Thursday, December 10, 2009


These are a few of the kinds of cookies brought to the exchange:

Crisp Peanut Butter, with the traditional crossed-tine lines, and Oatmeal Raisin:

Brownies and a plate of sugar-dusted Lime Meltaways---like the traditional Wedding Cookies, with a lovely citrus breath:

Some rich Ginger/Pumpkin bars and Toffee Bars:

More of Caro's Mini-Brownies with the Reese's Cup centers:

Like that one party guest who won't behave (not that we'ver EVER entertained such a person)this picture just WILL NOT face correctly---it's lying down neatly in the display, but just won't DO RIGHT when I upload it. The Snickerdoodles were a special request from me when my dear neighbor asked what kind should she bring. Her roots are in Germany, and I don't know if these are a modern invention or from her Mother's kitchen, but they're splendid---crisp and sweet, with the most beautiful fault-lines where the dough burst and cracked through the cinnamon-sugar crust.

And Caro made the Chex-Mix sweet in the green bowl---I think they all called it Puppy Chow; it's tossed with melted chocolate, butter and peanut butter til every little pillow is coated, then you shake it in a bag with powdered sugar. And somehow, through all the coatings, the cereal is still crisp and crunchy, though it's stored in the fridge. The almonds were my idea---Chris came home with a gallon plastic jug of chocolate-coated ones from Sam's this week. I thought they'd have the bitter flush of pure cocoa, but it's as if they ran it though a light mist of semi-sweet chocolate, for it's not a shell, but a film of pure chocolate flavor over the crisp nut.

It's like the Trail-Mix of your dreams:

The larger of these are Peanut Butter, the smaller are my neighbor's famous homemade Ginger Snaps---ohhhhh, My! And for those with little ones, she made sugar cookies coated in that irresistible colored sugar:

And in her other hand, she was carrying these---frosted butter cookies, with SPRINKLES!

This is a swirly, many-chocolates bark, broken into nibbling size, and the most sumptuous soft Pumpkin Teacakes, with creamy frosting.

More Toffee Bars---who can ever have enough of those? and Pecan Sandies:

And a pan of nostalgia: Rice Krispie/Marshmallow squares. This crowd of ladies all went, "AWWWWW!" and I wonder if ANY of these made it home:

And, made by my own DDIL, the most wonderful Orange Teacakes, soft and melty, with a lovely hint of orange peel in the icing. Something about biting into one of those tender orange cakes just brings back memories of when Mammaw used to make them and have them waiting on a pretty plate in the big old Hoosier Cabinet. The icing on these had that magical quality of some frostings---it's smooth and feels mysteriously chilly on your tongue---just a lovely cookie.
And somehow, they had a place beside the Mammaw Bowl---quite apropos, I think, though the two ladies never met. Mammaw would be really proud of my DDIL, and especially glad that she's the Mother of her Great-Great Grandchild.

This was a wonderful evening---we talked and laughed and ate and it was wonderful to have the house full of young folks again. Many dozens of cookies changed hands, as did recipes and e-mail addresses and invitations to other outings.
And quite a few little Tupperwares and baggies were filled at the buffet downstairs for husbands left behind at home whilst we ladies had a Girl's Night---croissants and potstickers and sandwiches and sausage balls made their way out into the night alongside trays of cookies.
Each guest also went home with a little baking pan of Caro's brownies and a pound of our homemade fudge, as well as a big bag of savory-salty Chex Mix with pretzels, melbas and pecans.
I wish you every one could have been there---I hope you liked sharing it this way.
And since we found so many things we'd even forgotten we HAD whilst getting out the cloths and trays and silverware, we've started planning our LAWN TEA for the Spring.


Maggie Norman said...

Absolutely delightful!!! Can you send over the recipe for the cheese ball? I'd love to have an old family recipe.

Sugar kisses

Southern Lady said...

Oh, my goodness, Rachel ... my mouth is watering and it's only 5:00 a.m. I'd love to have the recipe for the orange tea cakes, if your DDIL doesn't mind sharing it. We are having a party next weekend and I'd like to make some for it.

By the way ... I love the bowl in the background of the picture of the tea cakes. I have one of my grandmother's like it in my china cabinet.

You give lovely parties, my friend, and sharing them this way is the next best thing to being there.

Kim Shook said...

All those cookies look wonderful! I love cookies and have never hosted a cooky party - or been invited to one, either. The platter that has Caro's 'Reecy' Cup brownies on it is very familiar to me - I have it's twin - or perhaps cousin. Mine is from Bomo and it's the same pattern with the exact handles. I can't tell how big yours is, but mine is big - probably 16 inches across and divided - I serve crudites on it mostly. It has a decorative flexible metal hoop that you can attach to the handles - does yours have this? I love little discoveries like this!

~~louise~~ said...

Sheer delight! I sure wish someone would invent smellivision. In the meantime, I'll take any crumbs you may have left.

Thanks for sharing, Rachel

Jeanne said...

Hello Racheld, wow, you had a wonderful cookie exchange. Some great baking going on there. The cookies look so good. I know you had a good selection of cookies to keep. We shared ours and we did end up with quite a few cookies. I have already given out three plates to different occasions. It was fun to share them.

Thanks for your faithful visits and fun comments. I have had a hard time visiting as much as I want. Things are better now, so I hope I can visit more often.

Hugs, Jeanne

Tonja said...

I'm so behind on my reading...but I loved hearing about the yummy cookies! I bet it smelled heavenly, too! Love that Puppy Chow!

Anonymous said...

For a Weight Watcher participant, the words and pictures you shared are even better than being there and acting a BIG fool and eating a lot of all of them - it has been a wonderful part of this Christmas having you to share this warm, wonderful experience - and more details, please (down to snippets of you do so terrific!!) - And I envy your generous heart to "let out" your books -I always mourn those that most people never return. Merry Christmas and blessings.

Keetha said...

What FUN. Now I want one of each!

racheld said...

It WAS a fun evening, and the conversations---oh the conversations!!! Three tables of women, most of whom have worked together for a while---those are SOME talks. And a lot of them were recipes---swapping and telling and tasting and admiring and asking.

Several of our ladies are WW as well, and there were some WW recipes on the table.

And books---books are their own beings, and we have not the heart to keep them pent in our own shelves when their tales are so spreadable.

We have quite a turnover, with only the Christies and Burkes and Austens (and a shelf of S-forScary King which are just THERE---except for IT and The Stand, he's a read-once author).

While I'm speaking of the pictures, is anyone getting a strange message when you try to enlarge? On anything older than a day or two, I get the "Do you wish to download this picture?" message instead of an increase in size.

racheld said...

I didn't complete my sentence above: Christies and Burkes and Austens and of course, all the Potters, in all the languages and forms, are probably the only ones we keep forever; if someone wants to borrow, we're willing. I think of looking at Emma or Roger Ackroyd or Death on the Nile with fresh eyes, and envy the prospective reader the fun.

Kim Shook said...

Rachel, I'm not getting any odd message - just an enlarged picture.