It's the most wonderful time of the year... COOKIE SWAP TIME!
I know that sounds a little exaggerated, but seriously, this tradition (now three years in the making) has become one of my favorite things about the holiday season. Not only do I get to look for the best cookie recipe to add to my collection, and not only do we all get to connect with other food bloggers, but by working/baking/shipping together, we raise money for causes that are worth all that effort.
That beautiful number right there (so pretty, isn't it?) is the amount that was raised for Cookies for Kids' Cancer, a non-profit that works to help fund research that can help children live a full, long, and healthy life.
This year I chose a simple recipe, straight from Martha: Peppermint sugar cookies. I must confess, the cookies in these pictures are the old, rejected ones. The weather was so gloomy and I kept saying I would take pictures later, later, later, and this is what I would up with. But oh! Oh oh oh. (Not to be confused with ho ho ho ;) ) I could NOT stop eating these. Peppermint cookie, peppermint glaze, topped with (you guessed it!) peppermint pieces! The recipe said it made two dozen so I doubled it: 1 dozen for each of my matches, 1 dozen for us... except it made about six dozen.
And I did not share.
Not very Christmassy of me, but if you make these you will understand why. At least I did share with my cookie recipients. In the baggies and boxes they went, off to Utah, Arkansas, and another part of California, while I received three batches of delicious cookies from across the map. That is what makes this fun -- bake, raise money, and connect with people you have never met before. It's a triple win.
A big shout out to the companies that sponsored the cookie swap (by giving in addition to what we bloggers donated): OXO, Pure Cane Dixie Crystals, Gold Medal Flour, and Grandma's Molasses. Their contributions stretched our dollars -- and hopefully bring us one step closer to a cure for cancer!
If you would like to find out about the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap (and maybe participate next year!), click on their logo below.
PEPPERMINT SUGAR COOKIES
Recipe from Everyday Food, Dec. 2012
YIELDS 2 DOZEN • PREP TIME: 15 MINUTES • TOTAL TIME: 40 MINUTES
- 2 ½ cups all purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon fine salt
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon peppermint extract
- ½ cup chocolate chips (optional)
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 3-5 tablespoons heavy cream
- 2 candy canes, crushed, for decorating
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, use mixer to beat butter, granulated sugar, and ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract on medium-high until pale and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Beat in egg, then flour mixture on low. Stir in chocolate chips if you are using them.
- Roll dough into 1 ½-inch balls and place, 2 inches apart, on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until edges are lightly golden, about 12 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Let cool on sheets on wire racks 5 minutes, then transfer to racks and let cool completely.
- Stir together confectioners’ sugar and enough cream to make a spreadable glaze (if you like a strong mint flavor, stir in up to ¼ teaspoon extract). Spread a thin layer of glaze on top of each cookie and sprinkle with candies. Let dry completely on racks.
Can be stored in an airtight container, three days.