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Tuesday, October 04, 2005 

Forget the Stock Exchange....


AllRecipes has some tips.

Do you love setting the table with a huge assortment of cookies but can't stand the thought of spending several days baking? Then a cookie exchange party is the perfect party for you! It makes it possible for everyone who participates to take home a gigantic assortment of homemade cookies without putting a lot of work into it. Interested? It's simple to organize and throw your own party -- we'll walk you through the basics by giving you a handy party-planning checklist and sample invitation, by doling out advice on ways to make the party extra-special, and by loading you up with plenty of Christmas cookie recipes.

The Basics:
Invite a group of your favorite cookie-loving friends over and ask them each to bring a big batch of cookies (estimate 1 dozen multiplied by the total number of guests), a stack of recipe cards for the cookies they'll bring and containers to take cookies home with them. After a period of chatting and snacking, the cookie exchange can commence with all of the cookies organized buffet-style on a table and with everyone gathered around, merrily swapping cookies into their containers. To learn exactly how to throw a Cookie Exchange Party, read our How To Host A Cookie Exchange Party timeline.

Invitation Tip:
Make sure that your guests understand that the cookies they'll bring must be homemade and easily transportable, as the cookies will most likely be combined with a lot of other cookies and will need to hold their form well. Take a look at our Sample Cookie Exchange Party Invitation (or evite is always fun!) for suggestions on the best ways to explain the rules of the cookie exchange party.

Butter Pecan Cookies (from Martha Stewart)

Makes 12; Prep time: 15 minutes; Total time: 30 minutes

3/4 cup pecans
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup sugar, plus more for coating
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour

1. Preheat oven to 350°. On a baking sheet, toast pecans until fragrant, about 6 minutes. Let cool completely; finely chop.

2. With an electric mixer, cream butter and 1/3 cup sugar until light, about 1 minute. Beat in vanilla, salt, and flour, scraping down sides of bowl, just until dough comes together. Fold in pecans.

3. Separate dough into 12 pieces; squeeze dough to shape into balls. Roll in sugar. Place, 3 inches apart, on a baking sheet. Gently flatten with the bottom of a glass (reshape sides if necessary). Sprinkle with sugar.

4. Bake until golden brown, rotating sheet halfway through, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle with more sugar. Cool cookies on a wire rack.

These delicate, buttery cookies, which get their crunchy texture from toasted pecans and a sugar coating, practically melt in you mouth.

Great post! My mother has been going to a cookie exchange party for years and always has a fabulous time. Hope you're doing okay. : )

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