Will’s welcome home party was a huge success, and these cookies were a great big hit!!  Friends and family gathered to celebrate our soldier’s safe return from Afghanistan, and they enjoyed a delicious feast and many tasty treats.

Upon hearing that I volunteered to bake cookies, my close friend and “baker extraordinaire”, Teresa, insisted on contributing to the cookie tray, and there was no way that I could resist this generous offer…her cookies are totally wonderful!

No kidding…there were at least 25 lbs. of cookies presented in my Longaberger* basket hostess tray, which included 14 different kinds, to be exact!  Included were:

Here are the rest of the recipes:

Sugar Crusted Snowballs


  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup softened butter
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tbsp. brewed coffee
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • Additional coffee and granulated sugar for coating and dipping baked cookies


  1. Mix sugar, butter, coffee, vanilla and salt. Beat well.  Add flour and chocolate chips, and mix well.  Chill dough for at least 1 hour.  Shape dough into 1" balls.  Place on ungreased, non-stick cookie sheet, or parchment paper on a cookie sheet.  Bake in preheated oven at 325 for 15 - 20 minutes.  Cookies do not brown or change shape.  Remove cookies and let cool completely on wire rack.  Dip or brush cookies (quickly) in brewed coffee.  Immediately roll in granulated sugar.

Recipe Notes

if you put the sugar in a ziplock bag, you can shake them quickly.  Let dry on wire rack so cookies get a crusty shell.

Chocolate Espresso Balls


  • 2 sticks softened butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp. ground espresso beans regular coffee works too
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  • Approx. 1/2 cup white chocolate for frosting


  1. Cream butter and sugar.  Add vanilla and espresso.  Mix until blended.  Mix in flour, cocoa and chocolate chips.  Roll dough into 1" balls and place on parchment lined cookie sheet.  (Cookies spread very little)  Bake 15 - 20 minutes, until firm.  When cookies are cooled, frost with melted white chocolate and sprinkle with jimmies.

Toffee Turtle Bars


  • 1/2 C butter softened
  • 1 C firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 C flour
  • 1 C broken pecan pieces
  • 2/3 C butter
  • 1/2 C firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 C chocolate chips


  1. Mix butter, brown sugar and flour until mixture resembles fine crumbs.  Press mixture firmly into ungreased 9 x 13-inch pan.
  2. Sprinkle pecan pieces over crumb mixture.
  3. Combine 2/3 C butter and brown sugar in small heavy saucepan, until mixture comes to a boil.  Boil and stir 1 minute.  Turn off heat and let mixture stop boiling over the heat.
  4. Pour mixture over pecans.
  5. Bake 18-20 minutes until set.
  6. Remove from oven and sprinkle with chocolate chips.  When chips have melted, spread evenly over bars.
  7. Cool in pan before cutting into bars.

Thank you, Teresa, for your whopping contribution and for helping make the cookie tray doubly delicious!

Hope you all enjoy these recipes and find them helpful when creating your own “Party Perfect” cookie tray…for any occasion!


*Longaberger:  beautiful, but expensive, line of hand-crafted baskets.  I was obsessed.  I’m over it.

0 thoughts on ““Party Perfect” Cookie Tray – the presentation

  1. Aunt Annie says:

    Annie, Alyssa posted this on facebook…this is absolutely beautiful and mouth watering….you are so talented and your love shines through it all….
    Love, Annie and Uncle John

  2. Carol says:

    These cookies were outstanding. (I know because I think I tasted every kind in that basket)! You and Teresa outdid yourselves! I can’t wait to make some of these. I think I might make the Sugar Crusted Snowballs for our Christmas Cookie Exchange. I think those were my favorite!

  3. lisa says:

    Thank you for celebrating one of the best days of my life. Having my sailor home from Afghanistan surrounded by my most loving friends is beyond words….and then these cookies which really made the party extra special! I think I only tasted 3 different ones because everybody took them home as party favors!!

  4. lisa Keys says:

    Struggled with the Florentine cookie bar recipe today. First, there is so much filling that it bubbles over and makes a smoky mess in the bottom of the oven. Second, they are impossible to cut because they chill hard like a brittle. Next time I would reduce the filling by a third and not chill them so firm before cutting. I am eating all the crumbs which taste very good.

  5. Ann says:

    Thankfully, everyone was highly complimentary. Some folks even demanded the recipes 😉 Since I couldn’t possibly make all those cookies in a day or so, the freezer came in handy. Thanks for the comment and, if you happen to give any of the recipes a try, I’d love to hear about the results!!

  6. Ann says:

    Thankfully, there were many compliments…..some folks even demanded the recipes 😉 Thanks for the comment and, if you happen to give one of the recipes a try, I’d love to hear about the results!