If you know me even a little bit, you know I love cookies, and I especially love trying new cookies. So I am thrilled to be part of this year’s The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap.
Basically, I bake and send a dozen cookies to three other bloggers, then receive three dozen different cookies from other food bloggers from all over the country. Yes, it’s a sweet deal. And it gets better because The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap is again partnering with Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, a national non-profit organization committed to funding new therapies used in the fight against pediatric cancer.
So how does a long distance cookie swap work? Well, this one runs like clockwork – I happily baked my three dozen holiday cookies and shipped them off and then sat by the mailbox waiting to get my three dozen cookies. Luckily, I didn’t have to wait long!
First up, some brown butter cookies with vanilla bean icing from Kristen at Bourbon and Honey. Wow. Wonderfully delicious!
Next some rosemary shortbread from Amber at Loves Food, Loves to Eat. Fantastic – especially because she even dipped them in chocolate!
Brown butter white chocolate macadamia nut cookies Jessica at Golden Brown and Delicious were prettily packaged and on my door in time for breakfast – I mean lunch. I would never eat cookies for breakfast, even cookies as delectable as these.
My cookies? The recipe for my first (and best) batch is from a phenomenal home baker and friend.
Chocolate Shortbread Cookies (except when they’re not chocolate)
1 cup flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Combine flour, cocoa powder, powdered sugar and salt in a food processor and process briefly to blend. Add butter and process about 30 seconds
until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add egg yolk and vanilla and process until a smooth dough forms. Pat dough into a flattened ball, wrap in
plastic and chill for at least 25 minutes.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to ¼ inch thick. Cut into shapes. Put on greased cookie sheet (wash them with the egg yolk.) Bake for
15 to 18 minutes or until firm but not browned. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.
Notes from husband of the phenomenal home baker’s husband: add additional butter and sugar. When making the non-chocolate, add a little more flour to make up for the missing cocoa powder…not scientific.
Frosting is very unscientific mix of powdered sugar and water…to whatever consistency works for you. Put on frosting and decorate immediately…let dry for a really long time or else your beautiful work will be wrecked if you stack them.
Ultimately these are my family’s favorite cookies but I felt as if my instructions were too imprecise so I made Joanne Chang’s very precise and wonderful holiday cookies.
Holiday Sugar Cookies
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Cream sugar and butter for 5 min until light and fluffy in an electric mixer. Beat in eggs and vanilla on medium speed for 2-3 min until combined.
In separate medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder & salt until well mixed. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture into the butter-sugar-eggs-vanilla mixture and them mix until it is totally incorporated.. Refrigerate the dough for around one hour – I have done it for less and it’s been fine.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Lightly flour your work surface, place dough on the surface and flour the dough and rolling pin. Roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thick and use your favorite cookie cutters. I went with stars this time. Transfer to a baking sheet and put in the oven for 12-15 minutes or until cookies are golden brown on the edges.
Cool completely on a wire rack.
From the website:
Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, a national 501(c)3 non-profit, is committed to raising funds for research to develop new, improved treatments for pediatric cancer, the #1 disease killer of children in the U.S. We provide inspiration and support for individuals, businesses and organizations to raise funds by hosting grassroots bake sales and other fundraising events.
Beautifully hosted by Love & Olive Oil and The Little Kitchen – many thanks! Want to know more? Join next year’s swap? Go here.
Thank you to sponsors Dixie Crystals Sugar, OXO and Land O’ Lakes butter for the baking treats.