Last year I participated in the first-ever Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap, hosted by bloggers (and my Instagram and Twitter pals) Lindsay of Love and Olive Oil and Julie of The Little Kitchen. More than 22,000 cookies were delivered to hungry stomachs all over the country — and my kakimochi chocolate chip sweetheart cookies went to three different food bloggers.
This year I didn’t make the cookie swap deadline — blame Brisbane! — but I did manage to send out my local-style version of thumbprint cookies to the following: Janet Kalandranis (@foodbeautyful, http://foodbeautyful.blogspot.com), Hannah Cordes (@bluekaleroad, www.bluekaleroad.com), Rachel Williams (http://williamskitchen.blogspot.com).
The difference this year, though, was that, as part of our participation in the virtual cookie swap, we each had to donate $4 to Cookies For Cancer, a kick-ass charity that raises money for cancer research through cookie sales. OXO matched the donation dollar for dollar — can you believe that? — and gave us all a free Be a Good Cookie Spatula. Total win-win.
So here’s the recipe for the cookies I swapped. And later — I’m in Hilo today — I’ll post about the cookies I received.
There’s nothing like cookies to put you in a Christmas mood!
Special shout-out to the bloggers who sent me deliciousness in the mail: Sarah from Seattle (http://cookcanread.wordpress.com), Stephanie from Salt Lake City (http://munchimunch.blogspot.com, @smunchimunch), and Joanie from Texas (www.zagleft.com, @zagleft). Loved the goodies! You really made my Christmas!
The key to the ingredients is making sure your butter and eggs are kept at room temperature. The butter should be soft to the touch, allowing more air to be beaten into your batter. Room-temperature eggs will combine more easily with other ingredients and whip to a greater volume. It's all good.
local-style and slightly modified
1 cup butter (2 sticks), room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract (I used the one from the Hawaiian Vanilla Co.)
Pinch of salt
2 cups flour
Your favorite jam or jelly (I used lilikoi jelly and Kula strawberry jam.)
Cream the butter and sugar on high speed for about three minutes — or by hand. But cream it well.
Separate the eggs. Add ONLY the egg yolks and vanilla extract to the butter mixture.
Add the flour and salt. Mix until JUST combined.
Place the dough in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Roll the dough into balls about 1-inch diameter. Place balls on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper.
Using your thumb, press down the center of the dough ball to make a small well. Fill with jam or jelly.
Bake about 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
For more, check out the site and follow on Twitter @fbcookiesswap.