Today’s post is a departure from the typical writing about leadership and workplace dynamics you typically find here on The People Equation. Instead, I’m writing about one of my favorite holiday traditions: our annual neighborhood cookie exchange. Every year a handful of us gather and exchange home-baked treats and a healthy dose of gabbing as well. The tradition has been alive for nearly twenty years; I joined the festivities about a decade ago. It’s a wonderful way to connect with neighbors that I see less frequently during the winter months and of course, there is the food. I do SO love a tasty plate of delectable goodies.
I tried three new recipes this year and they were all fantastic, so I thought I’d share them with you. If you have an upcoming cookie exchange, give these a look. Or, if you simply like to bake, there’s still time to get these made and shared with your family and friends this holiday season.
These recipes are arranged by level of difficulty. Super-Easy: Ina Garten’s White Chocolate Bark. This one is pretty much fool-proof. Just be sure to follow the directions for melting the chocolate carefully so you don’t over heat it and cause it to seize up. I made these with the pistachios and pomegranate craisins (no apricots) for a festive “green and white” Christmas-y vibe. My kids have asked me to make another batch and ditch the “healthy stuff” for toppings like holiday colored M & M’s. Sounds good to me!
Moderately Difficult: Pecan Bars by America’s Test Kitchen. Mr. People Equation found this recipe for me; he heard it featured on NPR while driving to a business meeting. So glad he remembered to tell me about this recipe, because these bars are insanely good. As in, I’m going to make another pan as soon as we run out of the few leftovers that I had after I filled my cookie exchange platters. It’s time consuming, but so worth the effort.
Moderately Difficult: Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies by Ree Drummand (aka The Pioneer Woman.) This isn’t really even a difficult recipe, it’s just a bit time-consuming. Take note: the dough must be chilled for two hours before you bake the cookies, so plan accordingly. Also be sure to crush the peppermint candies up finely enough, or the chunks will be hard to eat. (My ten-year-old found this out the hard way when she taste-tested a cookie – ouch!)
I’m always on the lookout for yummy holiday recipes, so if you’ve got one, add a link in my comment section. Share the foodie love!
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