Today was one of my favorite parties of the year: Cathi’s Annual Cookie Exchange. Besides having a very good time, there are some simple rules to follow:
You are to bake six dozen cookies. One dozen is for the “tasting table” (there are prizes!) and the other five dozen are for everyone to take home. It’s that easy. It’s a blast AND you get to enjoy the cookies long after the party is over.
I did feel the pressure this year as I won “Best Tasting” two years in a row. This year I decided to make Milk Chocolate Maple Bacon Cookies. I mean, come on! Bacon in a cookie!?! I was sold.
Milk Chocolate Maple Bacon Cookies (Makes 4 dozen)
Recipe from The Foodie Affair
1 pound bacon, cooked until crisp, well drained, cooled and cut into small pieces
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup packed brown sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
1/2 cup maple syrup (use real, not flavored)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. sea salt, plus extra for sprinkling
2 tsp. maple extract
2 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 12-ounce bag of milk chocolate chips
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, beat together the butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, baking soda, salt and maple extract until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time.
3. Mix in flour until well blended. Add chocolate chips and bacon. Using a one inch cookie scoop, scoop batter on prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle tops lightly with sea salt and brown sugar. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool before transferring to a cooling rack.
Note: No bacon for you? These cookies taste delicious without the bacon.
Before we get to the rests of the cookie extravaganza, let’s rewind to Friday night.
After my son’s basketball practice, we went to a friend’s house for dinner. We had grilled chicken kabobs, rice and Israeli salad. Yum!
Almost as good as the dinner was the Julian apple pie I brought.
My kids think this is the best pie every created.
I spent the morning making my Milk Chocolate Maple Bacon Cookies. We went to my son’s basketball game, then Mia Francesca for lunch. I had the Dinner Salad:
As well as Bruschetta con Avocado (garlic toast with avocado pesto, red peppers, arugula and goat cheese):
Yes, there is bread under all that goodness! It was excellent. I will order this again!
Last night’s dinner was one of my favorite recipes of all time: Beef Stroganoff. I think like meatloaf, beef stroganoff gets a bad rap. I’m not sure why. But honestly, I don’t care. More for me.
I ate three plates of it. Sue me.
Breakfast this morning:
I got dressed, dropped off the kiddos to various birthday parties and headed to Cathi’s for her Cookie Party. She also has an amazing display of delicious appetizers to cut all the sugar we eat trying the cookies.
Everyone always seems to outdo themselves each year with their cookies. The table always looks more beautiful than it did the prior year!
Then comes the difficult job of tasting each cookie. Everyone votes for one cookie to win Best Tasting and another cookie to win Most Creative. It’s a tough job!
The winners were announced!
Felicia won for Most Creative with her stained glass Christmas cookies:
Michelle was a close second with her pumpkin pie cookies:
Lynne won Best Tasting for her famous toffee!
Everyone walks around the table and fills their containers with cookies to bring home.
Thank you Cathi for another fabulous Cookie Party!!!! It’s my family’s favorite party too. :)
I picked up the kids and came home to eat something not sugary.
BLT. What? I had leftover bacon…what was I supposed to do??
Have you decided on any holiday cookies to make this year?