The idea of the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap was the same, but the twist was to send one dozen cookies to three random bloggers and receive three packages from bloggers in return. Oh, modern technology. Now enthusiastic foodies like myself can not only bake for friends and family, but for other food bloggers all over North America! More than 600 bloggers from Canada and the United States participated in the swap and more than 22, 000 cookies were shipped. How cool is that?
I loved sending a holiday treat in the mail and being a part of something really neat for the food blogging community. All I seem to get in the mail usually is bills and ads, so for the last week or so I have loved checking my mailbox for cookie packages. The cookie swap was organized by Julie of The Little Kitchen and Lindsay of Love and Olive Oil. They sent out our three matches and it was up to us to mail cookies by December 5 and post our recipe by December 12 (complete rules here).
The other challenging part was deciding what kind of cookie to make. The rules stated we had to make one kind of cookie, it had to be homemade and couldn't be something we've blogged about before. I scoured many cookie recipes for inspiration, as I wanted my cookie to be neat and memorable (if I was going to pay to ship them somewhere and foodies can have quite high standards you know...). I found the recipe for these sugar spiral cookies originally on Pinterest and thought they incorporated holiday colours well, plus you really can't go wrong with a good old sugar cookie.
Spiral Sugar Cookies (adapted from this and this recipe)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup icing sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 cup butter (room temperature)
1 tsp vanilla
Food colouring (about a tsp, but depends on the colouring you want to achieve)
1 cup sprinkles
Combine flour, baking powder, salt and sugars and mix together. Add in butter and continue mixing. Add in vanilla extract. Divide the dough into two equal parts and place in two separate bowls.
Mix red or green food colouring into one of the bowls (I made one batch of green and two batches of red). Roll out both balls of dough about 1/4 inch thick onto parchment paper. Refrigerate for about an hour.
Brush white dough lightly with water using a pastry brush. Place the coloured dough on top of the white dough and trim the edges.
Lightly roll the dough and pinch the edges together.
Pour sprinkles onto a plate and roll the rolled dough in the sprinkles until covered. Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.
Slice the dough and place the cookies on a lined cookie sheet.
Bake for 15 minutes at 325 F (my test batch browned a little too much at 350 F, but it depends on your oven).
Ship your cookies off to three wonderful food bloggers.
I would like to thank Eri from It all tastes Greek to me (Toronto, Ontario) for her Santorini-inspired spice cookies:
And Sarah from West Wellington Veggie (Ottawa, Ontario) for her Oatmeal Chocolate Cookies:
These cinnamon stars from Heather of New House, New Home, New Life (Tillsonburg, Ontario) were beautifully wrapped and tasted amazing as well:
I will definitely be participating in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap next year. If there was a downside, I would have to say it is having so many delicious cookies lying around the house. I'm one of those people who enjoys giving rather than receiving. I loved making my cookies, but the hardest part is trying to pace myself in eating the three dozen cookies I received. (Sign up for notifications of next year's swap here)
Now I have to bake another three dozen cookies for another cookie exchange next week. Tis the season.