For a sweet surprise, Julia often works cookies into her party décor. She hung this gingerbread welcome plaque in the hallway leading into the very cookie swap that started her cookie journey back in 2005. At that time, she and friend Elizabeth Maxson styled this party for St. Louis AT HOME magazine and invited their dearest (and most photogenic!) friends. The article, written by Julia and called Over-the-Top Cookie Swap, turned out to be so popular that Julia later used the concept as the basis for her first book, Cookie Swap. And the rest is history! But back to the cookie plaque: it wasn’t only charming; it was also functional. Guests admired it on the way in and sampled pieces of it on the way out!