Hello, faithful readers. If you’re still there after we’ve neglected you for almost two whole weeks. We’ll make it up to you, we swear. The holidays (without school) mean all baking, all the time.
Hannah and Kate are writing this post together because we both got to participate in this super awesome event made possible by the interwebs and the lovely ladies of Love and Olive Oil and The Little Kitchen. It was The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap. And it was the coolest.
Here’s a rundown of how it worked:
1. Submit your name and blog and address info to the lovely ladies above.
2. Wait as they do all the hard work and match everyone with three other bloggers.
3. Receive your matches.
4. Send one dozen cookies to each of your matches.
5. Receive one dozen cookies from the three people who got you as a match.
6. Stuff your face with cookies.
7. Write a post including the recipe for the cookies you sent.
Supes awesome, right? I mean, what’s better than coming home to a surprise package of a dozen delicious cookies?! Plus it happens THREE times. The best.
Fun fact: they estimate that there were over 22,000 cookies sent around the country (and the world) for this cookie swap! Twenty-two THOUSAND. Also the best.
I(Kate) received some awesome sugar cookies (with NUTELLA in the middle) from Sue and pretty pretty tricolor cookies from Chris and Rachel and some delicious chocolate cookies (with PEANUT BUTTER in the middle!) from Chelsea. Of course, I forgot to take the cards out of the boxes before I recycled them (finals don’t make your commonsense very accessible). And my Google searching has been a bit inconclusive. I totally wish I could link to all of these wonderful bloggers.
I(Kate), after way too much deliberation and a couple of batches of test cookies, decided to send some peanut butter toffee cookies to my matches: Carol, Michelle, and Jill. I thought they were pretty yummy, and Jill stopped by the blog to let us know that her kids thought so too! So that’s always exciting. While I love baking and getting to eat my own baked goods, sharing them with other people is always so rewarding.
Participating was so much fun this year!
Peanut Butter Toffee Cookies
Makes 3 dozen
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup smooth peanut butter
4 oz chocolate covered toffee bars, chopped (I used Heath Bars)
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Mix your dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside
- Cream together butter and sugar til light and fluffy. Add your peanut butter and eggs and mix until combined and smooth.
- Gradually add in your dry ingredients until just incorporated.
- Stir in the chopped toffee.
- Using heaping tablespoons, drop the cookies onto cookie sheets. They only need to be about 1 inch apart; they won’t spread. Flatten slightly with floured fingertips. Bake until the edges are golden brown, about 15 minutes.
- Transfer cookies to wire rack immediately and let cool.
Recipe from Martha Stewart
Aaaaand I (Hannah) came home on 3 separate days to 3 fabulous boxes of cookies. Peanut butter cookies with Rolos (I think? Something chocolate-y and caramel-y?) in the middle from Monique at Ambitious Kitchen. Monique is in fact quite ambitious, seeing as I received her cookies before I had even made my own to ship. Impressive. Then caramel apple cookies (so soft! how were they SO soft?!?!) from Emmarie at Bananas and Beer. This blog name means that we should e be best friends, stat. And finally, last but not least, some amazingly moist fruit-y nutt-y possibly Fruitcake cookies (that were so much better than any fruitcake you could imagine) from Amy and Janesse at Two True Foodies. Thank you all for your fabulous cookies! My study buddy friends thank you too.
I wanted to make rugelach to send out, but my wise mommy said they would get too mushy and fall apart in the mail. So, I made the next best thing. Rugelach in cookie form. Less rolling and slicing, more time for me to agonize over how to package my cookies, same moist, delicious result. I used dried cherries, cherry jam, and walnuts in mine, but you could use whatever combo of dried fruit and nuts that you want. Raisins and/or apricots are kind of typical rugelach. I mailed these babies off to Renee at Attack of the Hungry Monster, Jessica at Little House, Big Heart, and Colleen at Brunchner. I hope they liked them!
Makes about 20 cookies
1 cup + 2 TBS unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
4 oz. cream cheese, cut into 4 pieces, at room temperature
1/2 cup (= 1 stick) unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 TBS sour cream
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup dried tart cherries
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/3 cup cherry jam
1. Preheat oven to 350F with a rack in the middle position. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease lightly.
2. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder. Add the cream cheese and butter and mix on medium speed until medium-ish clumps of dough form, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Mix in the sour cream and the vanilla until just combined.
3. With a rubber spatula, stir in the dried cherries and walnuts. Fold in the cherry jam (don’t stir it in completely; you still want some streaks of jam in the dough).
4. Scoop the dough out by heading tablespoonfuls, placing about 1 to 1-1/2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. Bake cookies for about 15 minutes, until light golden and dry on top. Let cookies cool on pan for about 7 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Cookies can be stored in an air tight container at room temperature for about 3 days.
Recipe adapted from Big Fat Cookies by Elinor Klivans
Make sure to check out the recipes for the cookies we received too! Thanks for reading, happy baking, and bake with love! (All the taglines in one there.)