cookie exchange series 6

These sugared cranberries are so wonderful! Thanks, Marlene, for bringing them!


  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 3/4 cup superfine sugar


  1. Combine granulated sugar and water in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring mixture until sugar dissolves. Bring to a simmer; remove from heat. (Do not boil or the cranberries may pop when added.) Stir in cranberries; pour mixture into a bowl. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.
  2. Drain cranberries in a colander over a bowl, reserving steeping liquid, if desired. Place superfine sugar in a shallow dish. Add the cranberries, rolling to coat with sugar. Spread sugared cranberries in a single layer on a baking sheet; let stand at room temperature 1 hour or until dry.
  3. Note: The steeping liquid clings to the berries and helps the sugar adhere. Store in an airtight container in a cool place for up to a week.

cookie exchange series 3

Mint Chocolate Chip Meringue Cookies. My family has been making these for years. They are light, crisp, puffy sugary goodness that melt in your mouth!


  • 4 large egg whites
  • Pinch salt
  • 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • crushed candy cane
  • 1 cup of chocolate chips
  • food coloring (optional)


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Put the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer and add the salt. On the second highest speed of the mixer, beat the egg whites until they come to medium peaks. With the mixer running, gently sprinkle in the sugar and cinnamon. Beat until stiff peaks form, then remove the bowl from the mixer. Gently fold in the candy canes and food coloring and chocolate chips.

Drop the batter in 1-inch balls, onto 2 parchment-lined cookie sheets. Bake until light brown all over, firm to the touch, and they lift cleanly off the baking sheet, 35 to 40 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through. Remove from the oven and cool on the baking sheets. These cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week.

Cook’s Note: Try to avoid baking these cookies on a wet and humid day as the crisp exterior of the cookie will slowly melt into something soft and sticky.


cookie exchange series 2

I laid out John’s grandmother’s crochet doilies on the buffet. I am not a doilies person, but I thought they looked great on the red runner and they carried my snowflake theme throughout. John’s mom passed on a portion of her tea cup collection to me, so I pulled those out too!