second annual cookie exchange

hail, hail, the gang’s all here for our second annual cookie exchange hosted by yours truly. what a fun evening catching up and sipping wine with my Athens blogging group. and the best part of a cookie swap is that no one leaves home empty-handed. in fact, we were loaded up with enough sugar to last all of 2020! that is if we kept all the cookies to ourselves. but this time of year, it’s so nice to have an extra stash of sweets on hand to share with friends and family when they stop by.

yes, this fun evening was all about cookies and sharing our favorites along with recipes. so i gussied up the house, tried to keep oscar and ollie in check set up a beverage station plus a few snacks. 

so what did i wear to the cookie exchange? a pair of black watch plaid pants from J.Crew, ruffle shirt from Ralph Lauren, and a comfy cashmere cardigan also from J.Crew. the grey smoking slippers are from Talbots (old, similar here) and the velvet belt is from Zara (old, similar here) this outfit is a variation from my red royal Stewart tartan plaid pants outfit on YouTube.

getting the table ready for the girls. the presents and pedestals are from GrandinRoad. aren’t they adorable? but this would be an easy DIY project with hand-wrapped presents perched on cake plates.

Beth made Snickerdoodles. My brother’s all-time favorite cookie.

Snickerdoodles
Serves 48
A traditional Christmas cookies that's soft and chewy.
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Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
55 min
Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
55 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup unsalted butter (softened)
  2. 1 cup sugar
  3. 1/2 cup brown sugar
  4. 1 large egg
  5. 1 large egg yolk
  6. 2 teaspoons vanilla
  7. 3 cups flour
  8. 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  9. 1teaspoon baking soda
  10. 1/2 teaspoon salt
Cinnamon-Sugar Mixture
  1. 1/4 cup Sugar
  2. 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter, brown sugar, and sugar for 4-5 minutes until light and fluffy. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the egg, egg yolk and vanilla extract. Cream for 1-2 minutes longer.
  3. Stir in flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt, just until combined.
  4. In a small bowl, stir together sugar and cinnamon.
  5. If time allows, wrap the dough and let refrigerate for 20-30 minutes. Using a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop roll into small balls until round and smooth. Drop into the cinnamon-sugar mixture and coat well. Using a spoon, coat for a second time, ensuring the cookie balls are completely covered.
  6. Place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Let cool for several minutes on baking sheet before removing from the pan.
https://www.styleatacertainage.com/

beverages are a must when it’s girl’s night out. similar beverage tub, Christmas plates, cocktail napkins, Santa snack tray

Kelly made Coconut Macaroons

Coconut Macaroons
Serves 26
Soft and chewy on the inside, crisp and golden on the outside.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 14-oz bag sweetened flaked coconut, such as Baker's Angel Flake (about 5-1/3 cups)
  2. 7/8 cup sweetened condensed milk (see note below on measurement)
  3. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  4. 2 large eggs whites
  5. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  6. 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, best quality such as Ghirardelli, chopped (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Set two oven racks near the center of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the coconut, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla extract. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the egg whites and salt until stiff peaks form. Use a large rubber spatula to fold the egg whites into the coconut mixture.
  4. Using a mini ice cream scoop or two spoons, form heaping tablespoons of the mixture into mounds on the prepared baking sheets, spacing about 1 inch apart. Bake for 23 to 25 minutes, rotating the pans from top to bottom and front to back, until the tops and edges are golden. Let cool on the pans for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. If dipping the macaroons in chocolate, melt the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl at medium power, stopping and stirring at 30 second intervals, until just smooth and creamy. (Alternatively, melt the chocolate in a double boiler over simmering water.) Dip the bottoms of the macaroons in the chocolate, letting any excess drip back into the bowl, and return to the lined baking sheets. Place the macaroons in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes to allow the chocolate to set. The cookies keep well in an airtight container at room temperature for about a week.
  6. Note: 7/8 cup = 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons
  7. Note: Make sure to use parchment paper (NOT wax paper) on the baking sheets. The macaroons will stick to wax paper.
https://www.styleatacertainage.com/

from left to right Kelly, Loren, Jennifer, Beth, Hannah, and Elizabeth. we were missing Molly! see you, next year girlfriend. everyone is on Instagram, so i’ve linked the girls to their handles. there’s seven of us in all with each decade represented from thirty-something to sixty. it’s funny, but i remember the days when i was always one of the youngest in the group. how is it that i now represent the oldest?! but i have to tell you i just love getting together with these smart and funny women. 

Jennifer made Pound Cake Cookies

Pound Cake Cookies
Serves 24
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
For the Cookies
  1. 1 cup Granulated Sugar
  2. Lemon Zest, from one whole lemon
  3. 2/3 cup Unsalted Butter
  4. 2 Eggs
  5. 2 tablespoons Fresh Lemon Juice
  6. 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  7. 2 cups All-Purpose Flour
  8. 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
For the Glaze
  1. 1 1/4 cups Confectioners Sugar, sifted
  2. 1 tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice
  3. 2 tablespoons Milk
  4. Sparkling Sugar, optional
For the Cookies
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In large bowl, stir together the sugar and lemon zest until the sugar becomes moist and fragrant.
  3. Add butter to the sugar and beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy; about 3 minutes.
  4. Add eggs, lemon juice, and vanilla and mix until combined.
  5. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder.
  6. Gradually add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
  7. Using a medium cookie scoop, (1 1/2 tablespoons), scoop cookie dough onto prepared baking sheets leaving 2 inches between each cookie dough ball.
  8. Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, or until the bottoms of the cookies are golden. Allow cookies to rest on cookie sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
  9. Once cookies have cooled completely, prepare the glaze.
For the Glaze
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, lemon juice and milk.
  2. Spoon or pipe glaze over cookies. If desired, immediately sprinkle cookies with sparkling sugar.
  3. Allow glaze to harden before serving.
https://www.styleatacertainage.com/

