Thursday, December 11, 2008

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

Last night's Cookie Swap rocked! I played hostess to 21 of my neighbors; we had appetizers; a Yankee Swap (awesome gifts this year, girls!); and then the much-loved cookie swap. Each of us made 4 dozen cookies, seen here. That big plate is the "Fudgy Bonbons" that I made (recipe below).

Everyone brings an empty container and goes around the table and takes 2 or 3 of each cookie. All the husbands and kids wait up for their wives/mothers to return from the swap, because everyone loves the cookies. One of my neighbors left, only to return because she got home without her cookies and her daughters accosted her; another couldn't find her cookies at the end of the evening and went storming down to her neighbor's house at 11 pm, because she was pretty sure she took them. Margaret, did you take Kathleen's cookies?

My own children miraculously fell asleep while the party was going on, but this morning wondered if they could have cookies for breakfast. I talked them out of that by having them each select a couple to take to school as a snack. Of course, my son left his on the kitchen table (he's not a morning person). Good times!

Fudgy Bonbons
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
60 milk chocolate Hershey's kisses, unwrapped
2 oz. white chocolate melts

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Melt chocolate chips and butter over very low heat in medium saucepan, stirring constantly. Mixture will be stiff. Add condensed milk and mix well. Remove from heat.

Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off. In large bowl, combine flour, chocolate mixture and vanilla. Mix well. Shape 1 Tablespoon dough around each Hershey's kiss, covering completely. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake at 350 for 6 or 7 minutes. Cookes will be soft and appear shiny, but will become firm as they cool. Remove from cookie sheets and cool at least 15 minutes.

Melt the white chocolate melts (or regular white chocolate and 1 teaspoon oil). I did this in the microwave at 50% power. Pour the melted mixture into a squeeze bottle or plastic bag. Cut off corner of bag and decorate the tops of the cooled bonbons. Let stand until set. Place in decorative paper cups, if desired.

Makes 5 dozen.
Recipe by Mary Anne Tyndall, Pillsbury Bake-Off Grand Prize Winner

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