Monday, December 13, 2010

International Blogger Holiday Cookie Recipe Exchange

( it is too early to leave these for Santa, but it sure is a nice idea! )

What foodie doesn’t love a good cookie swap? But how do you do that amongst food bloggers all over the world? You swap recipes and ask each blogger to post their experience with another participants recipe. When I first saw this I immediately thought “that has to be the coolest idea I have seen in some time.” I threw my cookie chops in and a few weeks later received an e-mail from Joanne from Eat’s Well With Others with the recipe for Maple Brown Sugar Cookies.

Maple Brown Sugar Cookies
Makes 24, adapted from Indulgence Cookies

1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1 cup soft brown sugar
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 egg yolk
2 cups AP flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cardamom

1. Preheat the oven to 350. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

2. Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Add the maple syrup and egg yolk, beating until just combined.
Sift in the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and cardamom. Stir with a wooden spoon to form a soft dough.

3. Shape the dough into a flat disk, cover with plastic wrap and put in the freezer for 20-30 minutes or in the refrigerator for at least an hour. (The book tells you to put it in the fridge for 20 minutes. And let me tell you, this was nowhere near enough time. Basically just refrigerate until chilled and slightly hard.)

4. Roll out the dough between two pieces of parchment paper until it is 1/4 inch thick. Cut the dough into 2-inch round cookie cutters. Or if your dough is too soft to do any such thing because you are impatient and refuse to wait until it is cold to work with it. (Not that I would know anything about that.) Roll it into balls and then flatten them slightly with your palm. Place on the prepared sheets 1 1/2 inches apart and bake for 8 minutes or until lightly golden. Allow to cool on the sheets for a minute and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat until all the dough is used up.

Cookies and I are no strangers and this time of year I always make some and I try to make new and different kinds for a little holiday fun. Last week I posted about making cookies with my Mom, something she and I had done quite a bit since I got interested in cooking. I can recall marathon cookie-making days in preparation for swaps that had so many participants we had to bring boxes to cart our haul home. We would end up with so many cookies I swear we could have fed an invading army!

These cookies are spicy, but the cardomom offers a twist that makes them much less like a Snickerdoodle than you might think. The rooty, earthy flavors from the maple syrup makes a New Englander real happy.

For a second serving of the cookies I went with a twist, ice cream sandwiches! I used pairs of the cookies, vanilla ice cream and Demerara sugar to create a treat for a holiday dinner with friends. The sugar was dusted over the edges of sandwiches before letting them rest in the freezer for 20 minutes before serving.

Another holiday season and another successful cookie swap. Lori from Fake Food Free (the organizer of the exchange) was my recipe recipient and posted the story I shared and her experience with my Mom’s recipe for Russian Teacakes last week. I read the post to my Mom while I was down for a visit. She laughed when I said that her recipe and story were making her famous on the Internet. I could tell she was happy and that made the experience complete.

I hope you are taking some time to enjoy holiday foods this year. If you try something new and would like to spread the word, let me know. I’m always up for trying new holiday treats!




Joanne said...

These look great Jason! I'm so glad you enjoyed them.

Now I'm going to have to see about those Russian teacakes. There can never be too many cookie recipes in my life, after all.

Casey Angelova said...

I am all about the holiday cookies! How did I miss out on such a tasty international event?

Joy said...

Hmmmm ice cream sandwich. That looks so good.

Rosy said...

The cookies looked delicious enough but then to make them into ice cream sandwiches was pure genius!

Evan @swEEts said...

I just love the flavors in this cookie! They sound delicious.. I wish I would have found out about this cookie exchange earlier!

Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite said...

OMG I am in love with the ice cream sandwich idea!!!

Magic of Spice said...

Great cookie recipe and the ice cream sandwiches are amazing! How fun for your mom :)

Lori said...

Thanks so much for participating in the exchange! I'm glad your mom was pleased with my post. :) These cookies look great and I agree, the ice cream sandwich idea is awesome!

The Food Hunter said...

What a great idea...delicious cookies and ice cream. Yum!