Holidays are so much fun, and a great excuse to ask a few friends over for a little holiday lunch and cookie exchange. Keeping these small and simple are my preference, and I only have to make 4 dozen cookies.
The table is set in the informal area on the game table. I like a low centerpiece so this time I used a greenery wreath with one of my Mason Jar Candles in the center. There are glittery apples and shiny faux cranberries inserted around the wreath.
Four of my little Santa figures are placed around the wreath.
Don’t you love these plates? Each one is different – Hope, Love, Joy, Peace.
I placed them on my red chargers with a doily on the charger to make it more informal and show off the plates.
I switched out the glass coffee cups with my Christmas China mugs. I like the overall look of the table better.
Lunch is bacon and mushroom quiche with a spinach salad.
I put out pretty holiday bags to hold the cookies guests were taking home. One dozen cookies were placed in each bag by each guest as she arrived, so everyone went home with four dozen cookies.
I made one of my favorite holiday cookie recipes, Eggnog Cookies. They are nutmeg spiced cookies with rum flavored cookie icing that hardens. I always make these in bell shapes, I have no idea why.
Here’s a sample of the cookies after the exchange. We had Eggnog Cookies, little round Oatmeal Molasses cookies, chocolate chip cookies, and Dried Cherry Vanilla Chip cookies. All were really tasty.
Here’s the recipe for the Eggnog cookies. If you don’t want four dozen cookies around the house, but you need a few Sugar Cookies to make the holiday complete, see my recipe for Just A Dozen Sugar Cookies. Enjoy!!
3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons double acting baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons nutmeg
2/3 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup milk
Combine flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg in a bowl and set aside. In a stand mixer, place shortening and sugar, and beat until smooth. Scrape down sides. Add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. Add milk and vanilla and beat until well combined. Add dry ingredients and stir until combined. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and roll to 1/4 inch thick. Cut out cookies, re-roll scraps and cut out more shapes until all of dough is used. Place on baking sheets with a little room between the cookies, bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Do not over-bake, cookies will not brown. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for two minutes, then transfer to rack to finish cooling. Frost the cookies thinly with Eggnog Cookie Icing (recipe below), add gold sprinkles if desired.
Eggnog Cookie Icing
1 egg white
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon milk
2 drops yellow food coloring
1 teaspoon rum extract
1 to 1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
Combine egg white and cream of tartar, and beat until frothy. Add rum extract, food coloring, and a few drops of milk, and about 1/2 cup of powdered sugar. Beat with mixer. Keep adding sugar a few tablespoons at a time until the frosting comes together and holds its shape stiffly, but is still spreadable. If the icing gets too thick, just add a few more drops of milk. The amount of powdered sugar will depend on the size of the egg white. Working quickly, frost the cookies thinly and allow to dry.