Saturday, December 3, 2011

Rudolph Noses for The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2011

I was so excited when I read about the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap! I am a total cookie monster and knew immediately that I wanted to be a part of this epic cookie extravaganza! Little did I know how HUGE it would become:

  • Over 22,000 cookies were shipped by 624 bloggers in the US, Canada, Australia, the UK, Agentina and the Czech Republic - that's a lotta cookies!
It was a little intimidating at first because I am not a typical food blogger. But I do bake a ton of cookies for the holidays so I was up for the challange. After I made the decision to join, I had to figure out what cookies to bake! I originally wanted to make my Grammie's pizzelles but was worried about shipping them (would they break?) and also was concerned about people liking anise. So I decided on another favorite that I make every year: Rudolph Noses.

They are based on an old recipe that I found on a corn flakes box.  I couldn't find my usual recipe when I went to make them for the cookie swap so I looked online. (I included a link to that recipe at the end of this post if you want to check it out too.) In my frantic search through my recipes, I found another version of the cookie from a Plain Dealer Sunday Magazine article from July 10, 2005.  It is called Dorothy Buckner's Cherry Winks. My tweaked version is a family favorite - they are delicious and are a festive addition to the cookie plate.

Rudolph Noses

1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped pitted dates 
    • *I never use the pre-chopped dates because they are coated in sugar and the pieces are too large.*
  • 1/3 cup drained maraschino cherries, finely chopped 
  • 2 cups pecan meal
    • *You can find pecan meal at Heinen's and other nicer grocery stores but I make my own by pulverizing pecans in my food processor.*
  • 15 maraschino cherries, drained and cut into quarters

  • Directions:

    1. In mixing bowl, sift together flours, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

    2. In large electric mixer bowl, beat margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs. Beat well. Stir in milk and vanilla. Add flour mixture. Mix well. Stir in dates and the finely chopped cherries. The dough will be very sticky.
    3. Shape dough into one inch size balls. Roll in almond meal. 

    Place on baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Top each cookie with cherry quarter. Flatten slightly with the floured bottom of a heavy glass.

    4. Bake at 350° F 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool for 2 minutes, then transfer to wire racks.

    You can drizzle the cookies with white chocolate if desired once cooled completely.

    Now that they were baked, I had to decide how to ship the cookies. Not only did I want them to be festively wrapped, I was worried about the cookies staying fresh, so I packed them in seasonal zipper storage bags before placing them in the boxes.
Because I knew my cookie swap matches were all out of state, I decided to pack an extra little treat - an Ohio shaped piece of chocolate from a wonderful chocolate shop in Granville, OH called Goumas.
To keep the boxes closed, I used an elastic cord decorated with a Christmas themed trinket.

Once they were shipped, my fingers were crossed that they wouldn't turn into crumbs during their journey west. I was so happy when I found out that my cookies arrived fresh and intact! 

And I was also extremely excited when I started receiving my cookies in the mail! A very cute tin arrived from Christina at 2 Hour Party cracked and dented but thankfully the cookies survived and were delicious! Her shortbread sandwich cookies were the prettiest cookies of the group and fabulous!

I received ginger cookies from Lauren at Jammin in the Kitchen - they were spicy and chewy - yum! Ginger and molasses cookies are always some of my favorites so I was really happy to receive these.

My last arrival was from Jamie at Kanga and Roux. Her oatmeal choco cran cookies were very tasty but there were only FOUR instead of the expected twelve. They were a larger cookie but not SO big that 4=12. Too bad because they were yummy and I love oatmeal cookies.

Thank you so much to my swap buddies! I loved all my cookies and can't wait to read your blogs. I hope you had as much fun as I did! And of course, a HUGE thank you to our organizers: Lindsay of Love and Olive Oil and Julie of The Little Kitchen- you both did a great job! I really appreciate all the work you did to ensure that the cookie swap was a huge success!

What a fun way to kick off the holiday season! It felt like Christmas every time I got a tasty package in the mail. I really enjoyed interacting with other bloggers from around the world. 

There's a Facebook page that you can visit to see what participants are saying about the swap.

On Thursday December 15th, Love and Olive Oil and The Little Kitchen will be posting a list of all the participating blogs. You will definitely want to check this out because you'll be able to get the recipes for ALL the cookies! 

And if you think the cookie swap sounds fun and want to participate next year, you can sign up to be notified by clicking this link.  They will put you on the mailing list so you'll be sure to find out in time to sign up. I know I'll be swapping again next year!

The original corn flake recipe can be found here

And here are the links for the recipe round up:
Part 1
Part 2


  1. This recipe looks crazy good! Pecans? Dates? Cherries? YES PLEASE! This cookie swap was sooo much fun, I can't wait until next year

  2. Seriously, participating in that cookie swap was probably the best idea ever. I LOVE getting cookies in the mail!!

  3. Rudolph Noses - love it! So the dates were that mysterious flavor I couldn't figure out :) Thank you so much! Do you mind if I steal the picture you took of my cookies, since I forgot to take one myself?

  4. Lauren - you are certainly able to use my pic of your cookies for you blog. : )

  5. Thanks Crystal! I appreciate it :)

  6. I love that you included an Ohio shaped piece of chocolate in there! So cool! Thanks for participating. :) We had so much fun and seeing everyone's posts makes me smile!!!


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