Hi folks, it’s Krisgo here– Today is my annual cookie exchange day with a small group of family and friends. (Which is why it’s been a little dry for posts this weekend) Thought you’d like to know some of the details that make a party like this work. We’ve been doing it for about 15+ years.
First, what are you wanting out of it?? Us? We want cookies (enough to take to work, or present at our holiday parties: at least a good tray’s worth of variety) With a small group like ours, 8-10 people, 2 batches seems to be enough if the cookies are small.
Question: Do I ask that the guests bake and bring the cookies ahead of time? No. not anymore. It’s much more fun to bring the dough, or ingredients and bake them at the party. (plus the cookies are fresher). One exception is me… since I’m hosting the party, I always make fudge the day ahead. Here are the varieties I’ve made for this year:
Candy Bar Fudge: always a hit. This time I did a Reese’s PB Cup and a Twix version. (It’s what was on sale!)
Cotton Candy Fudge: I made mine simple and topped with some cotton candy jelly beans that were on sale. A special treat for the kids.
Butter Pecan Fudge: a new favorite from my friend Sue at work – she brought these in and I ate way too many- they are soooo good. And really very easy – less than 10 min to make.
Also, we want to have some fun. Maybe play a game. A simple game. Like a get to know you game if there are several new people to the group. (Us, we are a little past this point… we all know each other very well. But occasionally, someone will bring a new face – like this year, my daughter might bring a new college friend.)
Is it only cookies?? NO!! We want something else to take home… A couple of years we did an (inexpensive) ornament exchange. Bring a wrapped ornament and we played a simple dice game to get your prize. What’s better though is to craft something at the party. Something easy, and fun. This year, I’m having the guests make 2 ornaments. (More on these later) I Special note: know your guests…. last year we made the cardinal ornaments.. They did turn out lovely – BUT some people have no patience for sewing! (New party rule, no sewing!! haha)
Don’t forget to feed you’re guests too -Of course, we’ll have some cookies to sample (don’t forget the milk!) We always have a big pot of chili. I make a very easy, mild chili. I always think, there are so many different flavors going on with all the cookies, so a mild chili is perfect for dinner. Basically, I use: 2 lbs cooked hamburger, 2 packets of chili seasoning, 2 cans of kidney beans, one light and one dark, 2 cans of tomato chunks, and enough tomato sauce to make it to a desirable consistency.
So, by now, you may be wondering where the ‘concert’ part of the title fits in…. well it just so happens that the local high school is putting on a concert today at 2pm. (My son is in the band) So I’ve invited everyone to come to the concert first, then to come on over for the cooking and crafting. I’m excited!!!
As always, thanks for visiting doitandhow. I really enjoy it and i hope you do too–and most of all I hope it inspires you to try a few crafts or recipes that are new to you. I’ll post some pics of the party and more recipes afterwards.