. Rotate shaking the bags.
Christmas cookies and happy hearts, this is how the holiday starts.