Another year, another million calorie cookie event!

Margaret Rodgers brought thumbprint cookies, which were a big hit. (Especially with my husband, Alan!)

It was year 16 for the cookie exchange, and this year we moved it to a bigger venue — our new condo in the J.C. Penney Building on Gay Street downtown. Yep, the one we haven’t moved into yet. We call it our “event center” because we mostly entertain there. But, I swear, we ARE moving in. Maybe in January.

Anyway, it was a lot less crowded. Nobody had to sit on the floor and, because we have a bigger table there, we didn’t have to use window sills to display the cookies. But, despite the larger venue, the volume was just as high as always.

This is a fun event and one that many of us consider to be the unofficial launch of our Christmas seasons.

I will put the invitation at the bottom of this post. It contains all the “rules” that you can use if you’d like to host a cookie exchange yourself. Cheers!

Wow, look at these beauties!

And these! From left, Erin Donovan, Judith Foltz and Kristin Grove.

Thanks to Katie Kline for helping out with bartending duties!

Michelle Hardin arriving with a festive haul.

Jennifer Holder, left, and Margie Nichols with pre-exchange libations. (Photo by Annette Winston.)

Janet Testerman, left, and Julia Bentley. (Photo by Annette Winston.)

Annette Winston, left, and Margie Nichols.

Brunch was a breakfast casserole, honey baked ham sandwiches, and two kinds of fruit dishes. In line, from left, Jennifer Holder, Lila Honaker, Pam Rhoades and Erin Donovan.

Margaret Rodgers, left, and Katie Kline. (Photo by Annette Winston.)

OK, go! Everyone grabs a tin from beneath the tree and fills it up! From left, Lila Honaker, Sheena McCall, Sara Rose, Mary Ellen Brewington and Lauren Miller.

From left, Pam Rhoades, Christi Branscom, Mary Pat Tyree and Sheena McCall. (Photo by Annette Winston.)

Someone cheated and had caterer Holly Hambright make their cookies. But we didn’t mind. We love Holly’s food!

Kristin Grove brought Snickerdoodles. I don’t think we’ve had a cookie exchange in 16 years when someone didn’t bring Snickerdoodles! Love ’em.

Erin Donovan brought festive bark.

Martha Buchanan’s strategy? Hang back and relax until the frenzy dies down! (More on those Ziplocs later!)

There were some damn good bar cookies!

These dark chocolate coins were unbelievable.

Pecan spice cookies brought by Annette Winston.

Pam Rhoades brought ginger-oatmeal-raisin cookies. Oh, with a bourbon glaze drizzled on top! Hubby Brian made them. (Thanks, Brian!)

Monique Anderson, left, and Mary Ellen Brewington considering their choices.

Julia Bentley brought holiday snowball cookies. They were delish!

Janet Testerman brought eggnog gooey butter cookies~ Holy cow!

From left, Pam Rhoades, Lila Honaker, Mary Pat Tyree and Michelle Hardin.

Cute shortbread stars.

Every year the cookies get better and better. But, every year one stands out above them all. This year those standouts were these cream cheese cookies that Lila Honaker brought. Aren’t they beautiful? Recipe will be at the end of the post.

Julia Bentley looks serious about this. So does Lauren Miller, pictured behind her.

About those Ziploc bags: Experience has taught us that you must separate your cookies into individual Ziploc bags. If you don’t, peppermint, ginger and cinnamon tend to transfer their flavors to other nearby cookies. And soft cookies make the crispy cookies get soft. So, we always provide a lot of Ziplocs for sorting.

Here’s that invitation with the “rules.” Thanks to Katrina Roberts of Moxley Carmichael for the design work.

Here’s the breakfast casserole recipe: Only changes I made were to saute fresh mushrooms instead of using canned ones, which gross me out, and substituting turkey sausage for pork.

Here’s Lila’s recipe for cream cheese cookies:


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19 Responses to Another year, another million calorie cookie event!

  1. Charley Sexton, on December 4th, 2018 at 3:49 pm said:

    It’s the most delicious time of the year!

  2. Pam Rhoades, on December 4th, 2018 at 4:08 pm said:

    Lila’s cream cheese cookies were amazing! Loved the cranberry and lime zest on top. Ate my stash BEFORE dinner last night 🙂

  3. Deborah Sams, on December 4th, 2018 at 4:10 pm said:

    I just (visually) broke my 90 Day Challenge with National Fitness Center by reading this post. I can really throw caution to the wind amidst some holiday cookies. Must go to Holly’s to get some of those after my challenge is complete. Fun!

