And just like that, the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2013 is here. Or the fbcookieswap as you may have seen EVERYWHERE on the interwebs the last few weeks!
Can I just say, for the record...I love doing this swap! And, it scares the poo out of me every single year. Every year. From about January till October I can't wait for it to roll around. I sign up, I sit patiently and wait for the emails with what to do to come rolling in, I brainstorm cookie ideas, and I keep my eyes peeled for fun packaging ideas. Then once that first email hits my inbox saying I've officially been accepted, the sweat starts pouring down. "What if my cookies suck?" "What if I can't find the perfect packaging to make them as cute as can be??" "How will I find time to bake, photograph, edit, and write a post with the 3,000,000 other things I'm doing?" And on and on.
But alas, like EVERY SINGLE year...I do it and have fun to boot! I don't know what my problem is. True, stress central hits me the day of baking/photographing/shipping, but honestly once my packages are on their way around the country, I sigh with relief and sit back anxiously waiting for my cookies to come to our doorstep! This is the best part of the swap: cookies come to you!
This year cookies started arriving at our doorstep the day after Thanksgiving. Hahahaha. Oh boy. Just what we needed! More sweets! ;)
That's not the only reason we food bloggers do this swap though. We're actually helping an amazing cause! Every year, our little "entry fee" to get into the swap goes towards Cookies for Kids Cancer! Awesome sauce right?? This year the Food Blogger Cookie Swap raised a whopping $13,778! I mean, that's just incredible! Plus, each year, big companies join us as well and help support the cause. This year we were helped by companies like OXO, Dixie Crystals, Gold Medal Flour, and Grandma's Molasses! This also meant that we swappers got fun little presents in the mail from those companies as well, hehe. ;) Score!
Basically, the cookie swap is a win win if you ask me.
If you've been following SLBS for a while, you know that with the cookie swap I've been sticking to a main theme: every year I take a classic cookie and vamp it up. Give it a little makeover. Year one I took the good 'ol chocolate chip and made these! Then, year two I took the classic sugar cookie and did this to them. Basic becomes unbasic ;)
This year, my inspiration came unexpectedly, haha. While my husband and I were sitting around a coffee shop waiting for our coffees, I started flipping through a neat cookbook they had on a shelf to buy. I maybe flipped through three pages before stumbling upon this little gem: Chocolate Snickerdoodle cookies. Did you hear me? Chocolate. So back over the summer I screen shot that recipe and said to myself, "I must make". I love Snickerdoodles! They're chewy, sugary, and covered with cinnamon! Yum!
That picture sat on my phone for months! MONTHS! Side note: Is that illegal? Screenshotting recipes from a book because 1. You don't know if the recipes are any good so you want to "try em out first" and 2. You're too cheap to just buy the actual book, regardless? Gosh I sure hope not!
Well the cat's out of the bag now. It's what I did. Don't call the cookbook police on me!
I almost lost the picture a number of times over the course of the last 5 or so months and twice I couldn't remember what book I grabbed the shot from. Ay y y. Oh me.
I'm kind of digging the whole chocolate addition to the Snickerdoodle! I loved how these cookies were light in chocolate flavor, because it didn't take away from the cinnamon sugar aspect (which all snickerdoodle lovers are all about). Plus the texture is killer! Slightly chewy and moist on the inside, but crispy and crunchy on the outside because of the cooked sugar coating.
The only change I made was the amount of cinnamon in the Cinnamon Sugar used. I was nervous the spice would fall away compared to the chocolate, so I upped the amount used. Otherwise, the recipe is exactly as printed! It's a super duper yummy cookie!
Makes approximately 2 dozen cookies
For printable recipe, click here.
- 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted room temperature butter
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Cinnamon Sugar:
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1. Preheat oven to 400°F and line two sheet pans with parchment or silpats. If using parchment paper, please be careful of bottoms of cookies burning.
