For over 10 years now I have been a part of a cookie exchange once a year that at first I was a bit skeptical about. I was invited to join and when I heard that I had to make dough for 12 dozens I was like OMG this will take forever. By now I have figured out the yield of pretty much most cookie recipes so I make 3 double batches and I get 14 - 16 dozen. If you don’t math well, that is equal to 168 - 192 cookies. Just a few right?
WHY HAVE A COOKIE EXCHANGE
The point is for every guest to bring frozen cookies that can be taken out of the freezer and baked up. During holiday time when everyone is entertaining or going to parties dessert is easy and thought free. One less thing to think about. When I used to go to an office for work I was such a hit. My co-workers looked forward to #monthofsparkle for two reasons, my fabulous fashion and baked goods. LOL So her is the prep.
HOW I CHOOSE A RECIPE
My cookie this year is chocolate chip and I asked my mother in law for her recipe…only to learn it is on the back of Ghirardelli chocolate chip bag
LABOR OF LOVE
It takes me about an hour to make all the dough, then it has to be put in fridge or freezer to harden a bit so it can easily be rolled and put into baggies. Dough is pretty sticky when first made. Of course I taste along the way and I have to say this year I ate a ton of dough, it was really tasty (2 sticks of butter)…of course. After baking I took a break and enjoyed a cookie, cup of milk and took in my Christmas tree. Since dough is being frozen work can be done ahead of time, bagged and frozen. Then day off just wrap it up all pretty and off you go.
WHAT TO BRING
Well the dough of course. Individually packaged dozens in ball shape. Each storage bag has temperature and baking duration on it for easy reference when ready for use. Ornament or holiday decoration for white elephant gift exchange. And finally one dozen cookies baked up for tasting.
OUTFIT - DAY TO NIGHT
Well my Fierce T-shirt was sparkle for baking but that is not enough fun bling for #monthofsparkle so here it is from day to night. Styled with jeans and a shimmery tuxedo blazer, shimmery sox and silver shoes. Now that I can be seen in the dark, I am ready to go.
ABOUT THE PARTY
My cousin in law hosts every year and we start on a first Monday in December at 7pm. This way everyone has cookies in their freezer for upcoming Christmas holidays. She serves dinner and we all eat together and catch up. After dinner we move to our holiday ornament/decoration gift exchange. We do a white elephant exchange and it gets pretty fun when people steal. After dust has settled it’s cookie time! One of each cookie on everyones plate, some milk and we share what kind of cookie we made and why with the group. It is cool to try new recipes, and enjoy some repeats, but most of all it’s about spending time together.
MY FAVORITE THING
Aside from time I get to spend with these wonderful women, it is the ornaments. Every year when I decorate my tree I remember the ornament and where I go it. My whole tree is memories from years of travel, cookie exchange parties and bunco. It makes me smile every time. Of course I love the cookies and so does my husband who normally begs me to bake. I have the BIGGEST sweet tooth, so I try not to have it around or I will eat it. This time of year it is around, and I enjoy every bite and memory.
Traditions are not just for families, it is easy to start them with friends as well. Spending time with each other is the best gift we can give each other. Make a new tradition this year…Be Awesome and Sparkle!