christmas cookie party.

Holly jolly. And full. Is exactly what I'm feeling today. After two holiday gatherings and a fireworks show, I've stuffed (and drank) myself silly. But I do I love that about December - the hustle, bustle and utter indulgence.

In the craze, I'm trying my best to stop and savor things like watching my baby girl help her daddy put up Christmas lights. I'm reminding myself to be grateful for the back aches that come from spending too many hours in the kitchen making too many sugar cookies. Even when my eyes sting and the bed is calling, this really is the most wonderful time of the year.

With You've Got Mail in the background as I type, I'm enjoying leftovers from last weekend's cookie and crafting party. Six girls, plus six sweets and a few snacks rounded out a very filling afternoon. Might as well start the month off right. Right?
With an early afternoon party, the menu called for small bites. To keep it simple, I made just one dessert, and supplemented with a few store-bought go-to's, including a big cheese platter, crostini with bruschetta and a few seasonal store-bought sweets; The Crate's white snowflake pretzels and fleur de sel caramels and dark chocolate bark from Trader Joe's.
My cookie contribution were these delicious raspberry crumble bars from The Barefoot Contessa's newest cookbook, Foolproof. With every bite, they are quickly becoming one of my most favorite bars/cookies/sweets of all time. I tell you: they alone are worth the price of this beautiful cookbook, and they are most delicious with a dusting of powdered sugar (which came after the first photo).
Everyone brought something so delicious to share. Katie brought kiss cookies; Candice made a pumpkin chocolate cheesecake, Monique brought caramel dip and apples and we had two versions of peppermint brownies; Krisa's were topped with candy canes and Whitney's were skinny sticks, which she wrapped just for us in kraft boxes.
You can get all the details on Whitney's creation, including where to find the download for those adorable recipe cards, plus the oh-so-good recipe over at her new blog.

In need of some holiday cocktails? I have two to share with you this week!

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