2. First make cinnamon sugar: In a baking dish, mix together sugar and cinnamon till completely combined. Set aside.
3. In a bowl of an electric mixer, beat together your butter and sugar until fluffy and white- about 2 minutes on medium speed. Add your eggs one at a time, stopping mixer and scraping down sides and bottom of bowl after each addition. Add your vanilla extract and mix again.
4. In another bowl, whisk together your flour, sifted cocoa, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt.
5. With mixer on low speed, add your dry ingredients into your butter mixture and mix until just combined.
6. With a 1 1/2" ice cream scoop or tablespoon, scoop out balls of dough and roll into your cinnamon sugar mixture. I used a fork to turn balls in the cinnamon sugar. Make sure all sides of dough balls are coated.
7. Place balls of dough on your baking sheet, spacing about 1 1/2" apart. Gently press down each ball so that it's flat.
8. Bake 10-12 minutes at 400°F in the center of your oven. Again, please watch bottoms of cookies if baking on parchment paper. Cookies are done with they are slightly browned along bottom and sides, cracked on top and slightly set in center.
9. Allow to cool 10 minutes on pan and then cool completely on a wire rack.
*Cookies will last up to 5 days at room temperature, if stored in an air tight container.
*Save the leftover cinnamon sugar in a little glass jar and sprinkle on toast or what have you!
Recipe from Piece of Cake: Home Baking Made Simple by David Muniz
Slightly chewy middle with a crispy crunchy top, moist, and swirled with subtle soft chocolate and cinnamon flavors. MmMmm! Look at the cinnamon sugar coating! Gaaaaw!
My husband and I ate about 5 that day...good thing I had packaged up my swapping cookies early! Speaking of "packaging"... Here's what I did this year:
I really LOVED the way last year's packaging worked, so I went with the same sort of thing. It was easy, elegant, but sure to keep my cookies fresh while they traveled around the country!
Martha Stewart made little candy package sets, so I grabbed a few when they were on sale last year at my local craft store! They included little pink boxes, polka dot cellophane bags, ribbon, gift tags, and stickers! Score! Not to mention, when using the 1 1/2" ice cream scoop, my cookies came out fitting into these boxes perfectly. Awesome-sauce.
The only thing was each bag was a little low, so I could only fit 6 cookies per box. No problem! Each recipient got two boxes, equalling a dozen cookies total.
Once my cookies were completely (and I do mean completely) cooled, I fit them into their baggies, TIGHTLY wound each with pink ribbon, taped the bottoms to my boxes, and fit their little gift tags on top. Adorable, right?? I wanted my recipients to know who was giving them their cookies, so I went one step further and printed up my little red mixer logo on some sticker paper and adhered onto the front of each bag.
Each box was generously packed with bubble wrap and tissue, and included two packages of cookies, a recipe card of the cookies, and a business card of mine :) I wanted to make sure they could find me as easily as possible!
I found these printable recipe cards from Love VS Design and JUST LOVE THEM! Super vintage-ie (totally a word) as well as practical and cute to boot! I just uploaded the file to Photoshop and found a fun text to fill in all the required information. So fun!
And as usual, all my cookies were packaged in USPS Priority Mail boxes and shipped Priority Mail for fastest delivery possible :) I wanted to make sure my recipients got their cookies asap!
Speaking of recipients! The bloggers I shipped to were:
- Shortbread cookies from Elizabeth, of Leave a Happy Plate
- Ginger Explosion cookies from Alice, of A Mama, Baby & Shar-pei in the Kitchen
- Cinnamon Roll cookies from Heather, of Join us, Pull up a Chair
Fun right? Super fun. If you're a food blogger and interested in joining next year, you can totally do so here!
Also, interested in seeing what other bloggers made for their cookies? There will be a link up next week! Stay tuned! We allllll linked up so you'll be sure to find some amazing cookie inspiration!
And lastly, EEEEEEEEEEEP! I just have to share with you all! I am just so excited and honored to be featured in the current issue of Holiday Issue of FoodieCrush Magazine! Humbled. Check it out!! I'm in a friggin magazine! Eeeek!