Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2013


Hi Friends!

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Deadlines have never been such an issue as they have been these past few months.  My life has changed so much that finding time to do basic things needs to be scheduled.  I realize how valuable my time is now and so wish I had as much time as I have in the past ~ but moving forward I have some very important owed posts to do ~ one being this one!

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap has been so much fun to participate. First I want to thank all the sponsors both for matching the donations and all the fun goodies that were sent to us to help us bake!  OXO, Dixie Crystals, Gold Medal Flour and Grandma’s Molasses!

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Even though I haven’t had much time to post about my experience its been a blast!  This holiday cookie swap is hosted by Love & Olive Oil and The Little Kitchen and is in it’s 3rd year supporting a great cause Cookies for Kids’ Cancer.

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The premise is sign up, receive addresses from three other food bloggers, send each one a dozen homemade cookies and receive three dozen different cookies from three bloggers that were matched up with you!  What a fun way to make new friends over something everyone loves COOKIES!

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I have been busy making my way around to local food swaps this year and decided to use some of the jam I had made for the latest one I attended.  I baked up one of my favorite holiday cookies Jam Thumbprints.  But what made my cookies unique this year is the jam I used was a Lemon Ginger Jam I put up for a recent food swap.  It was so darn delicious and gingery that I knew it would compliment my cookie perfectly!  So I had at it ~ and Lemon Ginger Zingers were born.

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The recipes for both the cookies and the jam are here so you can bake up a batch of your own!  You won’t be disappointed.

Lemon Ginger Marmalade

  • 6-8 Lemons (1-1/2 – 2lbs)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated ginger
  • 2 cups water
  • 1-3/4 oz powdered pectin
  • 6 1/2 cups white sugar

Peel the zest from the lemons with a vegetable peeler, avoiding as much of the white pith as possible. Slice the zest strips crosswise very thinly at an angle to make strips about 1/16 inch wide by 1 inch long—you’ll need 1 cup of zest strips. Put the zest in a 4-quart (or larger) saucepan.

Trim the ends from the zested lemons to expose the flesh. With one cut side down on the cutting board, trim the pith off the lemon all the way around and discard the pith. Quarter the lemons lengthwise and remove any visible membranes and seeds. Slice the wedges crosswise 1/4 inch thick—you’ll need about 1-1/2 cups.

Add the sliced lemons, ginger, and 2 cups water to the lemon zest. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, adjust the heat to maintain a simmer, and cook until the zest is soft and the membranes start to break down, 6 to 8 minutes.

Whisk the pectin into the mixture. Increase  the heat to high, add the sugar, and bring to a boil, whisking constantly to smooth lumps. Boil vigorously for 1 minute, whisking constantly (move the pan off the burner momentarily if it threatens to boil over). Remove the pan from the heat and let sit undisturbed for 5 minutes.

Skim any foam and seeds off the surface of the marmalade. Stir gently to redistribute the solids.

To can the marmalade:

Transfer the hot marmalade to clean, hot canning jars, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace in each jar, and wipe the edges clean with a paper towel. Screw the lids on tightly.

Put the jars in a large pot of water fitted with a rack insert. The water should completely cover the jars by at least 2 inches. Return the jars to the pot of water and make sure the water covers them by at least 2 inches. Boil, covered, for 10 minutes. Use tongs to remove the jars; let them cool undisturbed on the counter.

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Jam Thumbprints

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Cream the butter and the sugar in a mixer on high speed for approx. 2 minutes until light yellow and fluffy.  Add the egg yolks one at a time until fully incorporated.  Add the extract and the salt.  Slowly add the flour until fully combined.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.

Once the dough is nice and cold, remove from the refrigerator and roll into 1 inch balls.  Place on a cookie sheet 2 inches apart and press your thumb in the middle to make and indentation.  Fill with desired jam or marmalade ~ I of course used the Lemon Ginger Marmalade from above.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 12-14 minutes until lightly golden brown.  Remove from the oven let sit 1 minute and transfer to a cooling rack.  Depending on the size of your cookies, I was able to get exactly 3 dozen from this batch of dough.

Now lets take a minute to thank the kind girls who sent me some of the most delicious cookies I’ve had in quite a while.

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The first box to reach my doorstep was a dozen Bittersweet Chocolate Peppermint Cookies.  Holy Cow people, two of my all time favorite things!  Peppermint and Chocolate!  Gillian from The Haas Machine also included a special little DIY something extra ~ DIY Peppermint Lip Balm.  Both were delicious!  Thanks Gillian!

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Next to arrive was the most adorable package of cookies!  Jennifer from Bake or Break not only has the perfect handwriting (which I’m completely jealous of) but the cutest stationary and sinfully delicious Double Chocolate Brownie Bites.  I can’t wait to get my hands on the recipe for these gems!  They were the perfect mix of cookie and brownie texture, rich in dark chocolate flavor and the chewiness you get from biting into a brownie all in one little perfect package!  It was bite-size bliss!

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And last but certainly not least ~ from Baker by Nature Ashley sent me Confetti Cheesecake Cookies!  They did not disappoint.  Rich and dense with cheesecake flavor throughout and beautifully decorated with red and green sprinkles!  Screams Christmas!

I am hoping that my recipients enjoyed their cookie deliveries as well.  I tucked in a little extra something for them to enjoy a cocktail over the holiday season!

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How many days until next year?  Wait! What?  Happy Holidays Peeps! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One Response

  1. Those cookies you made for the swap were so good, I might need to do that with the jar I got from you after the holidays

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