Saturday, December 11, 2010

First Annual Cookie Exchange!

Welcome to our First ever Cookie Exchange here at

(If you are here for Inspiration Friday, just keep scrolling down to the next post because that party is still hopping!)

This is the hardest time of year for my sister and I to not live closer to each other. We don't get to go cut down our trees together (or take her's out of the box in the barn). There are no chances to ohh and ahhh over each other's homes except through the little glimpses on our blogs. She will not see my kiddos open the presents they send and I won't get to see my niece and nephew open the socks and underwear we are sending them.
Oops! Oh no! I just spilled the beans! Now they know what we are getting them! I'm sure they will still be thrilled to find those under the tree though, don't you?

So, getting to do this Sister Saturday thing is truly the closest we can get to really being together and we have so much fun planning and preparing for it that even if it is only the 2 of us linked up it will still be a party!
But, really, we do want you to all come along too!
And we hope you will consider linking up your fabulous Holiday recipes. Be they cookies or bars, candy or cupcakes, or maybe even a buche de Noel a.k.a. the proverbial Yule Log?
(image from

You never know!

I'm going to be sharing with you some recipes that are not only incredibly scrumptious but are also incredibly easy.

But first, let me take you back in time for a moment...back to when 2 little girls, one blonde and the other brunette, one green eyed and the other brown eyed, would wait anxiously for the arrival of
We knew it was coming. It did every year. We would watch anxiously out the front window for that big delivery truck to stop in front of our house. Days would go by and still we waited.
Until...we could hear it coming down the street. Could it really be?
It's slowing's stopping in front of our house. The delivery guy in his short shorts (this was California folks!) is getting out holding a giant brown box and striding up our driveway to the front door. Mom would meet him there and then bring the box inside where we were jumping around in excitement.
It was here!

Tearing it open we would find layers of wonderment. Gift wrapped boxes were quickly whisked away to be tucked under the tree. But, then there were those that said "Open Now" and we knew what they held. Treats of every kind! Cookies and candy and every sort of homemade goodness. Lovingly baked, carefully packaged and sent by our Grandmother to 2 little girls who lived all the way across the country. The peanut butter balls were always the first to disappear as were this other favorite.

Grandma's Molasses Cookies with Glaze

I discovered that there are very few ways of making very brown cookies look pretty in a picture so please forgive my sorry attempt. My sister is the food photographer in this family!

These cookies are so soft and moist with just a hint of Christmas spice. Here is the recipe just as my Grandmother made them.
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1 egg
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup raisens
Preheat oven to 350. Cream together sugar and butter. Add egg and mix well. Add applesauce and molasses to wet mixture. Sift together dry ingredients and add to wet mixture. Fold in the raisens. Drop onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes and let cool completely.
Once cooled, glaze with mixture of 4 parts powdered sugar to one part milk.
*Here's a tip! Use non-stick spray on your measuring cup to help your molasses slide right out.*

The boxes stopped coming long ago, but every time I make her treats, I remember the love and care that went into each one.
Now it is our turn to send her a box, filled with the goodies that still connect us from across the miles.

Next up is a recipe I used this past weekend at my Live-Action version of the Cookie Exchange!
Every year I host a party for our church Community Group that the husbands beg their wives to attend. The women bring several dozen of one kind of cookie and go home with several dozen different kinds of cookies and treats. It is a great way to get a variety without having to do all the baking yourself!
This was my contribution.
Kris Kringle Cookies
 Since I host, I keep the recipe simple so I have time to actually clean my bathrooms!

They are wonderfully chewy and filled with giant chunks of white chocolate goodness.

And my kids decided that these will be the ones we leave for Santa. I'm sure the name had nothing to do with it!
This recipe can be found at Kraft Foods.

I am so excited to get some great new recipes this year. I love making those old favorites, but it is always fun to add some new favorites into the mix.
So, let's get this party started and link up your own deliciousness!

Be sure to hop over to Heather's place and link up there too for double the fun and yummy recipes.

This is Sister Saturday after all!

Now, let's bring on the Sugar Coma!


Ann Nichols said...

What a lovely remembrance about your sister and your grandmother. So heartwarming! Aren't brown paper packages just the best!

Town and Country Mom said...

Sweet memories--my grandmother was an amazing baker, too. I'm linking up with a make-ahead shortbread cookie. Hope you like it!

Debbie said...

What a fun idea here Vanessa. I love the recipes you shared, not only are they yummy, they are special too. I joined in this week...thanks:)

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Such a sweet and loving post. Thanks for the recipes. Hugs, Marty

Kristin said...

Awww, What a sweet story. Sounds like my sister and I. One blond one brunette, but both with brown eyes. Now separated by half of the United States. I hope you have a huge turn out today. Thanks for hosting!

Heather@Gourmet Meals for Less said...

Bring on the cookies! I have already had a huge glass of milk to wash them all down! I promise not to tell the kids what you're getting them for Christmas. I want the underwear to be a surprise! lol

Just a reminder to all of our cookie guests. Feel free to link up to both sites. My readers will love seeing all of your cookie and treat recipes too! :)

Heather(the other half of Sister Saturday)

Diann @ The Thrifty Groove said...

I saved the Kris Kringle Cookies recipe and am going to make them Monday! What a yummy and easy cookie! My favorite kind!

Melanie said...

I wish I would have had time to bake some cookies for the exchange. I have a great orange cookie recipe that I made a couple of years ago for Christmas. They were delish.

I will definitely be making some of the cookies posted today.

Sarah @ Modern Country Style said...

Hi lovely Vanessa,

I haven't got any cookies to link up (but, oh my goodness, I have wreaths coming out of my ears!!!). I just came by to look at all the gorgeousness linked up here.


Your party button is on my sidebar.


Courtney ~ French Country Cottage said...

Hey there Vanessa~ all linked up to your cookie exchange!! Thanks for hosting!

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Thanks, I just linked to your Sis also. Her recipes sound wonderful too. Hugs, Marty

The Inspired Nest said...

Hey Vanessa, I wanted to let you know you were the winner in my giveaway. I tried to email you but it was returned! Email me @

NanaDiana said...

Vanessa~ What a fun rememberance of that box and all the goodies it held. I'm sure your grandmother baked a little love in every one of those cookies she sent. I can't iamgine living all the way across the country from my grandkids. One is 100 miles South of me and that is bad enough.

I think every family has a certain cookie, or candy, that they associate with Christmas and the Holidays. I always make Ginger old recipe from my mother (maybe my grandmother) and it always asked for by the kids.

Thanks for doing this is a wonderful idea! Hugs-Diana

michelle said...

Oh Vanessa everything looks so YUMMY!!! I am sad that I was not able to participate in the cookie exchange because you see my friend, I burnt my cookies!!! :) My daughter and I baked my mom's chocolate chip cookies last weekend and I BURNT them!!! Unfortunetley I didn't have time last week to try again. :( Oh well, I love all these recipes and I hope that I make at least one batch of some of them without burning them! :) Have a wonderful evening!!!

Lynn Richards said...

Thank you so much for your kind comment from Inspiration Friday. You are so very sweet.
Your post reminds me of the packages we would get from my Grandmother-each gift would be wrapped in white tissue with a fun ribbon on it. Oh, my! I loved those gifts. Little ones, as she didn't have much, but packed with lots and lots of love.

Rene said...

We have been invited to a cookie party and I am looking for new recipes. Perfect timing!