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Cookie Exchange

This year I hosted our 4th annual cookie exchange. Mr. T (ha, love that nick name) and I spent the better part of the weekend cleaning and getting the place ready for Christmas in time for the exchange. Miss E was off at her grandparents playing for the weekend.  Our poor cat was put through the wringer with all the activity.  For the exchange she hung out with everyone but was flaked out on the arm of a couch.

For the exchange we each made a dozen cookies/bars for each participant plus another dozen for tasting.  I made some stand by dishes for our regular get-togethers plus a new one that was a big hit.  I got this recipe from Smitten Kitchen, Garlic Butter Roasted Mushrooms,  They are so good.  I highly recommend making these.

To go with all the food, I made Colonial Hot Buttered Rum.  A now favourite recipe that I discovered a few years ago.  Left overs do store well in the fridge.  Though I would recommend to guest to bring a thermos for a to go bag, to be stored in the trunk on the way home, of course. *grin*

1. Hello Dollies
2. Skor Shortbread
3. Linzer Cookies
4. Chocolate Caramel Shortbread a.k.a Homemade Twix Bars
5. Biscotti with Pistachio and Cranberry

I just got the mug tonight at Pier 1.  Love that store.  It's a minor miracle that I only walked out of there with a mug and an ornament!

The Chocolate Caramel Shortbread was my contribution.  These are my absolute favourite.  The first time I had these I was at the Bowmanville Museum Christmas open house.  My mom was entertaining the crowd with Christmas carols.  My dad and I discovered these bars that were being passed around.  I think we both nabbed all the bars that were out.  Thus began my quest for a recipe.  I finally found the recipe on the web years before Google was popular, before I knew how to save a link.  Here is my version of the original recipe:

Chocolate Caramel Shortbread

1 cup butter
1/2 cup white sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour

Beat butter and sugar until pale.  Add flour to form a soft dough.  Press dough into a 9 x 13 pan that is lined with parchment paper.  Bake shortbread in preheated oven at 350 for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown.  Leave in pan until cool.

3/4 cup butter
1/3 cup white sugar
3 Tbsp corn syrup
1 (14oz) can sweetened condensed milk

Cook butter, sugar, corn syrup and sweetened condensed milk in a saucepan on low heat.  Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.  It will burn easily.  Boil for 5 to 7 minutes until it has thickened and has a pale caramel colour.  Spread caramel on cooled shortbread and let set for about 10 minutes.

1 (8oz) bag of milk chocolate chips

Sprinkle chocolate chips over the caramel and let melt for about 5 minutes.  With a spatula spread the chocolate evenly over the caramel.  To cut, refrigerate for about 20 to 30 minutes before the chocolate gets too hard but the caramel isn't super gooey.


  1. So sorry I missed the exchange this year. I should try making my own Twix bars - Christmas won't be the same without them!


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