Hello handful of readers out there in the Internet universe. Sorry for the hiatus, as the first of December was my birthday (one year older, one year sadder) and then I had to make an emergency trip out to Boston. Boyfriend's mother passed away and we flew out immediately so he could be with family. After spending a week there, we arrived back in Los Angeles this past Saturday morning. While he has not returned to work yet, I started up again today ... and got a traffic ticket while driving to work. Needless to say, it's been a trying week.
However, I shall not shirk my duty in participating in my first ever #FBCookieSwap! Hosted by Lindsay at Love & Olive Oil and Julie at The Little Kitchen, it was a great virtual networking event with mouthwatering rewards. A ton of bloggers sign up, and are randomly matched by Lindsay and Julie. After receiving my matches, I send out a dozen cookies to each blogger. In return, I receive three one-dozen sets of cookies in the mail from other bloggers.
It's been really fun getting boxes in the mail, and not knowing what cookie deliciousness would be waiting within it. For my recipe, I fell back upon a recipe that I remember making when I was in high school and was just learning and experimenting with baking. I don't even remember where the recipe came from, but I remember it was a white paperback book with a picture of a chocolate chip cookie on the front. Specific huh?
I had copied the recipe onto a book of index cards ...
melted butter and molasses
rolling cookie dough balls in sugar
prepping to be baked
cookies baked soft and chewy
my individually packaged boxes
I received the following lovely bloggers to send a dozen cookies each out to:
Carroll Mohler (Vanilla Lemonade / twitter handle @CarrollVMohler)
Amanda Saad (an organic process / twitter handle @loveandnachos)
Madison Ginnett (Dessert Pocket / twitter handle @dessertpocket)
Cookies were rolled and baked while the winds raged outside. I live in the San Gabriel Valley and the winds were screechng at 80 miles per hour. The overhead fan on the stove was spinning of its own accord; it was super creepy. I'm glad the cookies came out nicely! And I cushioned the hell out of the packages with parchment paper too; when I received Susie's cookies, they came to me in a hundred pieces ... albeit a hundred delicious pieces.
Molasses Spice Cookies
makes about 2 dozen cookies
1.5 sticks unsalted butter, cut into large pieces
1/4 cup dark unsulphered molasses
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
In a medium saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Remove from heat and stir in molasses and vanilla. In a medium bowl, sift flour with 1 cup sugar, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt. Whisk to combine.
Add beaten egg to cooled butter mixture and mix well with fork. Using a rubber spatula, fold flour mixture into butter mixture. Cover saucepan and refrigerate until firm enough to form balls, about 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 375F.
Put remaning 1/3 cup sugar into a small bowl. Scoop out walnut size pieces of dough and roll into 1 inch balls (I used a small ice cream scoop for uniform cookies). Toss dough balls in sugar to coat and place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Leave out for 15 minutes to let the dough defrost a bit.
Bake 12-15 minutes or until centers are no longer raw. This is approximately 12 minutes for soft and chewy cookies, or 15 minutes for crisp cookies. Cool on cookies for 5 minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely. Store in airtight containers.
And of course, I received three dozen cookies in the mail as well! They were all varied and delicious. Boyfriend and I enjoyed them immensely with cups of tea and coffee. I can't wait to find the recipes for them so I can make them myself at home!
Monster Cookies from "Susie" (twitter handle @M_Olson1)
Brown Butter Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies (!!!) from Christina (twitter handle @SwtLvndrBkeShpe)
Caramel Lace Cookies from Kate (twitter handle @KateSnapp)
Loved the idea of this! My friends were a bit apprehensive in the beginning ... "You mean total strangers are going to send you cookies? What if they're poisoned or you get salmonella?" ... but no worries, I ALWAYS made Boyfriend eat a cookie before me. And I waited five minutes too, just to make sure he wasn't keeling over or vomiting or foaming at the mouth. I know, I'm the best.
This was a great experience, and it's great to see the foodblogging coming together like this. I'm glad I was able to participate in the first ever Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap and totally look forward to participating every year. If you want to participate next year also, you can sign up here. Join in, maybe we will end up sending cookies to each other in 2012!