Ahhhh, tis’ the season – for baking cookies. Have you ever hosted a “cookie exchange”? Every year I consider hosting one but I’ve never followed through with it. And to remain status quo, I’m not hosting one this year either. I attended a couple of cookie exchanges in the past and always loved sampling everyone’s favorite cookie treats. I take that back, one year when I was the leader of a girl scout troop of 21 ten-year old girls, we held a cookie exchange. It was at my house and we had an overwhelming amount of cookies to share. Looking back on that I suppose those Mom’s just loved baking several dozen cookies for their kids to exchange. Of course the concept was that the girls would bake or at least help their moms bake the cookies. That has been a few years ago and what I most remember is dividing up the cookies for everyone to take home, since the girls could not be trusted to divvy them up correctly! I’m certain we sent home 21 sugared up little girls that night who surely tossed and turned in their beds. Well, it’s laughable at best. I guess what I’m trying to say is I think I’d really enjoy hosting a cookie exchange with adults some year. If you’ve hosted or attended a successful one, leave a comment and let me know what was most memorable, or share some tips that made it a success. There’s always next year!
This year it seems the Christmas holiday is fast approaching. I’ve done some cyber shopping, hit a few stores, purchased wrapping, ribbon and tape, made lists, decorated our tree, hung lights, hung stockings by the fire, sipped on Courvoissier (my favorite fireside beverage), and managed to bake a batch of cookies, not necessarily in that order.
Before the big day I’ve got plans to bake several dozen types of Christmas cookies, make my famous dipped pretzel sticks, whip up some sweet & spicy pecans, fill a tin with adoring hubby’s favorite cheese crackers, beautifully wrap all those gifts, relax by a roaring fire, watch a few movies, snuggle under the cozy flannel sheets, gaze contentedly at the beautiful tree, full of ornaments from my childhood as well as those collected over the years with my man Dan and our girls, address and stamp cards, and plan and shop for our Christmas dinner.
Can I do all that before Christmas arrives and still be sane? I suppose I’d better post this recipe for “Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies” and get busy on that list. Wish me luck! I like these melt in your mouth cookies. They come together easily, in one big bowl and disappear quickly from the cookie jar.
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
2 tbsp. milk
1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
4 cups Whole Grain Old Fashioned Oats
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Heat oven to 375*. In a large bowl blend shortening with sugar, adding sugar gradually. Add eggs, milk and vanilla; beat well. Add flour, salt and baking soda, beat well. Stir in oats and chocolate chips. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls, about 2″ apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes. Place cookies on a wire rack to cool.