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Danielle's cookie exchange

My friend, Danielle, and her mother and sister, Holly and Allison, have hosted a cookie exchange party for the past four years, that I recently attended. I had my camera tucked inside my purse, so I captured some of the images to document why I've been gaining weight. Isn't January the time I'm supposed to get all junk food consumption out of my system and start on a diet? Check out these ultra thin and perfect tasting snickerdoodles below.
These chess cookies (above) tasted pretty good too. The cookies I baked (below) were a disaster to remove because I forgot to put non-stick spray in the mini muffin pans. They tasted fantastic, but were a pain, one by one, digging them out with a citrus peeler. I should have stuck with the bar pan recipe, but I wanted to add to the appearance, so I tried this route. Obviously, other people enjoyed them too, as they were one of the first to be sampled repeatedly.
This batch (below) was some kind of toffee bar, my favorites. They were so awesome.
I'd have to put these (below) as my second place preference, a white chocolate macadamia cookie. I'm not even a fan of white chocolate typically. I like my chocolate the opposite, bittersweet.
To my surprise, this batch (below) was voted as the best cookie. They were my least favorite and I would even say that I didn't like them at all. I couldn't believe they had been chosen by enough people to be the first place choice. The cookie part was hard and the filling had big chunks of peppermints in them. Not good. And one girl that I was hanging out with (Susie) said she found a hair in her cookie from this batch. Sick!
These next ones (below) were good, even though Allison used a frozen cookie dough mix and scooped them out. I figured that she did bake them, so they should count. The first year I went, one person showed up with cookies from a bakery and people actually voted for them, and it was in the top three. So not fair!
I never did try out the "cyclops" cookies, but as I said previously, these were some seriously tasty snickerdoodles (below), probably the best I've had. Three people brought snickerdoodles. I loved how thin and moist they were. I wonder if they were from a frozen dough too. Who cares. They were still good.
These chocolate dipped pretties looked significantly better than they tasted. They were really hard and flavorless. They were very attractive though.
Christopher loved these peanut butter and jelly cookies (below)baked by Holly. I actually never tasted them, but thought they were very lovely and they took a lot of work to make. (Everyone took home a plate of cookies with them--I didn't actually tote my son along with me to the party.)
The peanut butter cookies (below) were all gone by the time I got to them. When it was time after the taste-testing to fill our to-go plates, we were categorized in four groups. Those who were born in the first quarter of the year went first, then so on. I'm a November baby, so I got what was left over. It was just as well, as I had overdosed on sugar, even by sampling just a little chunk of several cookies for the judging. All I really wanted to take home were a couple of the toffee bar cookies, so I snuck in during the January through March birthday group to reserve two cookies, but waited patiently after that. There were about 25 to 30 women there, most of whom were strangers to me. That's why I have been such a mean and heartless cookie critic and said harsh things about the ones I didn't like.
These were my third faves, double chocolate with pecans. Hard to mess up this combo.
I never tasted these peanut chocolate clusters. They fall more fittingly into a candy category in my opinion.
Okay, this skinny girl on the right (which is why I really don't like her) is the person who won the best choice vote. She was so shocked and excited because apparently, she never cooks. So I was actually glad she won because it was such a big moment for her. She wanted to give a speech and thank her sponsors, her family, etc., and it was a thrilling moment for her. Holly presented her with the traveling plate, which should return next year and be passed on to the next winner.
This girl on the left (below) is Susie, Linda's friend. (I'm sorry that I never got a picture of Linda--the one person I know besides Danielle and her family. I missed photographing her cookies too...sorry, Linda.) Anyway, I met Susie two years ago at the cookie exchange, so we are now cookie exchange buddies. I look forward to seeing her next year. Although she's skinny too and I sort of don't like her just because of that. She worked out at the gym that morning because she knew she'd be eating a lot of cookies that night. The girl on the right made my favorite cookies. I think her name is Rachel.
Here's my buddy Danielle and me. Man, those cookies were good. I was extremely sick of anything with sugar for the next few days, a rare moment for me. Thank you, Danielle! I want to take home the winner's plate one of these years. Maybe I should order some dough from the middle school band fundraiser next time.
I almost forgot to mention that Danielle's stepdad, Phillip, concocts a hearty soup for everyone to enjoy for a light dinner to offset the sugar rush. This year he made a minestrone soup, and two years ago, a pumpkin and spiced apple type of soup, which I loved. Thanks, Phillip!


Heidi said…
What a fun party! Some of those cookies look delish!
Summer Adams said…
Sooooo fun! My choco-marshmallow cookies have won an exchange so I wish I'd been there ;-) Looks all so very yummy. I wanted to do one this year but just got so darn busy and overwhelmed. I made 100 and something cookies and fudge and candies anyway for a few days to give to 16 neighbors and I'm still recovering!
Isn't it *annoying* when someone undeserving wins? I'm glad she was thrilled, but still. I don't mind losing to someone who truly is better than me at something, but it just irks when it's not.
My SIL hosts a cookie exchange every year, and she puts people in categories according to how much effort their cookies take. So people who really go all out can exchange with other people who go all out, and the people who just buy cookie dough at the grocery store can exchange with like people. I thought that was a really good idea.
Your cookies looked SO good, though.
~Family Life said…
My mouth is watering! All I can say is Yum-Yum!!!
Wow! Don't look at this post when you're might make you jealous! And my father-in-law was in Taiwan on business. He was helping train some of the people. He's gone twice recently, and has to go back soon I think. Tell Kelly good luck!
ninnies said…
mmmmm yummy! ^_^
Lonna said…
Now that is what I call a party. I love the run down that you gave on all the cookies. And I thought that your cookies looked so yummy. I will tell you that I am not one for the big chunks of peppermint in things either. But some of those cookies made me want to bake some up.

Maybe you should host one of those and see what fun things turn up. You know in your spare time when you are not being a super mom/ wife.
Megs said…
Even after eating my way through the holidays, these cookies still look so good! What a fun idea. Happy New Year!
jocelyn said…
This is my kind of party, kelly. Yumm!!
The comment above from Jocelyn is actually from me, not my sister-- I didn't realize she was signed in. Anyway... the cookies look delicious. What a great way to sample and steal new recipes!
Robin said…
Your cookies look and sound wonderful. Are you going to email me the recipe? :) Coconut and pecan pie...ymmmmm!
Julie said…
Sounds like a fun exchange. I can't believe people would actually buy their dough!!!!!!!!! How totally lame.
I want the toffee cookie recipe. Yours looks yummy, nuts and chocolate are indeed a winning combo.

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