It’s the MOST wonderful TIME of the year!!!! That’s me singing that in a festive Christmas tune, in case you couldn’t tell. We’re in full on Christmas mode these days with many cookies baked and constantly eaten, the house fully decorated, and even, thanks to my mom having a special day with the kids on Sunday, most of the gifts wrapped already. One of the highlights of the season (for us, I don’t know about for other people, but I’d like to think so) is our annual Christmas cookie party. Last year we began the vote with money for charity method of choosing the winner. (I wish I knew which year it was-searching the blog I see a post in 2009 that said “I think this is the 4th year”, which would make this the 7th year!) There were many wonderful entries including vegan peanut butter sandwiches, peppermint twists (Paul made these with a chocolate dough and a peppermint dough braided together), peppermint bark cookies (I made these-a mild chocolate base with a ton of chopped peppermint bark folded in), toffee coconut, pecan tassies, German chocolate, chocolate truffle, and a jam thumbprint (which my friend brought as an extra, not her entry, but would have won in my book because I loved them.)
There were three prize categories: Overall Grand Prize, Most Christmassy, and Best Looking. And the winner was….
The Best Looking cookie was a Peppermint Blossom made by Zachary (one of our teenaged guests!) and it featured a Peppermint Kiss and was delicious. The prize was a beautiful potholder made with the Christmas windows fabric I liked so much this year.
And Most Christmassy went to Megan’s Lime Spritz Cookies-a classic spritz sugar cookie with a tart and tangy sweet lime confectioners sugar glaze. Personally, I loved these. There’s something about a spritz cookie in festive tree and reindeer and wreath shapes that is just so Christmassy. I’ve never had them glazed before and they were quite exceptional. For her prize she received one of the felt ornaments I made this season.
Hmmm..maybe next year I’ll take a picture of every guest and his/her cookie.
For a savory counterpart to all the cookies I channeled my inner Amy Sedaris and made a cheese ball (Don’t know about Amy and her balls? I was going to provide a link but a simple Google of “amy sedaris cheese ball” and I simply can’t choose. I’ll just say I love Amy and her kooky brother, David, and her hilarious style and comedy and books.)
Can I just tell you how good it was? I used a Martha Stewart very basic recipe-cream cheese, cheddar, mustard, Worcestershire, and green onions, rolled in chopped pecans.
And you know I love a good punch at a party. This year was a boozy rum punch and I froze orange slices in a block of ice. The punch (Everyday Food this month) was made with cinnamon syrup, pineapple juice, and rum. Boozy and yummy.
For the kids I just mixed up orange juice, pineapple juice, and ginger ale and they loved their own special punch, too.
Lots of fun as always, we love enjoying the holiday season with our dear friends, both old and new! I’m already thinking about next year and contemplating a traditional gingerbread man with piped royal icing.