When news spread of The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap last month, I was excited. It’s not too often that you get to actually *taste* the product of another bloggers posts! But here we were, with a chance to receive 3 dozen cookies–1 dozen each from 3 different bloggers–in exchange for sending out 3 dozen as well. I signed up almost immediately for the honor of participating in this inaugural event.
This has to be the biggest, best cookie exchange ever! Over 600 participants sent 3 dozen cookies each across the world–what a massive mission of holiday sweetness! How can you not smile just thinking about it?
The pure awesomeness of this exchange also caused some trepidation. What if my matches hated what I sent them? What if my cookies crumbled in transit? Worse yet, what if they disappeared altogether, never reaching their final destination? I forged ahead regardless, knowing that the opportunity was too great to give in to silly what-ifs.
On November 19th, Lindsay of Love and Olive Oil informed us who our cookie buddies would be. In the manner of Secret Santa, we were given the names and addresses of those to whom we were to send our packages, but those shipping to us remained anonymous. Not knowing from whence our cookies would come increased the anticipation exponentially!
The deadline to ship fell one week ago, and cookies started arriving in dribs and drabs. Following the hashtag#fbcookieswap, one could see the excitement spread as the cookies appeared and identities were revealed. I was overjoyed when my first little bit of love arrived: molasses cookies from Kelly of sallaboutme.wordpress.com. Wonderfully delicious little morsels–and one of my favorites!
Then came the next box: sugar cookies from Leah at The Primrose Bird. Not just sugar cookies, but 2 adorable tree-shaped cookie cutters as well. What a thoughtful addition to her cookie swap contribution! The kids ate the cookies before I could get a good picture of them. The best I managed was a lousy cell phone capture.
What was even better than receiving was seeing my matches post when their cookies arrived. Like I said, I was really nervous. What if they absolutely hated what I sent? I wanted a unique recipe and that’s what I went with: Dark and White Chocolate Chunk Cookies with Ginger. Would they be well-received?
Luckily, I had nothing to worry about. Whether it was Cassie at Bake Your Day, Paula at bell’alimento, or Pam at From Apples to Zucchini, all of them were generous with their praise. Yay! I couldn’t have been happier!
Now you, too, can bake the cookies I shared for The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap and enjoy them in your own home! I came across the recipe in a cookbook I recently picked up, Bon Appétit Desserts: The Cookbook forAll Things Sweet and Wonderful. This hefty volume boasts a huge collection of delicious sweets accompanied by gorgeous photography. It’s truly a treasure-trove for the home baker! This recipe in particular caught my eye when I browsed through the book in the store and I knew I had to have it.
You don’t often hear of chocolate and candied ginger coming together in cookies, but it should be done more often. The depth of flavor is astounding. I did choose to use high quality white chocolate chips instead of chopping bars of white chocolate, mostly to save time. If you do not have access to white chocolate chips that have cocoa butter in them–the mark of an authentic white chocolate product–you’re better off buying white chocolate bars and using those instead. Don’t skimp here–it’s not worth it!
If you’re interested in participating in The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap next year, go here to subscribe to the list. You’ll be notified when it’s time to sign up again. I know one thing for certain: this won’t be my last cookie swap!
- 5⅓ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided (I used Guittard)
- ½ cup (8 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, chopped
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
- 2 vanilla beans, scraped
- 1½ cups self-rising flour
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¾ cup chopped crystallized ginger
- 7 ounces white chocolate chips (good quality--cheap ones don't have cocoa butter--I used Guittard)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large, microwavable mixing bowl, heat 4 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips with the butter at 50% power in 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until melted. (It took about 3 minutes total in my microwave.)
- Once melted, set aside for 10 minutes.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat eggs and brown sugar until well mixed.
- Beat in the melted chocolate/butter and vanilla bean seeds.
- Add the flour and sea salt, mixing until just incorporated.
- Remove bowl from mixer and stir in ginger and remaining 1⅓ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, then let sit for 10 minutes.
- Using a small cookie scoop, portion out the dough onto the cookie sheets, spacing 1½-2 inches apart.
- Press 4-6 white chocolate chips into each scoop of dough.
- Bake for about 12 minutes, or until cookies are puffed up and slightly dry.
- Leave on cookie sheet for 4 minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool completely.