Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Great #TBLB Cookie Exchange

by Meghann on December 16, 2012

Coooooookkkkiiiieeeeessssss! Commence drooling…. NOW.

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I have been quite the cookie monster this weekend. First on Friday night with Marry’s hot cocoa birthday party, then last night after Santa’s Twilight 5k, and again tonight for any cookie monster’s dream come true – The Great Tampa Bay Lady Blogger Cookie Exchange Party.

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From L to R: Caroline, Steph, Monica, Meghan, Debbie, Diana, Genna, Rachel, Jessica, Jacqueline, Beka, Me, Beth, Kat, Anna, Nicole, Grace

I love a good cookie swap, especially one that includes some pretty top notch baking bloggers. ;)

I’m not a baking blogger (not even close!), but I did manage to bake a few dozen Peanut Apple Pretzel Drops to trade with the group.

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I followed THIS recipe from Punk Kitchen, which was incredibly easy to make. I tried one hot out of the oven and wasn’t 100% impressed, but tried another cookie a couple of hours later and thought they were much better once they cooled. I wish I had done a test run before hand, if so I would have traded out the apple for chocolate chips for the final product. The cookies aren’t very sweet, so I think a touch of chocolate would have been nice. I was happy Derek gave his stamp of approval of the cookies before I left. I gave him one and he quickly asked for another (always a good sign!)

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Steph was out lovely cookie exchange hostess with the mostess and she did a beautiful job decorating and making us all feel so welcomed in her adorable home.

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via carolinecalcote.com

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via CarolineCalcote.com

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For the cookie exchange, everyone was asked to bake 4-5 dozen cookies to share with the group. A dozen cookies were broken apart and set aside for taste testing at the party, while the remaining cookies were divided up among the group to bring home and share with our loved ones, office co-workers, eat on our own, etc. ;)

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Before the taste testing could begin, we were handed cookie voting sheets to vote for our favorites.

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Then it was cookie time!

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Everything was so good! The Lemon Blueberry Cookie was the one that stole my heart (I’m a sucker for anything lemon based!) and you can never go wrong with a peanut butter cookie that has a Reeses baked in the center (I NEED to recreate these!). I went back for more bites of my favorites and was in a sugar coma by the end of the party.

There was also a selection of savory snacks in the kitchen.

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In between bites of cookies, I cleansed my palette with cheese, chips, and pigs-in-a-blanket.

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After 45-minutes or so of snacking, Steph tallied the votes and announced the cookie winners.

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Best Tasting: Caroline‘s Lemon Coconut Bars

Best Appearance: Elisabeth’s Peppermint Oreo Balls

Most Interesting/ Surprising Ingredient Used: My Peanut Apple Pretzel Drops

Favorite Cookie Overall: Jessica‘s Macadamia Nut Cookies

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Ha! Leave it to me to win the “most interesting/ surprising ingredient used” category! I guess the use of pretzels in a cookie were a surprise to everyone? ;)

Also, I can attest that Caroline’s, Elisabeth’s, and Jessica’s cookies were all extremely delicious. The wins were all well deserved!

Once the awards were distributed, we all grabbed the provided to-go containers (thank you, Steph!) and started collecting the cookies we wanted to take home.

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I came home with two boxes full! I’ve never seen Derek so happy to see me return from a party. ;)

After such a sugar-filled afternoon, I kept dinner very green tonight.

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Green beans with a mix of kale, sausage, and ricotta cheese (quick, easy, and tasty!).

I am wiped. Such a fun weekend full of friends, sweets, and good times! I can’t believe Christmas is a little more than a week away. eeekkk!!!

Good Night!

{ 23 comments }

Santa’s Twilight 5k Run

December 16, 2012

Ho. Ho. Ho. Merry Christmas from Santa’s Twilight 5k Run on Honeymoon Island! I try to do at least one holiday-themed 5k a year, so when Mary forwarded the link to the inaugural Santa’s Twilight Run I immediately signed up. It was a small race run by a local company with the promise of a more ยป

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