UPDATE: Voting ends Sunday, January 1, 2012.
First and foremost, I want to give a great BIG hug and thank you to Claudia, Erin, Trish, Latoya, Suzanne and Leah for joining in on my very first cookie swap party!!! It wouldn’t of been possible without you beautiful girls!! THANK YOU!
I’m so happy that I was able to put together this cookie swap party. It was so wonderful learning and being able to read the stories behind the cookies. I hope you guys enjoy reading this post as much as I enjoyed doing this cookie swap party! And be sure to keep scrolling down because there’s a poll at the end that needs your votes!
Kat’s Shortbread Cookies:
These are the cookies that I chose to bake for my cookie swap party! Growing up, my family never had any holiday traditions since my mom didn’t really know how to bake (but she loves hoarding baking equipment!) and no one in my family had an undying love for sweets like I did. My more recent holiday traditions (hello Festivus tree!), are made with my boyfriend. My boyfriend is pretty unadventurous when it comes to trying new cookies, he’s a sugar and chocolate chip kinda guy, so when he mentioned that he also liked shortbread cookies, I had to make!
Here’s what my boyfriend had to say about these shortbread cookies, “shortbread cookies satisfy any sweets craving that one may have. The cookies are soft, cakey, and icing topped…a definite guilty pleasure like devil’s food cake. You know it’s bad, but you got to have it.” Well said because these cookies are just butter and sugar!
BAKER’S NOTE: When making the dough, you’ll realize that it’s very fine and crumbly. Don’t worry, just use your hands to help form the dough completely. The warmth from your hands melts the butter, making the dough easier to form. This is a basic shortbread recipe, so feel free to add whatever kind of jam and frosting you like! Makes approximately 2 dozen cookies.
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1/2+ cup powdered sugar
- 2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- blackberry preserves, vanilla frosting, sprinkles (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350º.
- In a large bowl, with an electric hand mixer, mix the butter and sugar until just combined. Add in the the vanilla extract.
- Gradually add the flour a little bit at a time. Using the electric hand mixer, mix until the dough starts to form. It will look very crumbly so use hands to combine the dough.
- For jam thumbprint cookies, roll the dough into a ball and push your thumb into the center. Fill a spoonful of jam into the center.
- For classic shortbread cookies, roll the dough into a ball and flatten with the bottom of a glass cup.
- Bake the cookies for about 20 minutes and the edges and bottom are slightly golden. Transfer to a wire rack and cool.
- For frosted shortbread cookies, let the cookies cool completely. Then frost with the frosting using a butter knife, and top with sprinkles!
Claudia’s Molasses & Spice Cookies (for recipe and step-to-step guide, check it out on her blog here):
Claudia is one of my favorite makeup and beauty gurus on the web! If you haven’t already, check out her blog iliketotalkalot. I was extremely thrilled when she told me she was going to partake in my first cookie swap party!
Here’s what Claudia has to say about her delicious chewy cookies, “I decided on a sugar cookie with frosting and shape them all like makeup until I realized….whoops. This is for the holidays, so think Santa, think snow, ornaments…whatever. I finally decided on the easiest and prettiest ones I found, Molasses and Spice Cookies. You may have seen them called molasses cookies, ginger cookies–I’m not 100% sure this is the same as gingerbread but they are goooOOOOD!” Thank you Claudia! ps. I’m looking forward to those fun makeup-shaped cookies next time! :)
BAKER’S NOTE: The cookies need to be chilled for at least 3 hours or overnight. Mixing these cookies can be a bit tricky, so use hands to knead the dough until there are no more dry spots. Keeping them in an airtight container will keep them chewy and crispy for up to 3 days or until they’ve all disappeared! Serving size: approximately 30 cookies.
- 3/4 cup shortening
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1 egg
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- red and green colored sugar
- Melt the shortening in a pan on the stove, and cool.
- Add sugar, egg, and molasses, beat well.
- In a separate bowl, stir dry ingredients together and add to the pan. Mix well and chill at least 3 hours or overnight.
- Form the dough into walnut-sized balls and then roll them in colored sugar.
- Place on a greased cookie sheet about two inches apart.
- Bake at 375° F (190°C) for about 8-10 minutes.
- Store in an airtight container to keep from getting overly crisp.
Erin’s Whole Wheat Chocolate Mint Christmas Cookies:
What I love about these cookies is that you can actually see specks of red and green, making them very cute and festive but not too over the top!
Here’s what Erin has to say about her homemade holiday cookies, “What I really love about these cookies is their versatility! You can make these with regular chocolate chips or candies like M&M’s…my husband’s favorite are white chocolate! I like to use white chocolate mint for Christmas time for something extra special! And hey, they’re whole wheat…guilt free and delicious!” I couldn’t agree more with Erin!