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This year I’ve had a few friends mention that they dread holiday cookie exchange parties; personally I love them, but I enjoy cooking. They told me that they found it stressful to find a new recipe, purchase ingredients, bake cookies, and worry that they would bring the worst cookie to the party; isn’t that sad? Parties shouldn’t be stressful, especially not for guests. I thought I would create an Eat Cookies and Be Merry Party for the non-baking crowd. Isn’t the best part of the holiday season spending time with family and friends? After all, no one should need an excuse to eat cookies and be merry.
This party was quick and easy to prep and set up. I pulled a few decorations from around my home. I included a mixture of store bought and homemade appetizers and desserts. While I was shopping at Walmart for the rest of my party supplies I noticed these convenience size RITZ crackers, OREO Cookies, Nutter Butter, and Chips Ahoy! cookie packs near the registers. Since we weren’t doing a cookie exchange, I wanted my guests to have a few of their favorite cookies to take home with them. The convenience size packs are perfect to carry along (and they’re definitely stocking stuffer material). They paired perfectly with my Eat Cookies and Be Merry party theme. I may even attach a few to my gifts, so that everyone gets a box during the holidays. These are the perfect size for Jeremy to carry in his bag during his commute from Kentucky to New Jersey every week.
In the South, a party just isn’t a party without a cheese ball. They’re one of my favorite appetizers, but many recipes have too much cream cheese for my taste. This year I deconstructed my cheese ball recipe, and I made it into more of a dip. My Deconstructed Cheese Ball is a mixture of cream cheese, sour cream, powdered ranch mix, sun dried tomatoes, cheddar cheese, ham, pecans, and green onions. It’s thick enough to spread on RITZ Crackers, enjoy with chips, or dip your favorite veggies.
- 1 8oz bar cream cheese
- 3 tablespoons sour cream
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- ⅛ diced green onion
- ¼ cup sun dried tomatoes
- ½ cup diced ham
- ¼ cup diced pecans
- 1 tablespoon powdered ranch mix
- Combine softened cream cheese with sour cream in a food processor and mix well
- Add sun dried tomatoes, ranch mix, and green onion to the food processor and blend
- Fold in cheddar cheese, half of the pecans, and ham
- Top with remaining pecans
- Refrigerate until ready to serve
My son loves Chips Ahoy! cookies dipped in whipped cream and sprinkles. I’m not sure how he discovered this combination, but I added a rendition of his recipe to my party spread. I mixed some marshmallow cream with whipped cream and spread it between two cookies. I rolled the outer edge of cookies in red sprinkles to add a festive touch. They took just a matter of minutes to make. They were a lovely addition to the table (and they would have been lovelier if I hadn’t almost fallen down the stairs carrying them to the table); those wouldn’t have been merry cookies.
I kept some spiced cider simmering on the stove; it’s both delicious and aromatic. The copper mugs add a fun winter touch.
Our menu also included a veggie plate, pepper jelly and cream cheese stuffed wontons, OREO topped mini chocolate cupcakes, and my newest creation Nutter Butter Banana Brownies (I’ll load the recipe this weekend and link it here).
The decor for my party was the easiest part. I pulled items from around my home. I had an extra pair of pre-lit miniature pines that I used to flank the table. I attached a removable adhesive hook to hang a wreath in the center (or near there) of the table. I have a small collection of chalkboard signs that I use when I entertain. I keep a collection of white dinner and appetizer plates, and various sized serving pieces that can be used interchangeably. This party was a breeze to set up and take down.
Are you ready to eat cookies and be merry? Have you made plans to entertain this holiday season? You can find more creative stocking stuffer and hostess favors by following this link.