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M: Christmas Parties and a Box o' Baked Goods!

Posted Dec 14 2010 6:30am

So you got the lowdown on Miss Erica’s weekend, I’ll give you a little snapshot of mine =) As you already know, we had our company Christmas party Friday night (you got a few pics from Itzy from that shindig) and Saturday night was a Christmas beer tasting party at a couple of our friends’ house. Bryan and I:

Did you say “Christmas beer tasting party”? Oh yes, that I did. The hubs and I are huge fans of good beer, especially the hubs. So, these friends of ours have been doing this annual Christmas party for 10 years now. Of course this was the first year we partook in the festivities and it was a blast! We tasted 51…yes…51 different beers. Needless to say, as the night went on, the house got louder and louder =) They had AMAZING food and fun people…which, how can you go wrong with that? Notice all of the beers lined up on the bar – those were all the bottles that were opened and tasted:

They seriously bring out the big guns at these things…they pour beers that he’s been aging for years, new brews, everything fantastic. We seriously had so much fun…one of the best holiday parties we’ve been to =) Thanks to Paul and Kristen again for everything! We are definitely looking forward to next year’s! Paul and Scott pouring:

(Near the end of the night) Paul in his beer elf hat:

Ok, so when you go to someone’s home for a party do you usually bring something for the host/hostess? I always feel like I must…And usually it is some sort of baked goods. For Paul and Kristen, I decided to bake up some double chocolate mint chip cookies, gingerbread biscotti, and peppermint bark. If you don’t notice anything else on this post, just check out the super cute goodie boxes from Hallmark! Love them! This was the final package:

The gingerbread biscotti I stumbled across on the Joy of Baking – these crunchy pieces of goodness turned out fantastic. They were not overpowering with the ginger flavor – just perfectly spicy and the oats and walnuts added such a nice texture.

Before slicing:

The finished product:

Now I know Erica makes a mean double chocolate mint chip cookie (I know from experience!)– but unfortunately I didn’t have her recipe on hand, so I found this one from Ghirardelli's website. But instead of using 1 1/3 cups of regular chocolate chips, I used 1 1/3 cups of the chocolate/mint chips and opted out of the walnuts. These also turned out so good – they were super moist and full of dark chocolate and mint goodness.

I can’t even explain my love for the dark chocolate/mint combo…Mint chocolate chip has always been my FAVORITE ice cream of all time! And, these things were just the awesome cookie version of it =)

And last but certainly not least, I made up some peppermint bark using this guide . Again, my love for the dark chocolate/mint category comes into play. This might be one of my favorite candy-type goodie to make for the holidays. It’s so easy but the flavors and textures are excellent and they turn out looking so festive. This one was the hub’s favorite!

First layer (fortunately I was able to refrain from just eating the first layer before finishing):

The finished product:

Hope everyone is having a wonderful week so far! Do you have any other holiday parties to go to this weekend? I think we are all done with ours…Now it’s just counting down to Christmas! =)

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