  4. Shaun Fulco, on December 4th, 2018 at 4:12 pm said:

    I hate that I missed this year! My first year missing since 2007. I have the date in my mind now, so won’t plan a weekend getaway during that time again. My kids were upset when they saw Maria Cornelius post “Cookie day at Moxley Carmichael” and then realized I was out of town when the party took place. Ha! Thanks for hosting this fun event each year.

  5. Melissa Charles, on December 4th, 2018 at 4:24 pm said:

    Sound like a fabulous event and the cookies look festive as well as delicious!

  6. Annette Winston, on December 4th, 2018 at 10:27 pm said:

    Me, my bloody Mary and my friend Margie. Terrific cookie exchange. I don’t think I’ve missed a single one. Your efforts are lauded, my friend. The memories we have made are priceless. But I missed: Susan Brown, Dawn Ford, Gay Lyons, Mintha Roach, and most of all, Mickey Mallonee. Sigh. As we grow older, we know we will be saying good-bye to more. But Mickey? Did not expect that. Not for a very long time.

  7. Annette Winsotn, on December 4th, 2018 at 10:32 pm said:

    One more thing. (Sorry for the double post.) Margie and I shop in Bearden a lot because, well, that is where we live. We refer to ourselves as honorary twins because we find when we go into shops in Bearden that we each get called the other’s name. We figure it’s because we’re both short, and small, and have short brown hair. We’ll take it. Neither of us minds being mistaken for the other. I feel like I have two names now.

  8. Alan Carmichael, on December 4th, 2018 at 10:36 pm said:

    The doorman’s salary at the new condo is cookies.

  9. Cynthia Moxley, on December 4th, 2018 at 10:59 pm said:

    Charley: Thanks! It’s nice to know that there are people who appreciate the “overflow” from the cookie exchange!

    Pam: Haha! I can understand that!

    Deborah: I admire you for doing that this time of the year!

    Melissa: Thanks for reading. They were pretty great this year. I bet you have some pretty terrific Christmas cookies yourself!

    Annette: So glad you got to come. Was worried that you wouldn’t be able to. Susan had to go on a business trip to Nashville. Dawn and Gay had health issues. Mintha was out of the country. But, worst of all, of course, was Mickey. She loved this party and always brought the best cookies.

    Alan: You earned every cookie! Thanks so much for the assistance!

  10. Kristin, on December 5th, 2018 at 9:15 am said:

    Always a favorite! Thank you for a great time!

  11. Tasha Blakney, on December 5th, 2018 at 9:16 am said:

    Uhhh hum… I will be looking for my invitation next year. 🙂

  12. Monique Anderson, on December 5th, 2018 at 9:44 am said:

    This is such a delightful party. Thanks for getting all these wonderful women together including you!

  13. Gay Lyons, on December 5th, 2018 at 9:58 am said:

    I am SO sorry I had to miss this year. I love the cookie party. Thanks to Janet Testerman for making sure my cookies got there, even if I couldn’t–and for bringing me a tin of cookies afterwards. Bill has permission to eat any cookie he wants–except Lila’s.. That one’s for me.
    I hadn’t noticed Annette and Margie looked “separated at birth” until seeing that photo. Wow!
    Looks like the new condo/event space worked perfectly for this party. Evidence you really do need to move?

  14. Maria Cornelius, on December 5th, 2018 at 12:16 pm said:

    The Monday after this event is Cookie Coma at Moxley Carmichael. I ate 10 for breakfast. They were all awesome!

  15. Katie Kline, on December 5th, 2018 at 12:31 pm said:

    Awesome event that kicks off my Christmas season! Thanks for having all of us. Best cookies ever this year.

  16. Cynthia Moxley, on December 5th, 2018 at 1:53 pm said:

    Kristin: Thanks for coming! And the fab cookies, of course.

    Tasha: Consider it done!

    Monique: Thanks for always being there!

    Gay: We missed you. We’ll have it at the new space again next year. Hopefully, you’ll be able to make it.

    Maria: Haha!

    Katie: You did me a huge favor by helping with the bar! Thanks so much.

  17. Sara Rose, on December 5th, 2018 at 6:52 pm said:

    I am so happy every year when I receive an invitation to your Cookie Exchange. It’s a great party with fabulous women, a wonderful brunch and—take-home cookies! Thank you so much for including me. (BTW, those “damn good bar cookies” are All-Butter Scottish Shortbread)

  18. Sheena McCall, on December 6th, 2018 at 7:35 am said:

    Love the party space! Yes, as always, Cynthia, you have started the Holidays in great style

  19. Kim Denton, on December 9th, 2018 at 2:52 pm said:

    This event always looks like such a fun, delicious way to kick off the holiday season. Plus, I am a self-proclaimed cookie monster!

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