Our annual cookie exchange was held today at my house. As always, it was fun and full of laughs and FABULOUS cookies! We truly do have an awesome circle of bakers who have done this every year for the past 4 years.
This year’s haul:
So many delicious varieties of cookies…Mounds bars, peppermint brownies, biscotti, mini lemon shortbread sandwich cookies, chewy chocolate macaroons and Miss Merritt’s famous melt-in-your-mouth Scottish Shortbread:
This picture was taken after the plate was demolished–Merritt brought this shortbread over and served it to us warm…oh my goodness you could just hear the sighs of pleasure as we all dug into that numminess!
Random pictures of some of “The Gals”:
Becky, Shannon and Ressie
Kelly and Merritt, checking out the icky infected sliver in Merritt’s finger…we have two nursing students in our ranks, so poor Merritt was squeezed and poked and Ressie and Kelly got stomped on feet! LOL Merritt has very little tolerance for pain and spent most of the time with her finger in a cup of warm water.
My Toadie got home from work just after the festivities started and joined in the fun of cookie tasting and cracking wise. We laughed a lot over the course of a nearly two hour visit.
This year, I made Peppermint Shortbread Meltaways. I think they tasted wonderful, but they weren’t as “meltaway” as they could have been with more cornstarch in them.
I’m sharing the recipe with all my blog readers, if you decide to try them, let me know how you like them.
Peppermint Shortbread Meltaways
2 lbs. butter
2 C. powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. butter extract
6 1/2 C. flour
1/2 C. corn starch
2 pkg. Andes peppermint crunch bits
1 pkg. almond bark, melted
1 pkg. of 12 candy canes, crushed
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, combine butter, corn starch and powdered sugar. Whip with a hand held mixer until smooth. Add vanilla and butter extracts and whip again. Add flour, 2 cups at a time, incorporating the last 2 and a half cups by hand. Add both bags of Andes peppermint crunch bits and mix well. Chill mixture for 3-4 hours. Using a teaspoon size cookie scoop, measure the dough and shape into balls. Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely on wire racks. In a microwave safe bowl, melt almond bark–my microwave is 1100 watts and it took two 1 minute intervals to melt it all completely. Gently dip the tops of cooled cookies in the melted almond bark, and sprinkle lightly with crushed candy cane. Leave on wire racks till almond bark sets, about 1 hour. Makes 140 cookies.
My sister in law, Toadie and I all thought these were great without any topping. Not too sweet with a pleasing peppermint flavor.
Are you having a cookie exchange this year? What kind of cookies are you making? Leave a comment and share what you’re making for the holiday season!