My Holiday Goal (guest post by DeeDee Lane, Joys of the Season Blog Hop)
This holiday season I have one goal. Now brace yourselves because my goal has nothing to do with peace on earth, reflecting on the joy of the season, or even being with family. My goal is to host a cookie swap. My research tells me a typical cookie swap is held at one person’s home and each guest brings about 10 dozen cookies (depending on your number of guests), with an extra dozen for sampling. Then we sample and put together a “to go” box of a variety of cookies. At the end of the party, we walk out the door with several dozen delicious homemade cookies and voila our holiday baking is done. Plus we’ve had a fun time with friends and fellow cookie bakers!
So…what to do? As the host it seems like I would need to provide drinks…coffee, of course, I am after all a Seattleite. But what goes best with cookies? Milk? So how about hot chocolate spiked with Baileys, Whiskey, or not spiked and topped with some delicious fresh whipped cream.
Now for the cookies….hmmm. My top five favorite holiday cookies of all time are: Miss Lydia’s fruitcake cookies, my Texas Mom’s pecan crescents, my Southern Grandma’s mini pecan pie tartlets, Mrs. Rasmussen’s old fashioned divinity and my Mom’s chocolate chip cookies which are delicious any time of the year.
Since this is all new territory for me I think I’ll focus on something unique. I’ll make Nanaimo Bars a non-baked cookie of Canadian origin named after a coast city in British Columbia. Where I live in the northwest, these multi layered bars reach mythic status. I think it would be a kick to set them down and see who has memories of this popular confection. My recipe comes from a holiday AAA magazine. However, in 1986, the mayor of Nanaimo presided over a contest to pin down the best Nanaimo Bar Recipe. According to the Nanaimo city web site the contest was four-weeks long and included 100 different recipes for the bar!
Time for a bit more research, what do the experts say? On her web site Martha Stewart recommends: chocolate peppermint cookies and pretzel shortbread along with 32 other choices! Southern Living tells me Snickerdoodles are the way to go. Experienced hostesses recommend bringing cookies that are easy to freeze and not too fragile to travel. Good advice since I would love to spread out the joy of holiday baking over several weeks and I’d like my guests to transport their goodies home without breaking into crumbs or melting meringue.
Another hostess recommends creating labels for the cookies especially if you have families that need to avoid nuts and other common allergens. And last my practical friend reminds me, I need an assembly area, where folks can easily gather cookies in simple boxes and get them ready for the ride home.
Okay—countdown to Cookie Swap 2016! Wish me luck and if you have any other advice do let me know.
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