Friday, December 28, 2012

2012 Cookie & Cocoa Party!

Merry Christmas season to everyone!
I haven't been on The Cozy Little Kitchen in the past couple of weeks due to lots busy activity of the season (not to mention Christmas itself!), but I'm going to back up to the 15th of December and tell you about the party we hosted! 
(I have most of these recipes linked on the names, in case you want to try any for yourself!)
 We had our annual Cookies & Cocoa Party that we enjoy throwing for all Mr. Cozy's med student friends, now colleagues!  It's a night that I take nearly a week to prepare the house for and make about a dozen sweet treats and hot drinks.  Friends come and go or stay as long as they want to graze on the goodies and catch up on conversation! 
The Christmas music wafts throughout the house, and decoration are brimming, and the house smells like a bakery after days of baking candy, cookies and cupcakes! 
 The house is a flour and sugar filled mess until the morning of the party when I deep clean and try to erase any evidence of the hard work involved.  It's an art, really! ;)
Of course, this is the first year to host it in our own new house! The one that seems to have a Christmas spirit about it anyways with the red living room and fireplace in the dining room. I couldn't wait!!
I decided to angle the dining table to give it more of a grand appearance for the cookies on display.  I do this, and arrange the entire table--dishes, table cloth, candles--sans cookies a couple of days before the party.  I like to do as much ahead of time as possible so that day is not stressful.
In my gingerbread kitchen I had some Hot Spiced Wassail on the stove top for a cozy holiday drink!  It's full of juices and spices that simmer into a perfectly festive drink for any winter party!  In the glass mugs, I had a garnish of an orange slice and a couple of cranberries to enhance the flavors of the drink.  I think the wassail might have been even more popular that the cocoa itself!
I don't have a picture, but also in the kitchen I had some cinnamon-hazelnut coffee brewed for those who wanted something a little stronger to stand up to the sweets. 
 The creamy hot cocoa was simmering in the crock pot on the antique hunt board.  I put out jars of marshmallows, candy canes, and candy cane kisses next to the mugs for some delicious add-ins!  I love chocolate and peppermint together, so I thought naturally that would be a fun thing to have along side the cocoa! 
Johnson Bros. Christmas mugs are gathered in a basket, and they're my favorite Christmas dishes!  I used the matching dessert plates for the cookies.
  Unfortunately, I don't have an exact recipe for this delicious cocoa, because I almost always eyeball the ingredients and taste along the way.  I like to assemble it over the stove and get it really hot, then transfer it to a crock pot. Here are the delish ingredients it's comprised of so you can make some yourself!

Cocoa powder, Milk, Half & Half, Sugar, Vanilla Extract, pinch of Instant Coffee, pinch of Cinnamon.

This makes a creamy, frothy, rich cup of hot cocoa!!!
 We had a feast of goodies this year!  I made them all from scratch, and it was time consuming but fun!!!
The 2012 Cookie & Cocoa menu included:
Fresh Coconut Cupcakes with Fluffy Coconut Frosting
Christmas Tree Raspberry Linzer Cookies
Mr. Cozy and I LOVE these!  I think they are so beautiful, too! 
 A new addition of our favorite Derby Pie,  and they turned out so cute!  These little pies are truly a taste of Kentucky!  So many who came to the party are from out of state (or the country), and so we wanted to have some local and Southern favorites.
They were so easy to make.  Using a biscuit cutter, we made rounds of 2 refrigerated pie crusts and put them into regular muffin tins.  With the derby pie recipe filling, we filled the crust almost full and baked at 350 degrees for about 25-30 minutes.  They popped out of the pan easily and were delicious!  The recipe made 2 dozen mini pies.
 Family classic Candy Cane Bark and Chocolate dipped Marshmallows,
Homemade Gingerbread Cookies
They're just the sweetest little things!
 Decadent Dark Chocolate Truffles and Hazelnut Truffles
These round little balls are a chocolate lover's DREAM!  I took some of them home for Christmas, and my family went crazy over them!  Best eaten with cold milk.
 Mr. Cozy arranged the cookies so elegantly on the stand.  Thanks for all your help, Honey!
 Fun Chocolate Dipped, M&M Pretzels Sticks
Double Chocolate-Peppermint Pretzel Sticks
Chocolate-Butter Pecan Pretzel Sticks
Deluxe Peanut Butter Cookies
 with chocolate chips, mini M&Ms and cinnamon chips! 
A new favorite!
 These pictures were taken from my iPhone.  I'm pretty impressed with the camera on the 5.  The after dark pictures actually turn out better on it than with our camera.
Twinkling candles lit to welcome in guests on that cold, rainy night.
 The night was a joyful one!  I made some new "silver" friends and was happy to see some "gold" ones that we've known for some time!  :)
Here I am (on the left) with my good friend, Melanie.  Her husband went to med school with mine.  They've been precious friends in this "journey"!
God has blessed us with a house and me with more time, so I think the least I can do is invite family and friends come over for parties like these, or just some fresh muffins and coffee!   Christmas is an especially good time to share yourself, your home, and the Lord with others. 
We did have some left over cookies, and I sent everyone home with a cute to-go box for them to fill up with treats to eat on over the following days.  With most of the remaining goodies, Mr. Cozy and I boxed up and surprised our Pastor's family and neighbors with the next day!  What's better than receiving some home made goodies to say, I'm thinking about you this Christmas!?
Thanks for reading through this looong post of mine!  I appreciate every one of my blog readers and think of you as friends!  I hope you know that if you were close by, you would also be on my Cookies & Cocoa party list!
Linking up with Friends at:




