Archive for December, 2010

Holiday Cookie Swap and Ugly Sweater Party – A New Tradition

Have you ever been to a Cookie Exchange?   I attended an event many years ago at a friend’s house (Hi, Michele!) and it was a blast.  The premise is that each guest brings several dozen cookies, to match the number of attendees, and an extra dozen to share.   Each participant then only has to bake one variety of cookie, but goes home with several different kinds!   

We decided to combine the Cookie Exchange with an Ugly Sweater Party.  Have you heard of these?  Apparently, there are entire websites devoted to the topic and to the purchase of the most hideous holiday garments you could ever imagine.  Who woulda thunkit?

Anyway, none of us went the route of the $15 hideous sweater from a website…we all picked up our garish garments at the local Salvation Army Store for a mere couple dollars or borrowed one from a friend or family member.  This is one of the cases where the less you spend, the better.  After all, we are going for UGLY here. 

Each of us enhanced our gaudy garb with varying degrees of holiday baubles. 

In addition to voting on the most awful outfit, we’d also be awarding prizes for the best dressed cookies.  Each dozen had to be individually packaged and guests were told to be creative and original!  We had some really nicely packaged entries covering the table.

My friend Kelly commissioned her two girls’ to help with her packaging (below back left).  My sister-in-law’s amazing biscotti were beautifully displayed in these mesh and metal baskets (below middle back).  My niece and I were both very surprised to find that we used the same style tins for our cookies (below front left)! 

My tins contained Gluten Free Peanut Butter Blossoms.

We also awarded a prize for the best tasting cookie.  It was a really, really tough competition!  Everybody’s entries were freshly made and really, really delicious.   


My niece went home the winner of the cookie contest!

Her Almond-Raspberry Jam Thumbprints were to die for!

My sister-in-law took home the prize for Ugliest Sweater!

It’s not that her sweater was really terribly ugly, but it was over-the-top cutesy and required no embellishment to standout!  Her outfit did not come from the second hand store or a trashbin either  – it came from our Mother-In-Law’s closet!  My father-in-law (bless his heart) bought my MIL this sweater not too long ago.  Yes, he was serious.  He has such a knack for fashion, doesn’t he? 😉 

We all had a good time and agree that we need to make this an annual tradition.  The really cool thing is that there are now enough cookies in the house to get us through Christmas without additional baking!  The only trouble is not all of the entries are gluten free so I will be attempting conversion of these recipes soon – especially the Biscotti and Jam Thumbprints – so Spawn #1 can enjoy them, too!

Thanks to all my wonderful girlfreinds for participating in the Cookie Exchange, and for your photo contributions for this post!  Happy Holidays!!!