Swapping cookies and more

A few weeks ago I got invited to be part of a cookie swap.

This is where you bring a few dozen cookies to a party and “swap” them with the others who show up with cookies, too. You share your recipe, you get a few new ones, it’s a win-win all the way around.

But this cookie swap was different.

There was no real “party.” And the “swap” part wouldn’t be done in person.

This was a virtual swap — called The 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.

Here’s how it worked: we were e-mailed the names of three other food bloggers to whom we would mail a dozen cookies. I sent my cookies — kakimochi chocolate chip sweetheart cookies — to three food bloggers: Katherine Crepeau (@katherine_june), Heather Eure (@hleure), and Monica Rodriguez (@iarethefoodsnob).

Apparently, mine were among the 22,000 cookies that were mailed around the world as part of this swap.

That’s a lot of cookies.

And as part of this “swap,” we’re sharing our recipes with you, too. (No, I’m not mailing out any more cookies!)

So here’s what I baked and shipped. Hope you enjoy them, too.

If you’re interested in participating next year, sign up here.

Kakimochi chocolate chip sweetheart cookies

Ingredients:

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup crushed kakimochi (arare, mochi crunch or Japanese rice crackers)
1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
Enough heart-shaped kakimochi to decorate each cookie

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9-1/2-by-13-inch pan with parchment paper or lightly spray with cooking spray (such as Pam).

Pour about 4 ounces of kakimochi — or half an 8-ounce bag — into a plastic, sealable freezer bag. Using a rolling pin — or, like me, your hands and some brawn — crush the rice crackers into small pieces. Do NOT pulverize in a blender or food processor. Set aside.

In a bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar. Add the egg and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda. Combine this mixture with the wet ingredients. Then add the crushed kakimochi and about 6 ounces (or half a 12-ounce bag) of mini chocolate chips. Don’t overmix the batter. (If you do, the gluten would overdevelop and result in a denser cookie with an unpleasant texture.)

Spoon a small ball onto the prepped cookie sheets and press them down slightly. Place the heart-shaped kakimochi (or any shape, really) onto the middle of each flattened ball.

Bake about 8 to 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack, then store in refrigerator.

Ingredients

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This recipe called for ingredients I already had — except for the heart-shaped kakimochi.

***

#TodaysGift

Dog Kimono from Inu Inu Hawaii

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Days left: 3

Dog kimono or yukata from Inu Inu Hawaii (www.inuinuhawaii.com)

Price: $30 online or at pet boutiques such as Calvin & Susie in Kilohana Square

The gist: Bored of the usual dog outfits? Or your pooch is quite the fashion diva? Get a kimono (or yukata) from Honolulu-based Inu Inu Hawaii, which specializes in unique Asian-inspired apparel for dogs. They come in all sizes — in fact, you can custom order ones for larger breeds — and patterns. Imagine your Rottweiler in one of these!

Best for: Dog owners, of course!

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8 Responses to “Swapping cookies and more”

  1. oldshoes December 12, 2011 at 2:04 am #

    dont they call that “potluck”? or a variation of “dutch treat”…yum!

  2. WildeOscar December 12, 2011 at 9:29 am #

    The mathematics and technology behind a cookie swap like this, or fantasy football for that matter, boggle the mind. Just as far as assigning-out the e-mail addresses, I keep thinking of algorithms, when I should just be thinking of the smell of freshly-baked cookies. Ah, the Holidays…

  3. RobynTee December 12, 2011 at 10:50 am #

    Have you received your cookies yet?

    • Catherine Toth December 12, 2011 at 11:58 am #

      From you? Or from the other bloggers? I received two packages.

  4. Monique December 12, 2011 at 4:01 pm #

    I am enjoying one as I read this! Thank you again! I cant believe these cookies came from HAWAII!
    amazing!
    -Monique

  5. kat December 12, 2011 at 4:42 pm #

    that sounds so fun! and delicious.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Packages in the mail « Red Rover - December 12, 2011

    [...] The cookies themselves also surprised me. You’ll have to visit Catherine Toth’s site to learn all about them, but just let me say that they were made with a super secret Hawaiian ingredient that makes for a unique cookie-munching experience. [...]

  2. Cookie Swap Round-Up | Levavi Spatulas - December 13, 2011

    [...] Catherine gave me a little background on the cookies: she said, “The crunchy stuff (kakimochi) is Japanese rice crackers. They’re flavored with soy sauce. So it’s a bit unusual. But in Hawaii it’s a popular snack. We eat them in buttered popcorn at movie theaters. Seriously.”  I hope I can find some here in Austin to try making these delights myself!  Check out Catherine’s recipe for the cookies here. [...]

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