Yes, Christmas has happened, and the cookie party was a couple of weeks ago, but better late than never. I couldn’t not have a recap of the annual Christmas party because I do love to look back on them. So this year we had the same setup as usual-cheese ball, punch, music, and cookies cookies cookies. I was very undecided about what I wanted to make right up until a few days before. I decided to make a citrus spritz cookie, for which there was a recipe in a new cookbook I had bought. Spritz cookies (we just called them “cookie press cookies”) were a regular part of my mom’s Christmas baking. I loved them-a butter cookie that tasted great straight from the freezer, delightfully decorated with red and green sugars, silver dragees, and cinnamon red hots (for the wreaths!) This recipe was citrus, which meant it had orange/lemon zest in the dough and then you dipped it in a citrus glaze. I basically never make cookie press cookies because they are a pain and never seem to work. True to form, these would go along great and then 12 in a row wouldn’t stick to the pan. So aggravating! I didn’t feel these looked very Christmassy because I used orange sugar to decorate (atop the glaze) to go with the citrus flavor. That said, they tasted delicious. Tabby made a cookie this year and it was most attractive–a pinwheel sugar cookie. It was a regular sugar cookie recipe.
Offerings from our guests included:
Hot chocolate mint cookie ( I had seen this recipe online myself and thought about doing it!)
Pretzel caramel (tasted like a chocolate chip cookie dough base with addition of pretzels and caramels, which I love.)
Vanilla Polka Dots (a Dorie Greenspan recipe which exceptional vanilla taste and crunch. The pearl sugar was pretty.)
Gingerbread Men (it was so nice to see cute traditionally decorated gingerbread men!)
Christmas Trees (adorable sugar cookie trees)
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip
Lemon Bites (very similar to the “orange brownies” I sometimes make in the winter. Brownie texture, not really a cake, but very pure lemon flavor. These were a hit.)
Cranberry Pumpkin Bites
Peanut Butter Crunchies (I felt like these deserved a special prize because it’s a vintage recipe my friend made after seeing it on over at MidCentury Menu. This was kind of gross looking, and pretty weird (as one expects from vintage recipes) as it had chow mein noodles in it. But guess what? It was delicious!)
Reindeer Bites (a smushed up Oreo ball concoction decorated to look like a reindeer. The baker (except they are no-bake) fully admitted to making these in a bid for an appearance win, a strategy which totally worked.)
The winners were…..
Most Christmassy: Reindeer Bites
Best Appearance: Gingerbread Men
and the overall big winner was….Melissa and her Vanilla Polka Dot cookies. Melissa is multiple times winner, but it’s been a few years since she won first prize. She used the collected winnings to purchase and donate to Chimp Haven, which is awesome.