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.


Part III.  Gird your loins.
Here’s an easy fix for any (and all) cravings.
Puppy chow/muddy buddies are a classic childhood treat.
I remember making these when I was in elementary school.
Melt (peanut butter), chocolate, butter, add Chex, finish with a heaping pile of confectioner’s sugar.
They couldn’t be easier.  Really.
In this case, I’ve swapped the peanut butter for cookie butter.
Now, these little guys are sweetly spiced, but still crunchy, sweet, and very addictive.
It’s important not to zone out around puppy chow- before you know it, the whole batch is gone! 
And then you have to make more…
Rather than going with all semi-sweet chocolate, I swapped half for milk and half for white chocolate.
The milkiness of this combination really plays off of the deep brown sugar in the cookie butter.
They’re divine and so simple to make!
More good news?  I have an even easier cookie butter recipe coming stat.
Two more recipes, and I think my speculoos reserve will be all used up!

Biscoff Muddy Buddies
adapted from Chex
9 cups Rice Chex or other Chex cereal

2 ounces (1/4 cup, 4 tablespoons) butter
1/2 cup biscoff spread (make your own!)
2 milk chocolate bars, coarsely chopped, or about 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
enough white chocolate chips to make 1 cup of chocolate when combined with the roughly chopped milk chocolate (chop the milk chocolate and add it to a 1 cup measure, then fill to the top with white chocolate chips) (approximately 1/2 cup)
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Brown the butter in a heavy bottomed saucepan.

Add in the speculoos spread and the chocolate and stir to melt and combine.
Pour mixture over the cereal and stir very well until every piece is coated- this will take a little while, maybe 3 or 4 minutes, gently folding with a spatula, as the mixture is very thick.
Place 1/2 cup of powdered sugar in the bottom of a gallon ziplock bag.
Add in 1/2 of the coated cereal, then add another 1/2 cup powdered sugar over the cereal.  
Add the rest of the cereal, and put the last 1/2 cup powdered sugar over that.
Zip the bag and gently toss around so that all of the cereal is coated with powdered sugar.

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.


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.