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The yearly wild women cookie exchange has become a tradition among my circle of friends. I started hosting this party at my home in my early 20s and haven’t missed a year yet.  When we first started, it was more about guzzling champagne than exchanging cookies. In fact, at the inaugural party there were 13 ladies in attendance and 14 bottles of champagne drank :O.  But now as we approach our thirties, it seems to be more about socializing and gathering all the cookies you need to serve at your holiday events. However, there are still always a few diehards who stay late and drink the last of the champagne with me.  These are my favorite guests:

 

Every woman who attends the party must bring 5 or 6 dozen cookies to exchange. I supply the take-away boxes which are purchased at the dollar store for three for a $1.  Most people bring homemade and copies of their recipe, but there are a few who claim to have no baking skills and bring store-bought.  We try not to give them too hard of a time.   We actually did not have anyone bring store-bought this year!

 

I love hosting this party because it is a great way to get all my best girlfriends together and celebrate the season.  It makes the holiday rush easier, because it is held the weekend before Christmas and everyone gets about 15 different cookies to bring/serve at their holiday events when they only baked 6 dozen of 1 kind. 

This year was a fantastic party!  In fact, while I am writing this, we are still drinking champagne.  Here I am typing away with my friend Michelle:


 We had so many wonderful cookies!  And a LOT of drinkers this year. Which always makes the party more fun. 

 Here are a few of my favorite brown-haired drinkers:

 Since we are drinking champagne, it is best not to make the women subsist on only cookies. Here is this year’s menu and subsequent recipes:

On the Menu

Chicken Apple Sausage Quiche

Fresh Fruit with Brown Sugar Yogurt Dip

Stuffed Balsamic Mushrooms

Raspberry Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Barb’s Curry Chutney Brie

Winter Green Salad with Pears

Pomegranate Brandy Champagne Cocktails

Bailey’s and Coffee

 

Chicken-Apple Sausage and Irish Cheddar Quiche

 

 

Fresh Fruit with Brown Sugar Yogurt Dip

Assorted Fresh Fruit Cut-Up

½ Cup Plain Yogurt

1 Cup Sour Cream

¼ Cup Brown Sugar

1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

½ Teaspoon Coconut Extract (totally optional)

Mix yogurt, sour cream, brown sugar, extracts in a bowl.  Refrigerate 1 hour.  Serve for fruit dipping!

Stuffed Balsamic Mushrooms

20-30 Mushrooms Stems Removed

1 8oz Package cream cheese (room temp)

1/3 Cup Sour Cream

1/3 Cup Mayonnaise

6 Strips Bacon Chopped

5 Green Onions Chopped

1 Clove Garlic Minced

1 Cup Parmesan Cheese Shredded

1 Egg Yolk

1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar (secret ingredient)

Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix cream cheese, sour cream, mayo, bacon, onion, garlic, parmesan cheese, balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper.

 Fill each mushroom with a teaspoon or so of filling.  Put in baking dish and bake for 30 minutes. 

 Barb’s Curry Chutney Brie
This is another favorite recipe from my friend Barb. Love it.

1 large Brie Wheel (Costco has a good price)

1 Tablespoon Curry Powder 

½ Jar Major Grey Mango Chutney (4.5 oz)

½ Cup Whole Pecans

Crackers etc.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Rub brie all over with curry powder.  Spread with chutney.  Top with pecans.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Serve with Crackers!

Raspberry Sour Cream Coffee Cake

I found this recipe on Annie Eats.  I forgot to take a pic but it was great!

Winter Green Salad with Pears

5 or 6 Cups of Spring Mix Greens

2 Ounces Crumbled Blue Cheese

2 Pears Sliced

1 Cup Candied Pecans – Recipe Below

Shallot Vinaigrette – Recipe Below

Mix together all ingredients in large bowl.  Toss with vinaigrette.

Candied Pecans

 

½ Cup White Sugar

2 Cups Whole Pecans

Heat sugar over medium high heat in large skillet.  Once it starts melting it will look like this:

At this point you need to turn the heat down to low and throw in the pecans.  The sugar will burn very quickly at this point so you need to watch it carefully.   Toss pecans in sugar.  Once coated remove from heat and set on foil to cool.

Shallot Vinaigrette

1 Shallot Minced

1 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard

1 Teaspoon White Sugar

3 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar

1/3 Cup Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper

Blend ingredients together in blender of food processor.  Pour over salad.

 

Coffee with Bailey’s Irish Cream

Is any brunch is complete without this lovely treat?

Pomegranate Champagne Cocktails

 I had these last week at the Drake Cooper holiday party and knew I had to serve them. 

2 Pomegranates seeded (Go here for instructions)

½ fifth of Brandy

Lots of Champagne

Soak seeds in brandy refrigerated overnight.  Add a tablespoon to each glass of champagne.
I thought this pic was hilarious:

By the way, I LOVE Christmas and my house is decked out in holiday gear.  I even wrap all of the wall pictures/hangings in wrapping paper and make my poor dog wear a santa suit.   Here he is with little Grace!


The Cookies

Let’s get to the delicious cookies! I think the exchange is everyone’s favorite part of the party.  Here is a  silly little video of the exchange taken by Katie Shamalangadingdong.

I made Saltine Toffee Cookies, which I make every year. They are amazingly simple and tasty!  Here is the recipe.

 While, I wish I could post everyone’s recipe, I am a little lazy.  So here are a few of my favorites that made an appearance at the party:

Katie’s Peppermint Chocolate Sandwich Cookies – Recipe here


Sarah’s Oreo Truffle BallsRecipe here

These are incredibly rich and yummy!


Michelle’s Chocolate Cranberry FudgeRecipe here

Cortnay’s Mint Chocolate BrowniesRecipe here

As you can probably tell, there was no shortage of cookies.  Here are a few more fun pics from the party:
Katie with Kate’s little guy James


Crissie baking her delicious sugar cookies


Rose’s delicious Almond Cookies

Myself and Miss Michelle C.

Mavie and Kelsay bonding


Jaime and Betsy discussing the art of cookie baking

I had a blast at this year’s party and am incredibly thankful for all of my wonderful friends.  Thanks to foodbuzz for letting me participate in this great event.  And a big thanks to Crissie and Katie for helping me document the craziness.

Happy holidays!!

Love,

Lindzee

Me

I’m Lindzee. I love to cook and entertain. I’m currently in my very late twenties living in Boise, Id. I enjoy experimenting with new ingredients and trying to copy restaurant dishes. The kind souls that eat my experimental dishes sometimes ask for recipes and this is an easy way to pass them along. Hope you enjoy!

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