Thursday, July 24, 2014

Christmas in July-Last Year's Cookie Exchange

 Speaking of cookie exchanges.  We were on that topic, right?  Look, I always take all these pictures in December, but since I blog in advance most of my post-my blog is usually super full, so I have to put it off until the next year, but then....my blog is full again, so I dlecide to divide some of these things out....and since most of the craft stores probably have started clearing some aisles for Christmas....why not throw on a few ideas here as well.  The last 5 years or so we've done a cookie exchange at work.  We do a little different twist because there are a lot of ladies that love to bake and would like to share some cookies-or rather the recipes, so our take on the traditional cookie exchange is more of a recipe exchange.  Whoever wants to participate signs up in advance (we usually have anywhere from 17-25 participants depending on the year.  Once I have a count I send it out and each person is responsible for bring a bag of two cookies for each person with the recipe attached.  It gives us all a chance to try out new recipes, but we usually just have to bake a double batch of cookies.  I always get some great recipes to add to my collection, and I don't have to try baking them all myself-and get to try some of my pins without the work!
We lay them all out on the counter, then each person goes around with a basket or a bag and takes one of each other person's cookies. There were a ton of great recipes I'll share.  Some decorate their bags, other just do the ziplock thing=I'm fine with either-it's what's inside that counts, right?  ;o)
Here are two of the recipes I loved...
Elf Treats-they reminded me a peanut butter/chocolate rice crispie treat-a marriage of some of my favorite things!
 Elf Treat Cookies
by Laine and Stacey
Ingredients:  1 c. sugar, 1 1/3 c. creamy peanut butter, 4 1/4 c. rice crispie treats, 1 c. corn syrup, 1 pinch of salt, 3/4 c. chocolate chips, 6 chopped Reese's peanut butter cup
Instructions:In a large saucepan melt sugar, corn syrup, and peanut butter over medium heat until smooth. Remove from heat.  Quickly add the salt and cereal and stir to combine.  Add the chocolate chips and stire again.  Wait 1 minute and then add Reese's and fold mix together.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper and press down.  Cut into bars when cooled.
...and a second one....
I also loved these chocolate ones-they are my perfect combo of sweet and salty!
Salted Chewy Chocolate Cookies
 by Claire
Ingredients: 1 1/4 cup butter, 2 cup sugar, 2 eggs, 2 tsp vanilla, 2 cup flour, 3/4 cup cocoa, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp salt, Kosher salt to top
Instructions:  Preheat over 350 degrees.  In a bowl cream together the butter and sugar then add the eggs and vanilla.  Sift flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt into mix and beat until blended.  Drop by tablespoon onto an ungreased cookie sheet.  Sprinkle a dash of Kosher salt on top of the dough.  Bake for 8 minutes.  Cool on a cookie sheet for one minute.  Cool on rack.