Parties, Cookie Exchange and and Chocolate-Chocolate Mint Cookies

by Joanne on December 20, 2010

I know, I know, the rule of thumb is not to make any one post too long. Well, here I go again breaking all the rules.  It’s long so make sure to come back and read it twice.  I love it when you visit my blog.  Red heart Open-mouthed smile Red heart

Ted and I went to our neighborhood holiday party on Saturday night.  We mingled with the neighbors and caught up on the latest happenings around Sherman Drive.  Every year, we all tell each other which house we live in but never remember who belongs where. 


Being that it was a cocktail party, food was offered in bite size pieces and meatless options were scarce.  I limited myself to one asparagus wrap and about six mini crab cakes. We spied the crab cakes on a tray in the kitchen before the servers brought them out and grabbed them while they were hot. 


A little history:  We are invited to this party every year, not only because we live in the neighborhood, but because I went to high school with the host, Bill.  He’s one terrific guy with beautiful children who were mingling among the guests.  There is a lovely portrait of his daughter in the formal living above a toasty hot fire.


As you enter to the dining room, a strategic “head dip” is required so as not to bump into an array of gorgeous collectable ornaments strung around the entrance.  More are found  around the chandelier. 



My favorite, the Beefeater Bear.


We had fun with neighbors.  We were even offered an “all expense paid” trip to the Syracuse Metropolitan Opera by someone we have only spoken to twice.  Nice guy. Nice offer. Too much to drink????  But…what a nice gesture and he gave me his card to contact him for “the date”.  The card is not a business card mind you, it’s a “me” card:  his name, address, and email.

A fun night. Three glasses of wine too many for me, but we had a lot of laughs. THANKS BILL!



Have you ever been to a cookie exchange party?   I went to my first one on Sunday.

The cookies:  We all had to make 8 dozen each. 


Collecting the cookies in our own containers.  This proved a very stressful decision for me prior to attending the cookie exchange.  What size container to bring?  I didn’t want to bring something too small and not get a chance to sample all the cookies BUT…I didn’t want to bring a container so large that it looked like I was going to take the  table home.


So I brought an Apple Crumbles Cake Box and, whoops!  it was STILL bigger than all the others.   Oh well. At least I didn’t miss a cookie!


I made sure to grab my recipe packet before leaving because every one of those cookies these gals brought looked delicious. 


Son of a gun! I just realized there was something I missed! See that basket of goodies on the left? That was some “Moose Munch” or some such thing. It looked like a mixture of Chex cereal and other good stuff. Bummer!  I usually don’t miss out on food.

Anyway, I did snag a great gift in the “Left-Right” game:


How perfect is that for Apple Crumbles?!! An adorable embroidered bag which contained four beautiful “Sugarland Multi Dot” appetizer plates.  Watch for those plates in upcoming AC photos!

Thanks Jenn! Great Cookie Exchange! My first one and it was fun.  The girls were very nice, the food was so good (it sure beat Sat. nights party). 

This was the cookie that I made for the Cookie Exchange Party:

I was shocked at how delicious this recipe was.  Experimenting with no fat is a challenge when baking.   I made a small batch first to see if I liked the cookie using Nestle mint chocolate chips.


The cookie was delicious. I decided this would be my cookie for the cookie exchange. I went back to buy more Nestle mint chips and couldn’t find them ANYWHERE! 

If you want to give this recipe a try, you can use minty M&M’s (although the cost is 3 x as much as the chips!) or maybe even chop up some Andes’ mint chocolate that are on sale (I picked some up from Wal-Greens for $1.99 – about the same as the chips).  Then I found a bag of the Ande’s mints already chopped, ready for baking.


Makes 24 cookies

  • 1  well rounded cup Oat Flour (or use Whole wheat) *My first batched used the oat flour and I think it makes a more tender cookie.
  • 2 TBS cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup Cherry Preserves **If there isn’t much liquid in with your preserves, you may have to add a little bit of water.  Your call after adding all ingredients.
  • 3 TBS chocolate syrup (Make your own by adding 1/4 cup cocoa powder to a saucepan with 1/2 cup water. When the cocoa has dissolved,, add 1 cup sugar and boil for 3 min. Add a pinch of salt and 1/2 tsp vanilla.)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 (10 oz) bag Mint chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a mixing bowl, blend the flour, cocoa, sugar and baking soda. 

In a separate small bowl, combine the preserves with the chocolate syrup and vanilla.  Add this mixture to the flour mixture and blend well, about 1 – 2 minutes.  Stir in the minty chips.

Drop by teaspoons onto an ungreased, foil lined baking sheet and bake for about 12 minutes.


This is a crispy, cool minty, very chocolaty cookie.  *It does soften over night.


If you haven’t been to a cookie exchange, it’s a  super way to find new delicious recipes and also get a lot of cookies for the holidays without having to bake them all your self.

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  • At 2010.12.20 11:08, Katie H said:

    I had my first cookie exchange this past weekend- it was so fun! 🙂

    • At 2010.12.20 13:58, Joanne said:

      It was tons of fun. I want to go to cookie parties all year – never mind just at Christmas!

      • At 2010.12.20 12:30, Heather said:

        Cookie exchanges are fantastic, aren’t they? Then you only have to make one type of cookie instead of 10!
        And I LOVE that picture of the formal living room – looks so cozy! I just want to put on my slippers and read a book with a cup of hot cocoa by the fire in that room……. 🙂

        • At 2010.12.20 13:58, Joanne said:

          They really are fun. But, okay, you only have to make one type BUT 8 DOZEN of THAT cookie! That’s a lot of cookie! 🙂

          • At 2010.12.20 13:36, Angela said:

            Aw, you guys look so great in the photos!! 😀

            What a beautiful home your neighbors have. I wish I could decorate like that.

            The cookies look wonderful, too.

            • At 2010.12.20 13:59, Joanne said:

              Thanks Angela. Ted looks washed out. He said “I don’t like that picture – remove it”. I told him “my blog – you get your own.” 😉

              • At 2010.12.20 15:18, Amanda @ bakingwithoutabox said:

                You know, I don’t think I’ve ever been to a cookie exchange. Maybe I should fix that next year. It looks like so much fun! You brought very pretty cookies. Lovely party. Cool way to use the ornaments in decorating.

                • […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Applecrumbles. Applecrumbles said: Parties, Cookie Exchange and and Chocolate-Chocolate Mint Cookies: I know, I know, the rule of thumb is not to m… […]

                  • At 2010.12.20 15:40, Lori (Finding Radiance) said:

                    That house looked so amazingly festive!

                    I love cookie swaps. We started doing a family one a couple years ago. It’s a nice change from eating 2 dozen of the same type of cookie, you know?

                    • At 2010.12.20 21:00, Bonnie said:

                      I think I recognize those crab cakes…was the party catered by O’Connors – Moveable Feast?
                      I plan on trying your chicken parm recipe this week.

                      • At 2010.12.20 21:30, Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman said:

                        Wow, that’s quite the spread of cookies. And I want about five of those mint ones right now. YUM!

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