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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. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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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? ๐Ÿ˜‰

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. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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… read them below or add one }

1 Christine @ BookishlyB December 16, 2012 at 9:23 pm

I’ve never been to a cookie exchange where there’s a competition aspect- I like it! And since there were so many of you no one would feel bad if they didn’t win.
Christine @ BookishlyB recently posted..Let’s Take Some Finals! A Letter to My Students

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2 Meghann December 16, 2012 at 9:31 pm

I’m pretty sure no one took it seriously. There were some pretty funny campaigns to persuade others to vote for them, though. It was all in good fun! ๐Ÿ™‚

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3 beka @ rebecca roams December 16, 2012 at 9:48 pm

Mike ate at least ten of the cookies this afternoon! I had a great time. I also kept dinner super light. I think I’ve also drank 2 gallons of water since I got home too. Awesome pics ๐Ÿ™‚
beka @ rebecca roams recently posted..Weekly Workouts Roundup + Cookie Coma

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4 Steph December 16, 2012 at 10:02 pm

Love the pics and the sweet comments! I loved having the you guys over for the holidays. Looking forward to next year! ๐Ÿ™‚
Steph recently posted..Clean soup, Dirty girl

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5 ash bear December 16, 2012 at 10:22 pm

I love the idea of voting. Maybe next year Theodora will add that for her party!
ash bear recently posted..The Perfect Run

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6 Anna Coats - Marry Me Tampa Bay December 16, 2012 at 10:42 pm

Great recap Meghann! Your camera takes some amazing pictures! I think we need to schedule more these “potluck” types of meetings. So much fun!!!! ๐Ÿ™‚
Anna Coats – Marry Me Tampa Bay recently posted..Yellow & Grey Superhero Wedding โ€“ Tampa Bay Watch

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7 Angela December 17, 2012 at 12:11 am

I was actually thinking of making those peppermint Oreo balls… I love the regular Oreos so why not make them a little Christmasy? Sounds delcious!

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8 Meredith December 17, 2012 at 6:59 am

Happy to see you took my recipe advice ๐Ÿ™‚ those cookies are amazing, and I agree – they’re not overly sweet, which is good for everyday (since cookies are an everyday event for me ๐Ÿ™‚ ) but for the holidays, chocolate chips would have been delicious! Everything looks great!

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9 Meghann December 17, 2012 at 8:55 am

Thank you so much for the recommendation! The cookies were a big hit! ๐Ÿ™‚

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10 Meredith December 17, 2012 at 10:10 am

๐Ÿ™‚

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11 Hope @ With A Side Of Hope December 17, 2012 at 7:07 am

The cookie exchange party sounds like so much fun! All of those treats look yummy! ๐Ÿ™‚
Hope @ With A Side Of Hope recently posted..Simple Lasagna & The Rest of the Weekend!โ€ฆ

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12 Monica December 17, 2012 at 7:46 am

It was a great recap! and goo picture story as well. There is nothing like food (OR SUGAR) to bring people together.. I’m all game on Anna’s suggestion to have a get-together with food this time around
Monica recently posted..Run like a girl, get dirty like a boy

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13 Karen @ Runner Girl Eats December 17, 2012 at 8:22 am

I love the competition part of the exchange and that there were planned leftovers ๐Ÿ™‚ very cute!
Karen @ Runner Girl Eats recently posted..Crashing Man Night

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14 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats December 17, 2012 at 9:20 am

That looks like heaven! Although I learned at my Chicago Running Bloggers holiday party this weekend, that if I ever did that I’d have to keep it to my small book club group because I couldn’t eat any of the sweets at that party! Haha my little book club is the group full of food allergies, I guess we gravitate towards one another?
Katie @ Peace Love & Oats recently posted..Weekend in Review

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15 Sara @ fitcupcaker December 17, 2012 at 9:23 am

YUM, I want to do a cookie exchange, looks so fun! We made cookies this weekend and I had 2, I couldnt imagine how many I would eat at one of those parties!

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16 Natalie @ Free Range Human December 17, 2012 at 9:55 am

Looks delicious! I love cookie exchanges ๐Ÿ™‚
Natalie @ Free Range Human recently posted..Christmas Spirit

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17 Jessica December 17, 2012 at 11:29 am

Such great photos and good recap. Steph was awesome for hosting. Love hanging with #TBLB we are such an awesome bunch!

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18 Courtney December 17, 2012 at 12:11 pm

It all looks delicious! I need to make those PB cup cookies, too ๐Ÿ˜€
Courtney recently posted..Effortless Baked Brie

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19 Sarah December 17, 2012 at 12:32 pm

I recently went to a cookie swap party too! It was SO fun and a great way to try some new cookies.
I also won the ‘most surprising’ category because of the spicy after taste of my Aztec Chocolate cookies… I’m not sure if it’s a good thing or bad thing but they were definitely all gone at the end of the night!
Sarah recently posted..The Joy of Baking. Profiteroles.

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20 Beth December 17, 2012 at 2:54 pm

FYI, your cookies are even better the day after. (Eating one now.)

Thursday coffee?
Beth recently posted..National Blogging Day of Remembrance: Sandy Hook Elementary School

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21 Katie @ Talk Less, Say More December 17, 2012 at 10:23 pm

What a fun party! I would love to participate in a cookie swap. Maybe someday! ๐Ÿ™‚

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22 Joanne M. December 18, 2012 at 1:48 am

That looks like a really fun party. Congrats on your cookie winning a prize:-)
Joanne M. recently posted..The Story Where I Move From California to Minnesota

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23 Kat December 18, 2012 at 11:57 am

Such a fun time! I love how you caught me with massive cookie-cheek! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Hubs was mad I forgot to grab some of your cookies – I have paid the price dearly
Kat recently posted..Race recap: The Color Run!

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