christmas is for cookies

Christstmas card - cropped

this past weekend, my mom and sister-in-law and i hosted a little cookie exchange party for some of our closest friends. (part of our invite above, ordered from wisemonkey paperie on etsy). if you don’t already know this, cookie exchanges are really fantastic because you make one kind of cookie and then you leave with one million different cookies. it’s like magic. delicious magic. we also had a hot chocolate bar, a festive photo booth, and we watched the panthers win number 14 because when you live in charlotte in 2015 that’s what you do on sundays (alternate reason: when your quarterback looks like cam newton that’s what you do on sundays).

grace, my sis-in-law, is always an incredible encourager of my creative endeavors and gave me free rein in her house for decorations. the good news is, her dining room is already beautiful, so there wasn’t much to be done. i’m completely obsessed with eucalyptus at the moment, so i used it (from trader joe’s) and some greenery i cut from a bush in my yard to adorn the mantel and the center of the cookie table. these snaps were taken before most of the guests arrived, so the full cookie effect cannot be appreciated, but alas.


i don’t ever decorate with red in my own home (more on that to come tomorrow!), so it was really fun to pull it into the decor here. the brass reindeer are one of my favorite decorations for christmas and i’m so happy i snagged them a couple of years ago at a yard sale.

now, on to the cookies. see those gorgeous gingerbread ones? my mom made them and she does every year. they’re my favorite. personally, i opted for a simpler less labor-intensive recipe, one i got from a cookie exchange at work last year. they’re simple, delicious (super citrusy – always my personal preference), and don’t require baking. this is awesome because it’s been so ridiculously warm in north carolina, and turning on my oven generally means i then need to turn on my air conditioning. in december. which is terrible. anyway. i modified the original recipe a bit because directions are hard and that’s what i always do, but they turned out well using the proportions below. you can also add coconut, if you’re into that. christmas is for cookies, so enjoy!

orange refrigerator balls
(pictured to the right of the gingerbread in the photos above)

1 box of vanilla wafers, crushed (i used the blender to grind them up)
1 cup of pecans, chopped (used the blender here too)
3/4 cup of orange juice concentrate
1/2 cup of butter, melted
1 pound of powered sugar (this worked out to about 3.5 cups but it’s hard to mess this one up)

mix all ingredients. form into one-inch balls. roll in powered sugar and refrigerate until firm. eat all of the cookies.


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