Have you ever been to a cookie swap? I’ve hosted a few with my friend, Erin for the last few years, and they are a lot of fun. It’s been 2 years since our last one, and I sure miss it, so I really needed a cookie swap “fix” this year, and I got one, but in an unconventional way through what’s known as: The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2011.
Two food bloggers, Julie from The Little Kitchen and Lindsay from Love and Olive Oil organized this event and did such a fantastic job. They announced that anyone with a food blog could sign up and all that was required was to bake 3 dozen cookies and send them to 3 different people. In exchange, you would get a dozen cookies each from 3 other people. It turns out over 600 food bloggers signed up. So, for the past couple of weeks there have been cookies mailed all across the country and beyond. That’s over 22,000 cookies. Talk about sending holiday cheer!
I signed up without hesitation! What a great opportunity to meet other bloggers out there, and really that was the goal for Julie and Lindsay: to create community. I figured if I followed the instructions and requirements step by step, I’d be good. The hardest part was selecting what type of cookie to bake! Not only did it have to be yummy tasting, it had to hold up well with shipping. And then there’s the daunting question, “Will they like my cookie?”
So, I pondered and thought about which cookie to bake. A week passed, then another. Then, on a Friday, guess what? I got my first cookie shipment, woohoo! It was from Jen from My Kitchen Addiction. (I’ve heard of her before – my heart pounded. I’m scream’n with excitement and a little star struck!) Here’s what she sent me:
So, Jen’s cookies were gone by Sunday night, and the next day, Monday, I got my second shipment of cookies from a sweet young lady named Amy from fearlesshomemaker.com. She sent me some Chai Snickerdoodles:
I got a picture this time! I think she sent me more than a dozen (thanks, Amy!), and they were yummy too. Isn’t this fun? I’m giddy, honest! and I still had my last dozen cookies to look forward to receiving in the mail. The last shipment took longer to arrive, and I think I know why – it came from the Virgin Islands. Meet Darla from Bakingdom (I’ve heard of her before too – I’m giddy, and star struck, again!). She sent me these cookies:
Crunchy Chocolate Orange Toffee Cookies! At this point, I’m happy and kind of sad too because I knew the exchange was over…ah! not entirely because today I get to post my cookie recipe to share with you:
These are Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies. The first time I made this was last year when I did some holiday baking for my neighbors. I was in love with this cookie and saved the recipe to my Special Binder. I found this recipe from Good Bite. It’s a chewy chocolate cookie with a hint of peppermint extract and white chocolate chips, topped with crushed candy cane. Yum! I sent my cookies to: Big Fat Baker, Just Every Day Me, and Go Ahead and Snicker.
Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies – Makes about 3 dozen
2-1/4 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Ghirardelli)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
12 ounces (1 bag) white chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli)
1/2 cup crushed candy canes
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat and set aside.
2. Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. With the mixer on low, add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Then add the peppermint extract and mix to incorporate.
3. In a separate bowl, mix together dry ingredients: Flour, cocoa powder, soda, and salt. Give them a quick stir with a whisk to combine.
4. With the mixer on low, slowly add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until all combined, scraping down the sides as needed. Do not overbeat. Mix in the white chocolate chips using a wooden spoon.
5. Drop by rounded tablespoonful onto cookie sheets and bake for 14-16 minutes. When they are out of the oven, immediately sprinkle them with a dusting of crushed candy canes. Cool on a wire rack and serve.