Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Holiday Cookie Exchange

Last weekend, we hosted our 3rd annual cookie exchange for the 4-H cooks.  It seems to be something that the kids and their families enjoy. I enjoy it, because it gives the kids an opportunity to make some decisions on their own as they choose their cookies and then spend some time with their own families cooking at home.  I had found lots of suitable choices in my new taste of home cookie book (if you don't have it. .you should ask Santa for one. .you won't be sorry!) Each of my kids took a turn looking through the book and choosing the one they wanted to try.  Grant was the only one that chose a cookie I had already marked. He chose a chocolate slice and bake cookie that gets topped with a butter cream frosting tinted with green color and a hint of peppermint.
Devin chose a shortbread butter cookie.  He didn't like them. .but I did. .they aren't a "kid" cookie, but more of a sophisticated adult cookie. .if there is such a thing!!  We did agree, though, that they were very pretty.  It is a little hard to see, but the recipe made such a pretty white cookie.
Tristan chose a cookie much like a chocolate chip cookie. The difference was chopped maraschino cherries and vanilla chips.  A nice change, I thought.
We had 12 kids that could come to the exchange and 14 kids that made cookies to exchange that day.  The house was abuzz with activity for sure.  Our instructions were for each cook to bring 4 1/2 dozen cookies.  We snacked on 1/2 dozen of each kind, and then exchanged the other 4 dozen. .and whatever was left from the snack tray.  The mom's emailed me their recipes ahead of time and I made a cookbook of the holiday recipes.  I'd be happy to email it to anyone who would like a copy--just leave your address in my comment section.  Everyone enjoyed the cookie "preview" and hot drinks.
Of course the kids inhaled their snacks to get in some good play time as the adults savored their snacks.  When we were ready, each kiddo took a container and chose the allotted amount of each cookie to take home with them.  And since I can't count and divide real well. .or the cookies subtly multiply on the table when our backs are turned. .they went through the line about 5 times choosing cookies until the table was devoid of remaining cookies. 
As the cooking leader. .I felt obligated to try each of the 14 varieties THAT day. .while they were still fresh of course. A rough job, I know. .but I totally got it accomplished. .more easily than I should have.  I didn't taste ONE bad cookie.  We had a great assortment of chocolate, sugar, mint, bar, fancy decorated, and sophisticated.
My good friends Taffi and Becky lounged around with me in the middle of the floor after the kids left. .and we enjoyed good conversation and silly girls for another hour or so.  The two little ones found the dress up stuff and Morgan and Britney made sure that they were BEAUTIFUL. They didn't mind posing for several pictures. .remember the 3 year old that has forgotten how to smile pretty. .Not a real smile in the whole 15 pictures that I snapped.
Sunday afternoon I got to start on MY Christmas cooking. .which I dearly love!! This coming weekend will find me (and undoubtedly some children) cooking up a storm of our usual favorite goodies to nibble and share. .mostly share!! Take a moment to take a deep breath of the season. .and don't forget to enjoy it.
Before we know it. .it will be a memory.


  1. Our family LOVES the cookies exchange, all for different reasons. I don't think there was one bad cookie and I plan on making a couple for our family! =)

  2. Looks like fun. So many cookies! If it's no trouble, please email the cookie recipes to:
    I'm always on the look out for new fun cookies. We're making our Christmas treats this weekend too.

  3. This is such a great idea, I am the general leader for our 4-H club here and I am thinking next year for christmas we will do this.

    Please email me a copy of your cookie cookbook. It is baking weekend coming up and I will definately try some of the recipies.

    Have a merry christmas


  4. Mel, you know my address. Please send a copy of the book...better yet bring samples! Mom

  5. Sounds like you had a fun time! C.R. and I went to one of those when we were living there yet, it was a fun way to try different kinds of cookies. LOL about having to "taste test" each one. Such a "terrible" job. :) Yes, I would love to see the recipes, thanks!