Jen said...

Leslie, I can just imagine the divine smell in your home and all the twinkling of light that shines from the actual lights and from your heart. xo ~Jen

Beth @A Little Country House said...

the house looks amazing and there isn't one thing that I don't want on that table! I love linzer torte and cookies too! Incredible job, so festive and welcoming. You have a gift, my friend!

STARDUST said...

Leslie, it seems you've been extremely busy creating and baking yummy stuff! And your home looks so inviting, I'd love to be one of your guests! :-)

The Cottager said...

what a great party! i'm a sweets girl so everything looked amazing to me :) hospitality is such a great gift and such a blessing to those around you. God Bless!

Michelle said...

Sugar Heaven! Everything looked so lovely and inviting. I will be coping these recipes for next year. Thank you so much for sharing.

Dewena said...

Wow! Those were some lucky guests! I'm going to be printing out those recipes for next year, and the cocoa for all year. Thanks for the next-to-best chance to actually be in your cozy little kitchen, and that's to look at it here.

Maria said...

Oh my goodness! I don't know how you were able to bake ALL those goodies!! Your home looks so warm and cozy, it looks like you really have the gift of hospitality :o) I'm sure it was a fun party, and all your cookies look beautiful, especially the shortbread! :o)

Kris said...

What a fabulous looking holiday spread!!!!
Happy New Year!!
xo Kris

Cindy said...

I would love to have the truffles and the peanut butter cookies recipes. Your home looks so beautiful. I especially love the lanterns on the stairway. Thanks for sharing!

Holly said...

Everythng looks amazing. So glad you posted the recipe for your Derby Pie. Going to "pin" it and give it a try.

carol l mckenna said...

Wow! Fantastic ~ What a lovely and elegant display of photos and such a loving Christmas for you ~ Now Happy New Year to you ^_^

(A Creative Harbor aka ArtMuseDog and Carol ^_^)

this is my first time linking up to this wonderful site!

K @ Aurora Blythe said...

Oh my what yummy times you had! Your home is so lovely. Wish I had caught this post sooner as I would have liked to add some of your recipes to the event I hosted last night. And thank you for posting about hot wassail! My husband thought it was a type of Christmas carol and not a drink! haha

Coffee Mom said...

Looks like it was a sweet and cozy evening! Everything looked amazing!

Angela ~ Call Her Blessed said...

WOW!!! Your room is cozy, the table is beautiful, & the treats look delectable!! The invitees were lucky ducks, for sure!!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful, warm, cozy, delicious, sugary, chocolate, candlelight ... a perfectly perfect party! I found your link at Sunny Simple and just had to visit - thanks for sharing! Mary

The Tablescaper said...

Your home looks so lovely and all of those treats, just amazing!

I'd love to have you link to Seasonal Sundays.

- the Tablescaper

elizabeth said...

Love your Johnson Bros. cups. I have 8 of the Johnson Bros Chrismas plates...would love to find more.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

Great blog Leslie!! May I follow?

Happy New Year from a fellow Kentucky blogger :)


Still Woods Farmhouse said...

I enjoyed this blog post! I would love to sit down in your home and enjoy a cup of hot chocolate. I also make mine in a large crock pot and have a hot chocolate bar for all Christmas events. I found you on Sunny Simple Life's party and am about to be your newest follower! Please stop by Still Woods Farmhouse when you get a chance. Looking forward to visiting more often.
Blessings from Still Woods