Today I attended the annual Fight Club Cookie Exchange.
Ehhh what, you say? Fight Club? You mean like the movie with Brad Pitt and Ed Norton (swoon)? You beat up each other and then exchange cookies? Well at least that explains your bruises, right?
Not exactly. (Also: I’m a klutz).
Eleven years ago, I joined a message board a few months after J and I became engaged. It was a message board devoted to ladies planning their weddings. I met and quickly became friends with a group of local ladies who were getting married around the same time I was. A few months later, we met in person, quelling our fear that each of us was really a dirty old man preying on nubile brides-to-be. And the rest was history. Over the last decade, the group has grown to include new friends while a few members of the core group have drifted away. Many of us have children (interestingly, all boys). Two of us have dealt with infertility. We’ve attended some of each other’s weddings. We’ve been to each other’s houses. We have martini dinners out. We’ve attended hockey games together. We’ve planned baby showers for each other. And we’ve made soap while wearing tiaras, afterwards dubbing our group “Fight Club.”
We’re an eclectic group.
We don’t get together as much as we’d like, and I am ashamed to admit that I have been scarce the past two years due to baby/toddler/work/grad school, but now that school is over and Daniel is older, I’m looking forward to reconnecting. One tradition we started several years ago is still going strong: the cookie exchange.
Sometime in December we meet at someone’s house to eat, make merry, drink merry and exchange cookies. We have extensive rules for the cookies based on various likes and dislikes. I can’t remember all of them but the one that is germane to me is that the cookies don’t contain chocolate because I don’t like chocolate (yes, I know how weird that is). We’ve since modified that rule to allow chocolate as long as there is a non-chocolate version as well. Do you know how hard it is to find a variety of cookie recipes year after year that don’t contain chocolate? Pretty damn hard but somehow, we manage to do it, and the cookies always vary. My cookie this year was a gingerbread-white chocolate cookie.
Today we met at Dawn’s house for brunch. We ate gingerbread waffles (Dawn), a yummy breakfast casserole (Leigh Ann), fresh fruit (Nikki), cinnamon rolls (Tammi) and caramelized bacon (me) washed down with red and white sangria. After a couple of hours of chatting and eating, it was time to exchange cookies (thankfully Dawn had a party to attend later or else we would have talked for hours). We filled our containers and packed up. Another cookie exchange had come to an end, but we were leaving with 5 types of cookies to enjoy. The cookies are awesome, but the best part is getting to be with these ladies.
Thanks, ladies, for a wonderful afternoon! We definitely need to do it more often!
Do you participate in cookie exchanges? What funny rules does your group have? What’s your go-to cookie recipe?
Caramelized Bacon Recipe
1 pound of bacon
1/2 cup of brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350
- Line cookie sheet with aluminum foil
- Cut bacon in half width-wise
- Mix together brown sugar and cinnamon
- Dredge bacon in sugar mixture, twist and place on cookie sheet
- Cook for 15-20 minutes until bacon is crispy