The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap!
What an amazing weekend! They seem to keep piling up one after the other, which is never a bad thing. I have plenty to recap later on as usual, but for now please head over to the amazing Bethany’s blog, More Fruit Please, to check out her post on the brunch she hosted and so kindly invited me to yesterday. It was just beyond amazing! I can’t wait to share my post on it.
NOTE: This post features a recipe I used in a post last week, but has many new photos, so you may want to tune in!
It’s time for another cookie swap – the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap to be exact! Unlike last week’s Virtual Cookie Swap, this one involved the actual exchange of the cookies with other bloggers. Each participant baked three dozen of one cookie, and sent one dozen each to three other bloggers. Love that concept – spreading the love to more bloggers, and I get three different cookies in my mailbox!
This swap was organized by Julie of The Little Kitchen and Lindsay of Love and Olive Oil (can I just say that I’m in LOVE with that name). They did such a great job keeping participants updated regularly via email, creating a Facebook page, and spreading the word about the #fbcookieswap hashtag.
Since the Virtual Cookie Swap did not involve sending any physical cookies, I used the same recipe that I did for that swap, from Luisa of The Wednesday Chef. Only now, bloggers were actually going to get to taste my baking! Remember, this recipe is Luisa’s property, not mine, so please visit her blog to check it out! I simply doubled all the ingredients to ensure that I would have enough cookies to send out – and taste test.
First, I mixed my brown sugar, butter (the real stuff!), eggs, and vanilla extract in a big bowl. I’m sure you could use imitation vanilla extract, but I didn’t realize that at the grocery store (my mom informed me later) so just like the butter, the vanilla extract was the real stuff. I did not use the almond extract that the recipe calls for because I couldn’t find it at the store!
…and then slowly combined the dry mixture, little by little, into the wet ingredients.
Third, I broke a bunch of Whole Foods dark chocolate squares into chunks by hand.
I liked the idea of using dark chocolate instead of semisweet, and chunks instead of chips, because I think this made for a heartier cookie!
Fourth, I lined the cookies up on some special silver cookie baking trays we have. Only one tray could go in the oven at a time (top rack only), so while one tray was baking, I worked on prepping the next tray. Thank goodness we had multiples!
Fifth, it’s bake time! Instead of baking the cookies for 6 minutes, flipping the pan, and then cooking for another 6 minutes, I did 5 minutes. Every oven is different! Always check on baked goods before the time on the box/recipe is up, just in case.
Sixth, I removed them from the trays fairly soon after taking them out of the oven – otherwise the trays continue to cook the cookies, and they get too hard. Another Mom-tip!
I packaged the cookies by putting each dozen in a holiday-themed plastic bag, and then putting the bag in a cookie tin!
I also wrote each blogger a note to send off with my cookies, letting them know they could find the recipe at The Wednesday Chef.
I sent my cookies to Sarah of Both Sides Now, Talida of Talida Bakes, and Susan of Happy Hippie. Another pro of this swap, aside from the obvious receipt of COOKIES, is learning about blogs I otherwise might never have found!
Soon I will be posting about the three different cookies I received, so be on the lookout for that! Thanks to Julie and Lindsay for doing such a wonderful job on this!