The Cookie Exchange Party

The 23rd annual Hoyt Street Cookie Exchange took place last week. I was an invited guest to this neighborhood party and was honored to be among these women of all different interests and backgrounds.

To participate in the Cookie Exchange, there are a few rules to follow:

1) To take cookies you must bring cookies, 5 dozen to be exact. One woman came to the party to socialize, only because she burned her cookies. She took a lot of pictures.

2) Bring copies of your recipe to share.

3) Display your cookies on a plate, basket, plastic container.

4) Bring a container to take your cookies home in.

5) The number of people who brought cookies divided by 60 determines the number of cookies per batch you can take.

6) Ready. Set. Go. Round the table you go.

7) Socialize and talk.

So are you curious as to which cookie I brought to the exchange? Well, it was the Coconut Pyramids. Surprised? They were wonderful and so easy to transport to the party.

Do you wonder what happened to my other cookies? The Whoopie Pies went to the Christmas Potluck at work. People raved over the marshmallow creme filling and decorative squiggles.

The Sarah Bernhardt cookies were placed individually in candy wrappers and into gift bags for co-workers. These cookies are gluten free and several of my friends with gluten allergies were thrilled.

It was a long month of baking, but now I have a variety of cookies to share for any holiday celebration. Merry Christmas and happy baking!

Cookie Exchange Countdown: Whoopie Pies

It all started at the hair dressers…….I’m sure that’s how all baking stories begin right?

I was getting my hair done and reading through the Martha Stewart Living. Mmmmm…time to start thinking about baking, gifts, and COOKIE EXCHANGE. I’m excited about it this year. Too many years have passed where I was too stressed out to think about making five dozen cookies!

The Fearless Cooking Club is meeting at a neighborhood Cookie Exchange where 30+ people will gather. What kind of cookie should I make??? So many Christmas and Holiday sweets, treats, and bars to pick from. I am overwhelmed.

I pulled out several cooking magazines and found this Martha Stewart Holiday Cookies magazine from, oh my gosh really? 2001? My how time flies. So many cookies have passed by in the past decade.

I have decided to try out two or three cookie recipes and then choose which one to bring. I saw this recipe for Whoopie Pies. Oh they looked so cute! I have never made them before and they are pretty popular right now in baking circles.

It was a perfect night to bake: seven inches of snow had just fallen, the temperature dropped below zero and the kitchen was warm and toasty.

Whoopie Pie is really a cake sandwich and that tastes like a Hostess Suzy Q. Here’s the cake recipe:

  • 3 1/2 C flour
  • 1 1/2 C cocoa powder
  • 1TBSP baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 lb unsalted butter, room temp
  • 2 C sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 C buttermilk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Sift the dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside. Cream the butter and sugar in mixer. Add the eggs, buttermilk and vanilla until combined. Then add the dry ingredients a little at a time until completely mixed together.

I scooped the mixture into a piping bag to make similar sized cookies onto parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Bake the batter 4 minutes, turn the cookie sheet around, then bake another 4 minutes.

Cool the cookies on wire rack until ready to make the sandwiches.

The filling is Momma Reiner’s Homemade Marshmallow Creme  from Martha Stewart’s website. It consists of soft ball sugar syrup added to whipped egg whites.

Patty’s Points

1) The wet mixture of the cookie batter was pretty sloppy when the buttermilk and eggs were added. Mix slowly.

2) I spooned the batter onto the cookie sheet for the first batch. I then realized that if I was making a sandwich, both sides had to be the same size. That is when I pulled out the piping bag so I could control the size of the batter on the cookie sheet. It made a big difference in uniformity.

3) The cookies can be frozen in advance and should be separated by wax or parchment paper because they easily stuck together.

4) The marshmallow creme would need to be made right before making the sandwiches for presentation. In a pinch, you could buy marshmallow creme in a jar to save that step.

Yummy treat, but oh so messy. I would probably wrap them or place them in a secured plastic bag for the cookie exchange because of the messy factor. Since I work full time, I really want a cookie that will be ready to go in advance and easily transported to a party. Something to think about when choosing which cookie to take.

Martha’s cookie book has 100 cookies to choose from. What next? I’m thinking I’ll stay with something chocolaty. See you next time on the road to the Cookie Exchange!