If there ever was a budget-friendly, have a good time with the girls' kind of party -then, this is it!
Each year I invite my family, friends, and even co-workers to my Christms cookie party. The first year, I baked like a demon, baking 17 different kinds of holiday goodies, invited everyone over for sampling - it was a BYOC party (Bring Your Own Container). The goodies were a huge hit, but much to my surprise - everyone was a little disappointed: the ladies wanted to learn how to make the treats, not just eat 'em. So, the next year, I decided to pick out 5-6 favorite, versatile recipes and invite over the gang. The recipes for Cranberry Chocolate Bars, Luscious Lemon Cookies, and Diane's Amazing Almond Cookies were born during that party. Last year, our new creations included Dark Chocolate Orange Bars (Sunny's idea), Holiday Cranberry Biscotti (Diane's idea - my advanced student), and (my personal favorites) Cranberry Rum Walnut Biscotti (Madelyne's idea).
The girls and I laugh while drinking sweet tea and wine (Arbor Mist - got to love it), the guys watch football and offer assistance by being our voluntary taste testers, and if the kids come, we teach them (and let them taste test), too.
At last year's party, with my mother, and my husband's mother, aunt, and grandmother - along with my friends Sunny & Troy, was one of the best times I can remember having in the kitchen. I might go for fewer recipes - 8-12 got a little confusing, but what I find worked great was using 2-3 base recipes and allowing each of the girls to do their own variation. My main base recipes are Basic Bars, Basic Biscotti, Basic Oatmeal, and Basic Cookie (vanilla flavored). With each of these, the girls got to pick their favorite flavor of spice and extract, and also add in their favorite stir-ins like nuts, fruits, chips, and more.
Each girl brings a basic ingredient or two, I supply the spices, extracts, and stir-ins. We get to have a variety of goodies, have fun making them, and caught up, too!
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