The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap is like a food blogger’s “Secret Santa” except instead of getting each other gifts, we give each other cookies. Cookies are like gifts, except way more delicious. Each participant bakes
323428 3 dozen cookies, and then sends one dozen to each of three other food bloggers.
There is a small $4.00 donation to a great cause, plus we all got this awesome oxo cookie spatula. How cute!? This year our donations went to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer which raises money for pediatric cancer research, you can even host your own CFKC bake sale! But you don’t have to be a baker to donate. You can donate right now by clicking that link. :) It is the holiday season after all, aren’t you feeling charitable?
Once our cookies are in the mail, we anxiously await the arrival of our own cookie surprises. This year I received delectable soft pumpkin chocolate chip cookies from Elyse at The Cultural Dish , chai snickerdoodles from Leslie at My Kitchen Is Open, chocolate espresso cookies from Jessa at Heed the Feed … and I even got bonus cookies from Shannon at A Periodic Table who sent me her cookie “leftovers” because she’s the sweetest person in the whole world.
Though it was a lot of fun to participate, and I’m totally going to do it next year (and you should, too!), it was probably the most stressful thing ever. I needed to find the perfect cookie. I’m pretty sure I did. After piles and piles of “cookie research”, I settled on one of my all time favorite cookies, aptly named World Peace Cookies. These cookies have a crisp exterior and a chewy center. They are deeply chocolatey with bit of sea salt to give them that salty-sweet combination that makes them so dangerously addictive.
Oh, and they’re crazy easy to make. Except for the slicing part. That part will make you want to rip your hair out, but it’s worth it, because even your most grotesque piles of cookie mush will taste just as good as the perfectly-shaped ones.
If you or someone you know is interested in next year’s cookie swap, you can sign up here for notifications once info is available. It may seem really far in advance right now, but trust me, we all know how quickly these holidays sneak up on us. You can also like The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap on Facebook.
World Peace Cookies
[ Printable Recipe ]
- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/3 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 11 tablespoons (1 stick plus 3 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2/3 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips (or 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped)
Making the dough
1. Sift flour, cocoa, and baking soda into medium bowl.
2. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until smooth but not fluffy. Add both sugars, vanilla, and sea salt and continue beating until fluffy, about 2 minutes.
3. Add flour mixture all at once and cover the mixer with a tea towel (this is to prevent cocoa powder/flour dust from coating your kitchen. You’ll be happy you did this, trust me.) Pulse the mixer at low speed about 5 times for a couple seconds each time. If there is still a lot of flour on the surface, pulse a few more times.
4. Once you have successfully averted flour disaster, go ahead and continue to mix low speed for about 30 seconds more until just blended (the mixture
may will still be crumbly – I definitely should have taken a picture of this part). Add in chocolate chips and mix just until incorporated. You want to try to mix the dough as little as possible.
5. Turn the dough out onto a work surface (I usually dump it right onto a large piece of plastic wrap). Gather the dough together an divide it in half (I transfer the other half to another piece of plastic wrap).
6. Press and roll each half of the dough until you have two logs that are 1 1/2-inches in diameter. It is helpful if you use the plastic wrap to help press the dough into a log, then you can use that same plastic wrap to tightly wrap each log. Place dough logs in the refrigerator to chill at least 3 hours or up to 3 days.*
*Alternatively, you can freeze the dough for up to two months. Bake straight from frozen, just add an extra 1 minute.
Baking the cookies
1. When ready to bake, place rack in the middle of the oven and preheat oven to 325°F
2. Slice logs into 1/2-inch thick rounds and place on parchment-lined baking sheet. There will be crumbles, just gently smoosh the crumbs back into the cookie discs.
3. Bake cookies for 12 minutes (13 minutes for frozen), remove from oven and cool on baking sheet. They won’t look markedly different, they will be more like slightly poofier versions of the discs that you put in the oven a mere 12 minutes ago.
[ Adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours ]