My boss and I decided to organize an office cookie exchange. Part of the idea was that people would have extra to take to holiday parties, or wouldn't have to bake as much if unexpected guests stopped by (Martha is very worried about these). My boss looked around for help with the guidelines online and found some pretty crazy ideas. This one here says no meringues, no bars, no "no bake" cookies", no chocolate chip cookies - there must be a story and it must be all a lot of work!! Too easy or common does not count!! Martha Stewart has a 17 page guide and other ideas on the subject of cookie exchanges. I made a sign-up sheet and we waited to see how many people would sign up.
It turned out 16 people signed up. Then it all got out of control. One of my coworkers said she thought it was supposed to be a dozen person that you bring. "Otherwise what is the point if you don't get enough cookies?", she said. She also thought everyone should bring a dozen cookies for everyone to sample at the cookie exchange. 16 dozen plus a dozen each at the party to share is 204 cookies per person!! "I'd like them to last through the holiday season", she said. This is also the same person who when we first started talking about the exchange joked she would eat them all herself and not have guests at her house during the holidays. Then I went into a meeting where someone said their hand mixer breaks after 2 dozen. "I buy the can of dough and put them both in the bowl and after two dozen the mixer breaks and smokes and makes noise". What is he doing putting Pillsbury pre-made dough in a mixer? Other people did not want to be in the exchange because they suspected their coworkers of not having sanitary kitchens. Some people said they wanted 1 type of cookie each, so everyone should bring 16 cookies. I was so confused, and decided to make a compromise. I said 16 baggies with 6 cookies each plus 6 cookies on a plate for people to sample. This brought it down to 102, which still made people laugh uproariously - "Well some people want enough cookies for the whole holiday season!" I said - "Holiday season? That is enough cookies for two years!!" one coworker said to me. Finally, my boss who was gone that day, came back and said "ok fine - 3 cookies in 16 bags plus 6 each to sample." We told everyone this in strongly worded language and people seemed to have been ok with that. I also said to label them if they have nuts in case people have allergies, and to bring the recipe for sharing. I will let you all know how it goes next week.
I am planning to make gingerbread cookies. I was originally planning on gingerbread men, but then saw this inspiration. Since I work at a museum, I thought some of our paintings drawn on the cookies in frosting could be entertaining, like these, or these Mona Lisa cookie pops (I was the girl who put the Mona Lisa on her wedding cake after all). I'll be back with my Edward Hopper's "Morning in a City", Grant Wood's "Death on the Ridge Road" and Sol LeWitt wall drawing gingerbread cookies (this idea saves me having to buy a man cookie cutter). Who thought planning a cookie exchange would cause so much drama? Hilarious.
I plan to draw these paintings in frosting on my square gingerbread cookies:
Edward Hopper's "Morning in a City"
Grant Wood's "Death on the Ridge Road"
Sol LeWitt wall drawing (behind some of the cookie bakers)