Great Scott!

It’s the 3rd Annual Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap!


The GFBCS is a multiple nation wide food blogger swap which is sponsored by OXO, Dixie Crystals, and Grandma’s Molasses; all the profits go to the charity Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, which supports pediatric cancer research.

Pretty much a good time all around, right?

Not only did I receive three delicious types of cookies and have the opportunity to share my cookies with three other bloggers, but it was for a good cause.


Also, OXO sent me three super fancy, brand-spanking new spatulas.  I’ve never been more excited to see a spatula before.  Ugh I’m in love.

This is the second year I’ve participated in the swap, and I’ve worked with Cookies for Kids’ Cancer for a service project as well.
It’s always a pleasure.


With that, here are the details:

I received…

muddy buddy cookies (genius idea!) from Marley of Chicago Foodies
date pinwheel cookies (a family recipe!) from Jessica of Kettler Cuisine
and marbled shortbread (so cute!) from Lauren of a Dash of Soul.

I gave…

des petits sablés aux noix: pressed walnut sablés, buttery and rich, half dipped in 70% Scharrfen Berger chocolate

to Jenne of Mooshu Jenne,
Brooke of Crackers on the Couch (who sent out crackers— how perfect is that?)
and Joanna of A Kosher Kitchen.

Happy holidays to all!  I hope you enjoyed your cookies.

Until next year, Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap!


Walnut Sablés

660 grams (5 cups) flour
120 grams (1 cup) walnut halves
450 grams (4 sticks, 1 lb) butter
400 grams (2 cups) sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 splashes vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
melted bittersweet chocolate, if desired, for dipping

In a food processor, pulse the flour and walnut halves until a uniform flour forms; careful not to over process, as the walnuts will start to form butter.
In a stand mixer, beat the butter for 4 minutes, until light and fluffy.
Scrape the sides of the bowl and add in the sugar and salt.
Beat for 2 more minutes, until all the grit is gone and the mixture is very pale.
Add in the vanilla and eggs and beat for 2 more minutes.
Scrape the bowl and dump in all of the walnut flour mixture.
Mix on low until a dough forms.
Chill for at least 45 minutes.
Roll out on a very well-floured surface, and press with a cookie stamp (alternately, just cut out shapes) and cut out.
Chill for at least 30 more minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Brush chilled cookies with the egg wash and bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown.
Remove from oven and let cool completely before dipping in chocolate.
Place the cookies on a cooling rack to let the chocolate drip through.

To Share, To Care

First steps, words, teeth.
First loves and first heartbreaks.
First losses and griefs.
First snows, melts, blooms.
The sweetest first peaches and the crispest apples.
The first leaves and snowflakes to fall.
Everywhere you look, life is replete with novel experiences…
This was my first year participating in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap!
I made decorated sugar cookies (for the first time), and they were funky fresh ugly not the most beautiful, but they were delicious- rich and reminiscent of the holidays.
The cookie swap benefits Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, which helps fund pediatric cancer research.  It has inspired me to run two bake sales for the charity; it’s a great (and enjoyable) way to help others.
If you feel so inclined, you can send cookies to young cancer patients, or you can donate money or run bake sales and other events.
It is an incredibly satisfying and rewarding way to spend a little time; I highly recommend it.
I was sent wonderfully delicious cookies from three other talented blogger-bakers:
Ginger spice pumpkin thumbprint cookies from Marly of Ginger Foodie,
Chai-spiced gingerbread men from Rachael of Passing Daisies
And Earl Grey almond chocolate chip cookies from Leila and Nina of Cenabimus
They were all crazy yummy! Thank you so much! Be sure to click through to their sweet blogs.
I sent my cookies to three other bloggers:
Hannah (and Kate!) of Fleur DeLicious
 Lauren of SizzleEats
and Sara of Modern Alice
Go check their pages out too: deliciously creative things abound!
I am ever grateful to have had the chance to help fight pediatric cancer.  Cookies for Kids is a charity which I will be keeping up with, whether it be through another food blogger cookie swap or more bake sales.
Some random photovomit photographs:
Oh and also? I’m super thankful for the delicious cookies.  This was a truly fattening fun experience.

Classic Iced Butter Cookies

Yield: about 44 small sized cookies
From Cook’s Illustrated
12.5 ounces flour
5.5 ounces superfine sugar (whiz regular granulated sugar in a food processor for 30-45 seconds)
1/4 teaspoon salt (I would have increased this by a touch)
8 ounces (2 sticks) butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 tablespoons cream cheese
Mix the flour, sugar, and salt together in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.  Add in the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the mixture starts to resemble sand.  Add in the cream cheese and vanilla and mix until the dough begins to come together.  Remove from mixer and lightly knead a few times to bring dough together.  Pat into two disks and refrigerate at least 30 minutes, and up to 3 days.
Once dough has chilled, preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Roll dough out to 1/8 inch thickness and cut into desired shapes. Freeze dough for at least 20 minutes, or until very firm. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until cookies are barely turning golden.  Cool on a wire rack.
The decorator icing is from Bridget of Bake at 350, who makes just about the most perfect decorated cookies.
I increased the recipe by 1.5 and had plenty… In fact, I had way too much.  For this number of cookies, I think 1 batch of the recipe would do.  I tinted using Wilson gel colorings, which I prefer over regular food coloring for their potency.

Sand in the Vaseline

Last week, my bake sale was pushed back a day, due to a day off from school, thanks to Sandy.  Now, I’m not complaining, mais elle nous a posé un vrai lapin (She stood us up) where I live.  I hope anyone whom she didn’t is safe; my heart goes out to those without power or heat who are bracing for the next big storm.  
Life has been a little hectic for me lately, as you can probably tell by my lack of posts.
Being a senior in high school, the big deadline was November 1st for my college application.  It was down to the wire.  A real nail biter.  By the time I finished typing that last essay, it was 10 o’clock and the last trick or treaters had already dissipated into the night.  Hitting submit was a relief, for about two minutes.  Then the post-application panic set in.  
Now, a week later, I’ve submitted to a pretty much constant state of being on edge.  


