Well we are just swapping cookies all the over the place, aren’t we? We were so excited to be able to participate in the 2nd annual Great Food Blogger Cookies Swap! There is absolutely nothing better than a surprise package of cookies waiting for you when you get home at the end of the day!
I (Hannah) received some gorgeously decorated butter cookies from Rachel at La Pêche Fraîche; the softest, chewiest Pumpkin-filled Gingersnap cookies from The Ginger Foodie; and super elegant Earl Grey Almond Chocolate Chip cookies from Nina and Leila. Thank you so much!
This year, I decided to actually make a recipe from my Epicurious recipe box. There are, oh, 270 recipes in there, and I have now made a grand total of…3. Maybe. I can’t accomplish all my dreams at once you guys, gotta leave something for next week. I picked Pistacho and Cranberry Mexican Wedding Cakes, because who doesn’t love things covered in powdered sugar?!?! They were tender, perfectly sweet, and so pretty for the holidays! I sent them to Lauren at Sizzle Eats, Sara at Modern Alice, and Brooke at Baking with Basil. I hope they enjoyed them as much as I did!
Pistachio and Cranberry Mexican Wedding Cakes
Makes about 40 cookies (the epicurious page says 80…don’t believe that for a SECOND)
2 cups (= 4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar, plus at least 3 cups for coating
2 TBS vanilla extract (use the good stuff here!)
1 tsp salt
1 cup shelled, unsalted pistachios, toasted and chopped
1 cup dried cranberries
3 1/3 cups sifted cake flour
1 2/3 cups sifted unbleached all-purpose flour
1. Preheat the oven to 350F with racks in the upper middle and lower middle positions. Line 2 or 3 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
2. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter and 1 cup powdered sugar on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and beat in the vanilla and the salt.
3. With a rubber spatula, stir in the cranberries and pistachios. Gradually add both flours and stir gently until just incorporated (don’t overmix).
4. Using a medium cookie scoop or a spoon, scoop out balls of dough that are about 1 1/2 TBS each. You can shape them into ovals with your hands (I didn’t), or just leave them in little round balls like I did. Place dough balls 1 inch apart on lined baking sheets.
5. Bake for 14-16 minutes (switching pan positions halfway through if using 2 sheets at a time), or until the bottoms of the cookies JUST begin to color. The tops will still be pale, but don’t worry! Let cookies cool on cookie sheets for 10 minutes.
6. In the meantime, place 3+ cups of powdered sugar in a large bowl. Once the cookies have cooled for 10 minutes (they should still be warm), carefully toss cookies in the powdered sugar to coat. Place on a cooling rack or sheets of wax paper. Once all cookies are coated once, do it again! Layer on that powdered sugar people. Allow cookies to cool completely before covering. Cookies will keep in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Recipe adapted from Epicurious
Now it’s Kate’s turn! We’re good at a lot of things, but transitions and integrating things is not one of them…
Can I just say I LOVE the FB Cookie Swap?! So fun! So far I’ve received delicious and chewy and amazing Orange, Honey, Ginger cookies from Linda at The Orange Bee and ridiculously yummy Triple Chocolate Crackle Cookies from Carla from Carla’s Confections. Still waiting for my third dozen to arrive. But if they’re anything like the first two I received, they’re gonna be AWESOME.
I sent my cookies to the lovely ladies of A Kitchen Addiction, Bailey Bakes, and Fridgg. Their blogs are totally awesome, and if I didn’t have a final today, I would totally gush about all the cool things I love about them. But… I have my employment law final in a few hours… So please don’t hold it against me, ladies!
I used Hannah’s trusty chocolate cookie recipe and tweaked it to make some chewy, delish cookies full of candy.
Halloween Candy Cookies
Makes about 4 dozen cookies
4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 sticks unsalted butter, melted and cooled until warm
2 cups light or dark brown sugar, packed
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs + 2 egg yolks
4 tsp vanilla extract
2- 2 1/2 cups chopped candy (I used Milky Ways, Snickers, Reese’s, Three Musketeers, and Midnight Milky Ways)
1. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
2. Mix the butter and both sugars until thoroughly blended. Beat in the eggs, yolks, and vanilla until combined. Add the dry ingredients and mix at low speed just until combined. Stir in your candy pieces. I found it was easier to do this a bit at a time rather than dumping all the candy in at once. Otherwise it can be challenging to evenly distribute the candy throughout the dough. Cover the bowl and chill, at least 30 minutes but up to a few hours.
3. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 325ºF.
4. For large cookies, scoop out 1/4 cup of dough. Pull the dough ball into 2 equal halves. Rotate the halves 90 degrees and, with jagged surfaces facing up, join the halves together at the base, forming a single ball. Be careful not to smooth out the top though! This is key to getting that non-smooth, bakery-looking surface on the cookies. (I don’t think that I was very good at doing this…) Place the cookies about 2.5″ apart on the baking sheets. There’s a lot of butter in there, so they will spread.
5. Bake cookies until they’re light golden brown and the outer edges begin to set, but the middles are still soft and puffy, about 14-17 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through. Seriously. They’re done even if they look a little undercooked in the middle. Overbaked cookies are sad cookies. Take them out!Let the cookies finish cooling (and baking) on the baking sheets. Remove the cookies with a wide metal spatula.
Recipe adapted from Baking Illustrated
Check back on Friday, when we’ll post the link to a roundup of ALL the cookie recipes from the whole swap!