I've gained about 10 pounds since Friday. That's just an estimate since I'm scared to actually step onto the scale. Where did this extra poundage come from? Cookies! Cookies with nuts, cookies with chocolate chips, cookies with lemon, cookies dipped in chocolate. Lots of cookies.
We held our annual Cookie Exchange party this past Friday. We started the tradition a few years ago (I've lost count how many years) as an alternative to exchanging gifts with all of our children's friends, especially when the number of children in our core playgroup began to grow each year. Now, each December, we gather our families together for a fun evening of fellowship and dinner, and at the end of the evening, everyone goes home with enough cookies to last until Christmas (hopefully, they will last that long).
Here's our simple recipe for a fun evening.
- Everyone bring cookies to share for the evening and a batch per family to take home. Feel free to define "batch" as needed based on your time available, amount of butter and sugar you have, and number of families attending.
- Label cookies that have nuts for those who are allergic or don't like nuts.
- Bring an easy potluck dish for dinner.
And what's cookies without milk? This year, I served a tasty Brandy Milk Punch to go along with our dessert. I've had this in it's hometown of New Orleans for brunch and figured it would be just as perfect in the evening. It's similar to eggnog, but lighter and depending on the recipe, does not have an egg. And although its called "brandy" milk punch, my recipe called for bourbon. (Are they the same? I don't know, but it was delicious anyway). I couldn't find the one I used online, but here's Emeril's version.
- Emeril's Brandy Milk Punch (from FoodNetwork.com)
- 2 ounces brandy
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 teaspoon powdered sugar
- 3 ice cubes
- Cracked ice
- Freshly grated nutmeg
In our hectic world, it's a pleasure to gather with friends for a joyous occasion. As our kids have grown and moved to different schools, the kids don't get to hang out as much. During our holiday exchange, the kid's get a chance to catch up, be amazed at how tall their friend's have grown, talk about school and sports, and of course, eat cookies.
During this holiday season, be sure to take a break from the busyness of gift buying, decorating, cleaning, sending cards, being frazzled with it all, and enjoy the spirit of your celebration, the love of family, and the preciousness of your loved ones. God bless us all.
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