Sunday, December 14, 2008

Cookie Exchange Party '08!

Happy Holidays Everyone! I am sorry it has been a couple of weeks since I posted anything, I have been so busy! Every year I have a cookie exchange party, and I look forward to it all year! I love cookies and I love to party! :) This year I made appetizers, and then we played some fun games, had an ornament exchange, and then got to take home 6 dozen cookies, Yum! Here are some of the recipes from the party:

Brie Bread Ring
I love this! It is so yummy and easy, it's a great holiday appetizer.

1 round of Brie cheese
2 tubes Pillsbury refrigerated buttermilk biscuits (not the flaky kind)
1/2 c. butter
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 Tbs. fresh Thyme, finely chopped
2 Tbs. fresh Parsley, finely chopped
1 tsp dried Oregano
2 cloves garlic, minced

Preheat oven to 350.
Scrape/cut the rind off of the top of the Brie (only the top, the side and bottom rind hold the melted cheese in!), set aside.
Cut buttermilk biscuits into quarters and place in large bowl.
In saute pan melt butter and olive oil, add herbs and garlic and saute one minute (do not brown garlic). Pour over rolls and toss to coat rolls thoroughly. This time I used a large square pan to bake this in, but in the past I've used a round pizza pan and formed a ring around the Brie with aluminum foil to keep the rolls together.
Place the Brie in the middle and layer the rolls around the Brie, try to only go two rolls high or it will take a long time for the bread to cook.
Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until rolls are browned and Brie is melted.
To serve you can either let your guests break off rolls and dip in cheese, or you can put a spoon in the cheese for them to put on their plates.

Holiday Cheese Ball
This is absolutely the best cheese ball I have ever had! My sister Becky gave this recipe to me last year, I love the combination of flavors. I'm sure you've all tasted some nasty cheese balls in your time, but I promise you will love this one! :)

12 oz. cream cheese, softened
3 Tbs. finely chopped onions
2 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 c. coarsely chopped craisins
2 c. finely grated cheddar cheese
1 c. chopped pecans (I toast mine on the stovetop with a couple of teaspoons of sugar)

Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add onions and Worcestershire sauce. Stir in craisins and cheddar cheese. Shape into a ball, roll in chopped pecans. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least three hours. Serve with crackers or pretzel sticks.

Phyllo Wrapped Asparagus
I have to admit I've never worked with Phyllo dough before, so you won't be surprised that I accidentally bought Puff Pastry instead of Phyllo, Ugh! Thanks Emma for all of your help with this recipe!

8 asparagus spears
1/2 pkg. (16 oz) Phyllo dough sheets, thawed
1/4 c. butter, melted
1/4 c. finely grated Parmesan

Preheat oven to 375. Break off tough end of asparagus spears.
Cut Phyllo dough sheets in half lengthwise, (you'll only be using half the package). Place dampened cloth over Phyllo dough. Remove one piece at a time and brush with butter, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and place two asparagus spears at end. Roll up jelly roll style. Place on baking sheet seam side down. Brush with more butter and sprinkle with more parmesan cheese. Repeat with remaining asparagus. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden and crispy.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars
This is a just a quick and easy Betty Crocker recipe that I love!

1 pouch Betty Crocker Peanut Butter cookie mix
3 Tbs. vegetable oil
1 Tbs. water
1 egg
1/2 c. Reeses Peanut Butter Chips

1 container vanilla frosting (not whipped)
1 Tbs. milk
1/4 c. creamy peanut butter
1/4 c. seedless raspberry or strawberry jam

Spray bottom of a 13X9 pan with cookie spray.
Combine cookie mix, vegetable oil, water, and egg, stir in peanut butter chips.
Press dough into bottom of pan using floured fingers. Bake 15-18 minutes until lightly browned. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.

In small bowl stir frosting, milk, and peanut butter until smooth. Spread over base. Stir jam and drop by teaspoonfulls onto frosting. Swirl jam for a marbled design with tip of knife. Refrigerate for at least one hour, store in refrigerator.

Brownie "Trees"
I was really proud of myself for coming up with this idea! I used a large star tip to make the "tree" and a small star tip to make the "star".

1 Betty Crocker Fudge brownie mix
1 container vanilla frosting
green and yellow food coloring

Line 13X9 pan with foil and coat with cooking spray. Prepare and bake brownie mix according to box directions. Let completely cool.
Remove from pan and using a small round biscuit cutter, cut the brownies into little circles. Pipe frosting on top to look like trees.