Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2013

Well, it's that time of year again when everyone is crazy for cookies! Being a self-proclaimed cookie monster, it's definitely one of my favorite parts of the holidays.

For the past three years, I've participated in The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap and each year it gets better and better!

It goes like this: Food bloggers from all over the country make three dozen cookies, shipping one dozen to three bloggers and then they get a dozen cookies in return. Send 3 dozen, get 3 dozen - simple and so much fun!

Each blogger pays a small fee to participate and all that money is donated to Cookies for Kids Cancer. It's a great charity and it makes me so happy to do something good in addition to having fun swapping cookies. This year we raised $13,778.40!!! Even if you aren't a baker or a blogger, you can donate here.

This year, the generous folks at OXO and Imperial Sugar not only are matching our donations, they also sent us some goodies for participating. Thank you!

Having learned from the past years experiences, I knew I wanted a cookie that was tough enough to hold up to shipping, could be packaged easily, and wouldn't be stale by the time they arrived.

I used this recipe for inspiration and thought it would be perfect - being Italian we eat of TON of biscotti plus I love a bit of citrus on the cookie plate.


Limoncello Biscotti


For the Cookies
  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 1/2 t. baking powder
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  • 3 T unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1 t. pure vanilla extract
  • 2 T lemon juice
  • 2 T lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup limoncello
For the Glaze
  • 1/3 cup white chocolate chips
  • 4 T limoncello
  • sprinkles or 1/4 cup finely chopped almonds
Instructions
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with Silpat mat and set aside. If you don't have a Silpat, you can use parchment paper instead.
  • In small bowl, combine all dry ingredients except almonds. Set aside.
  • Cream together the egg and sugar at medium speed. Add the melted butter and beat for a minute. Add in the limoncello, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla. Beat until well combined.
  • With the mixer running, gradually add dry ingredients until combined. The mixture will be sticky but if too sticky to work with, add additional flour, 2 T at a time until it's able to be touched without sticking all over your hands. Add slivered almonds and stir until evenly distributed. Chill for 30 minutes to improve workability of dough.
  • Turn the chilled dough onto a flat surface and press together to form a long rectangle approx. 12-14 inches long and 1/2 inch thick (I did this right on my Silpat.) You may need to add some additional flour if the dough is sticky. Rinse your hands in cool water, leave them damp and smooth the log.
  • Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the edges turn lightly brown.
  • Remove from the oven and cool slightly, at least 10-15 minutes. Using a very sharp or serrated knife cut into 1/2 inch slices being careful not to saw back and forth.
  • Place the cookie slices, cut side up, on the baking sheet.
  • Return to oven and bake for another 20-25 minutes, or until lightly browned all over. Remove from the oven and allow to completely cool on racks.
  • Melt together the white chocolate and limoncello in a double-boiler adjusting the thickness of the drizzle by adding more limoncello for thinner or more white chocolate for thicker consistency.
  • Line up all the cookies close together and drizzle chocolate mixture over them. I also used a spatula and spread the drizzle on top for a thicker frosting like coating. Add sprinkles or chopped nuts, separate the cookies slightly and cool completely.
  • Store in container with tight fitting lid.
You can decorate these cookies with any kind of sprinkle, colored sugar or chopped nuts. 
I wrapped up the cookies in heavy duty foil tied with curling ribbon, then tucked the whole thing in a zippered bag. Hopefully they made it to their destination in one piece and fresh!

I received some FABULOUS cookies this year as always. I can't even tell you how excited I get when the mailman brings me cookies!! Cocoa Surprise Cookies, Soft Ginger Cookies and Nutella Chocolate Chip
Both of these were packaged great and held up really well in shipping.
These Nutella cookies totally rocked in spite of them being cookie crumbles by the time they arrived. I already have my jar of Nutella ready - can't wait to make this recipe!

Here's a list of all the participating bloggers and their recipes - so many that there are two lists: Part 1 and Part 2. (Mine are in Part 1) Enjoy!

If you are interested in signing up next year, you can register to receive info here.



5 comments:

  1. Wowza, this biscotti looks fabulous!

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  2. Thank you again for these festive treats! It's great to have the recipe. Happy holidays to you and your family.

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  3. Your cookies look great.So festive and pretty.

    This was my first year participating in the Cookie Swap; I made Soft-Baked Gingersnap Molasses Cookies, 3 ways. Had great fun and enjoyed getting exposed to so many other passionate food bloggers.

    Happy holidays!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I love soft molasses cookies - one of my favorites.

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  4. Your cookies look so festive and pretty.

    This was my first year participating in the Cookie Swap; I made Soft-Baked Gingersnap Molasses Cookies, 3 ways. Had great fun and enjoyed getting exposed to so many other passionate food bloggers.

    Happy holidays!

    ReplyDelete

Love to hear from you!