Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Cookie and Candy Exchange

I had the pleasure of hostessing a Cookie Exchange for four other families today. It was a bit hectic trying to get the house ready for the occassion, but thanks to hubby, Tex, and the kids (and all of their invaluable help), everything was sparkling clean and prettily arranged for our guests' enjoyment this afternoon.

We each made five dozen cookies (that way our own families got some of our cookies, too) and packaged them separately in bags with a recipe card attached. The ladies (and their daughters) shared a few pots of Earl Grey tea and some lemon pound cake, while chatting about all things family and Christmas. The little ones ran around and enchanted the older girls with their easy laughter and hugs. The moms enjoyed watching their children, young and old, interact so graciously.

It was an altogether pleasant and worthwhile time that I definitely want to make a yearly tradition. I loved having the opportunity to fellowship with like-minded ladies and to get several new (and delicious!) recipes to add to my collection. Plus, my kids are so happy to have all those amazing cookies to enjoy over the next few days. I would never have found the time this year to make five different varieties of cookies, but one, I could do.

Here's what the ladies brought to the exchange:
  • Christmas Candies (me)
  • Ginger-Molasses Cookies
  • Sugar Cookies decorated with icing and sprinkles
  • Chocolate Chunk Cookies
  • Chocolate Fudge and Peanut Butter Fudge
I was sneaky and opened the bags tonight after the kids were in bed. Wasn't that naughty of me? I tried them all (incuding my own) and have decided that my favorite are the Ginger-Molasses cookies made by our friends, the P. family (yes, I even liked them better than my own contribution!). I have been drinking ginger tea lately to try and help my headache-related nausea and my migraines, so I guess I have developed quite a liking for the flavor of ginger. I found the slight zing to be exactly what I was in the mood for...I can't believe I actually picked something non-chocolate, but there you have it. I did.

Here is the recipe for the Christmas candy my mom makes every year (I made this instead of the cookies I'd planned to make because she is out of town helping her mother and I KNEW it would be a hit...it always is):


One bag of chocolate morsels
One bag of butterscotch morsels
One can of salted red-skinned Spanish peanuts

  1. Heat each bag of chips separately according to package instructions (well, I actually do all of the chips in one bag at once rather than by the cupful, so I have to heat it up for longer, but I do this incrementally and with stirring in between, so I won't burn the chips). I usually do the butterscotch first because they are a little bit tougher to melt.
  2. Combine the chocolate and butterscotch in one bowl and stir in the peanuts.
  3. Drop tablespoonfuls (for larger candies) of the mixture onto a cookie sheet covered with wax paper. For smaller candies, use a teaspoon (this is the best choice for families with smaller children. These candies are rich.)
  4. Allow to cool and harden in the fridge, then store in an airtight container IN THE FRIDGE. Makes about three dozen large candies.
  5. Enjoy! We are thinking this recipe might be delicious if made with peanut butter chips instead of butterscotch. What do you think?
So what is your favorite cookie/candy recipe to make at Christmas? Can you tell me why we only go crazy on the cookies once a year? We ought to do this more often. Well, then again, maybe my waistline thinks it is better to do this only once a year after all...

I hope you are enjoying your Christmas preparations.

Blessings to you and yours,


1 comment:

Dustine said...

what a idea. i love informal fellowship times like that- sounds like a great tradition.
have a blessed Christmas.

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