Magic Cookie Bars
Serves 36
An old fashioned favorite.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
  2. 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  3. 1 (14 ounce) can EAGLE BRAND® Sweetened Condensed Milk
  4. 2 cups semisweet chocolate morsels
  5. 1 1/3 cups flaked coconut1 cup chopped nuts
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F (325 degrees for glass dish). Coat 13x9-inch baking pan with no-stick cooking spray.
  2. Combine graham cracker crumbs and butter. Press into bottom of prepared pan. Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over crumb mixture. Layer evenly with chocolate chips, coconut and nuts.
  3. Press down firmly with a fork.
  4. Bake 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool. Cut into bars or diamonds. Store covered at room temperature.
https://www.styleatacertainage.com/

pants | shirt | cardigan | similar belt | similar shoes | similar earrings | bracelet

Hannah made Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies

Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies
Serves 72
A new take on an old favorite.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 2 tsp baking soda
  3. 2 cups butter, softened
  4. 1 1/2 cup white sugar
  5. 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  6. 2 3.4 oz packages vanilla instant pudding mix
  7. 4 eggs
  8. 3 tsp vanilla extract
  9. 4 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  10. 2 cups walnuts (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Sift together flour and baking soda, set aside
  2. In a large bowl, cream together butter, brown sugar, and white sugar. Beat in the instant pudding mixture until blended. Stir in the eggs and vanilla. Blend the flour mixture. Finally, stir in the chocolate chips & nuts. Drop cookies by rounded spoonfuls onto parchment paper lined cookie sheets.
  3. Bake for 10-12 minutes in the preheated oven. Edges should be golden brown.
https://www.styleatacertainage.com/

Loren made Sugar Cookies

Sugar Cookies
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
7 min
Total Time
37 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
7 min
Total Time
37 min
For the dough
  1. 2 cups unsalted butter, softened
  2. 6 eggs
  3. 2 cups sugar
  4. 2 teaspoon vanilla
  5. 2 teaspoon almond extract
  6. 6 teaspoon baking powder
  7. 5 - 6 cups flour (your dough should still be a little sticky)
Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe:
  1. 1 pound cream cheese
  2. 3/4 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
  3. 1 teaspoon vanilla
  4. 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  5. 1 1/2 pounds powdered sugar
For the Dough
  1. Mix wet ingredients with sugar then slowly add baking powder and slowly add flour. Mix well
  2. Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes
  3. Bake for *6-7 minutes at 375 on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.
For the Icing
  1. Mix all ingredients together in a mixer
https://www.styleatacertainage.com/

christmas cookie exchange

tartan pillows (similar here) and a tartan throw (similar here) to spruce up the couch. 

christmas cookie exchange

christmas cookie exchange

wishing you a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, and a Very Happy New Year.

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10 Comments

  1. Jo Maddox wrote:

    What a fun party! Thank you for including all the yummy recipes–I will be using them.

    Posted 12.11.19
  2. Suzanne M Smith wrote:

    So glad you got photos of everyone–you all look gorgeous. Tell Kelly she looks adorable in her black watch pants, too! Thanks for all the recipes–I’ve made about all of them excepting the pound cake cookies–yum! I’ll have to try them all, and see these versions. My boyfriend helps me every year–we usually make a batch of English toffee he helps me with, for neighbors, and he also helps me make biscotti that we dip in chocolate on one end–we do cranberry/pistachio as well as orange biscotti. This weekend is our time to whip them up. Fun to see peoples’ favorite recipes. Holly jolly to you all!

    Posted 12.11.19
    • Nancy wrote:

      You look great. Looks like you girls had fun. By the way had to get a pair of smoking slippers. I got black leather. You looked so cute in the tartan plaid and sweater with the smoking shoes. You really inspire me. Thanks girl. Hope you have a Merry Christmas.

      Posted 12.11.19
  3. I made your Raspberry Oat Bars for a recent holiday event – oh are they yummy! I’ve enjoyed many of your recipes through the years – thanks!
    Merry Christmas –

    Posted 12.11.19
  4. Beth Crawford wrote:

    Thank you for sharing your friends with us. What a beautiful group of women! It looks like you had a great time. The recipes look wonderful, I will be making the coconut Macroons as part of my Christmas desserts!

    Posted 12.11.19
  5. They all sound so delicious. I’ve saved the pound cake cookie recipe! Can’t wait to give it a try.

    Merry Christmas 🎄

    Posted 12.11.19
  6. Marilyn wrote:

    What a great video!
    I always enjoy your posts.
    Keep up the good work!

    Posted 12.11.19
  7. Gray wrote:

    Beth I have a question for you! I have a pair of JCrew black watch tartan pants from about 5 years ago. They are very similar to yours, but are so itchy and uncomfortable. On the hunt for some that are not. How are these in that department?

    Posted 12.12.19
    • this year’s version of the black watch pants are lined so i didn’t have any problems whatsoever. hope this helps!

      Posted 12.12.19
      • Gray wrote:

        Excellent! Thanks!~

        Posted 12.12.19

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