When throwing a party there are certain shortcuts that save time, yet still have maximum impact. When I plan a menu, aesthetics is one of the factors and portion size another. These cookies for dessert fit both requirements, and allow guests to have a little sampling of sweetness without over doing it. You can get better cookies even at a local deli if you know what to look for. Here are the cookie choices we made for this gathering: 

Hint-O-Mint Newman-O’s

Paul Newman’s founded company gives all its profits to charity, so that’s reason enough to support the brand, but the taste of these cookies shine, and are curiously addictive. So, Oreos move aside! There’s a new cookie in town. The hint of mint makes these guys way more sophisticated.  newmansown.com

Loacker Quadratini

These wafer cookies were a childhood favorite of mine, they literally melt in your mouth. What’s lovely about these is the mini portion, they come in 1-inch cubes. I chose my two go-to flavors for the  Hidden Secret party, whose menu includes secret ingredients in every bite—Hazelnut and Coconut—but the line also includes: Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, Vanilla, Lemon, Capuccino, Tiramisu, Espresso, Raspberry Yogurt, Blueberry Yogurt, Cocoa and Milk, and Matcha.

Loacker makes its cookies where air and water are pure and fresh, and nature is still intact: in the heart of the Dolomites. Now in its third family generation, the best natural ingredients continue the tradition founder Alfons Loacker started in his little patisserie in Bozen in 1925. loacker.com

photo at the top of this post, right: For an easy party lighting trick, add a string of LED blue lights to a counter. I got these at my local lighting store (which are dotted around Manhattan) who carry the longer lengths. Lighting and Beyond, 35 W 14th St (betw 5/6)

See more recipes with secret, surprise ingredients in party #22, Hidden Secrets, at this link.