 Also, it’s November
Which means I’ve been spending every waking minute some time planning Thanksgiving.  As in, the menu, the shopping lists, the timetable, the seating, etc.
Call me Liz Lemon. Please?
To help get in the holiday spirit, make these cinnamon cookies.  Cinnamon and dulce de leche are commonly mixed flavors in Latin America; many recipes for cajeta (goat’s milk dulce de leche) call for a pinch of cinnamon.  These butter cookies are super flaky, with cinnamon swirls, and pair perfectly with the sticky, salty filling.
Into comfort food?  Then make rice krispies instead.  Except make them better.  Start with the marshmallows. No corn syrup or refined sugars and no artificial flavoring allowed.  They are so much better.  Fluffy, springy, and soft, with a mellow maple undertone and little flecks of vanilla.  Add those to a little bit of browned butter, mound up a mountain of rice krispies, and press into a buttered pan.  Beautiful, and so much healthier than those little blue packages.  

Cinnamon Swirl Cookies with Dulce de Leche
adapted, in part, from smittenkitchen
for the (quick) dulce de leche:
2 cans sweetened condensed milk
a few healthy pinches of good-quality sea salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Pour the milk into an oven proof dish, and sprinkle with sea salt.  Put aluminum foil over the top, and place in the oven for 30-40 minutes, checking and swirling often to avoid overflow.  Once toffee colored, pull from oven, add another pinch of salt, and let cool.  
for the cookies:
4 ounces (1 stick) butter 
1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 egg yolk
splash vanilla
big pinch of salt
1 cup flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Cream the butter, sugar, and salt together until fluffy.  Add in the egg yolk and a splash of vanilla extract, and mix until combined.  Add in the flour all at once, and mix until a dough forms.  Weigh out the dough, divide in half, and add half of the dough back into the mixer bowl.  Add the brown sugar and cinnamon in, and mix until combined.  Take the vanilla dough and knead it together with the cinnamon briefly, until they begin to swirl together.  Roll out the dough to a 1/8 inch thickness, and cut out cookies.  Gather scraps and reroll.  Bake cookies, spaced 1/2 inch apart, for 10-12 minutes, until they are starting to be golden at the edges and the centers are no longer puffy and soft.  Let cool, and fill with dulce de leche.
Brown Butter, Maple, and Vanilla Bean Rice Krispies (Snobby Krispies Treats)
for the marshmallows:
adapted from Gourmet, via smittenkitchen
1 tablespoon plus 1 1/4 teaspoons gelatin
1/2 cup cold water
1 cup unrefined sugar (I used evaporated cane juice)
1/4 cup maple syrup
big pinch salt
1 egg white
scrapings of 1 vanilla bean
mixture of 1/2 confectioners’ sugar and 1/2 cornstarch (about 1/3 or 1/2 cup)
Oil a 9 x 12 pan.  Add 1/4 cup of the water to the bowl of a stand mixer, and sprinkle gelatin over top to soften.  In a heavy saucepan, cook the maple syrup, last 1/4 cup water, salt and sugar until a candy thermometer reads 240 degrees F.  Pour syrup over gelatin.  With the whisk attachment, beat mixture until thick and nearly tripled in volume.  Meanwhile, beat the egg white with the vanilla bean scrapings until stiff peaks form.  Once the gelatin mixture is done whipping up, beat in the egg white until just combined.  Scrape marshmallow into pan, dust the top with confectioners sugar mixture.  Chill until firm, at least 3 hours and up to one day.  Once marshmallow is firm, turn it out onto a cutting board and slice into pieces using a well oiled knife.
for the krispies:
3 tablespoons high-quality European butter (I used Kerrygold)
10 ounces marshmallows
8-9 cups rice krispies
Butter a 9 x 12 pan well.  In a heavy saucepan, brown butter.  Once browned and nutty, add in marshmallows, and stir well until they are all melted and homogeneous.  Add in the rice krispies and stir until all the krispies are coated, but not inundated with marshmallow (you may need to add more so that the bars aren’t too sticky).  Scrape into the pan and press down with a buttered spoon.  Let cool, then cut into bars.


Cookies and milk.  PB&J.  Bagels and cream cheese.  Pancakes and maple syrup.  Sweet and salty.  Hipsters and food blogs.  (Jus keeding… kinda.)
These things just plain make sense together.
They’re better together than apart.  
Cookies and a good cause?  Doesn’t get any better, right?
The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap showcases the power of togetherness perfectly.  
By partnering with Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, this event uses hipster food bloggers to help fund research for pediatric cancer.  
Not only am I super super excited for the cookie swap (Hello home delivered cookies. Yum.), but I’m also really enthusiastic about the charity itself.  
I want to do more of my part to help out Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, because I think it’s not only a worthy cause, but also a great and accessible idea!  
So, I’m hosting a bake sale at my school (tomorrow, Sandy permitting), all the proceeds of which are going to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer.  Any readers from the high school… Bring money!  I’m sure I’ll have something that you’ll want.
And the rest of you?  If you’re interested in helping, here’s my online giving page.
Or maybe organize your own event!  Why not?  It’s easier than you think.
Oh, and these Oreos?  Made with the awesome Bravetart’s recipe; she really has these down to a T.  They are Oreos reincarnate with better, fresher ingredients. 
P.S. Happy 70th birthday, Bob Ross! Personally, I spent my childhood watching this man and enjoying all of his happy accidents.