Looking for a way to get together with friends and family, have a good time and bake a dozen cookies and end up with a variety?? Well then a cookie exchange party is something that you should consider. No matter the number of individuals that you decide to invite each participant will make one type of cookie and enough to share so everyone gets at least one. If you decide to make only enough to share one cookie with each participant then you will have a great variety but only one of each. However, you can make several cookies per party goer as well, the choice is yours.
Its easy to get others into the act as well. A simple note to allow all to know what is going on may be the way you want to go but if you want it more formal then send out invitations to all those you want to consider coming. This night can be one to retreat from the hustle and bustle and help you have fun and get the chore of baking started as well. However, if you plan on doing any sampling then you will want each participant to bring a few more cookies.
IF you do plan or are invited to a holiday cookie exchange here is a great cookie recipe to consider.
- 1 c unsalted butter, softened
- 2/3 c dark brown sugar
- 2 2/3 c all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 c unsalted butter
- 1 c dark brown sugar
- 1/3 c honey
- 2 TB heavy cream
- 2 c toasted pecan halves or pieces (I like to buy raw pecans from Trader Joes and toast them at home)
Preheat the oven to 350 and line a 913-inch pan with parchment paper. Paper should cover most internal surfaces of pan. **In the pictures below, I halved the recipe and used a square baking pan.**
Start by making your crust. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the softened butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Add flour and salt and mix until crumbly. Press crust dough into your parchment paper-lined pan and bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown.
While your crust bakes, prepare the filling. Combine the butter, brown sugar, honey and heavy cream in a small saucepan, over medium heat.Simmer the mixture for 1 minue, then stir in your toasted pecans.Remove your crust from the oven and immediately pour the pecan filling over top, spreading it to cover the entire surface of crust.
Return your pan to the oven and bake for another 20 minutes. After 20 minutes remove the pan from the oven and allow the bars to fully cool in the pan on top of a wire cooling rack.
Once cool, lift the bars out of the pan and transfer them to a cutting surface. Slice and package as wanted! I like to wrap mine in unbleached parchment paper and tie them up with festive, red and white butchers twine
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