Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2015

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap is back again this year. I always have such a great time researching, planning, and making my treat for this exchange. I always find a million recipes and have a hard time slimming it down to the perfect one to send out. Here's what I did last year, the year before and even the year before that!

This year I decided on S'mores Cookies from the Chocolate Moosey blog. I did alter the recipe slightly because after the first batch of dipping the cookies in chocolate, I realized they wouldn't be ideal to ship that way. So I modified and put the chocolate on the inside. 

I gathered all the ingredients and my mom's spritz cookie press. I have never used the press on my 
own, so this was going to be a fun experience. 
The dough came together really easily and luckily I had my food processor to make graham cracker crumbs. (Two sheets of graham cracker = 1/2 cup of crumbs almost exact!)

I then found the perfect tip to use for the Spritz and filled up the press with dough.

I then needed to do some testing to find out how much dough to press out to make the perfect sized cookies. My first batches ended up a little large and clunky, so I used less dough on the subsequent batches.

After letting the cookies cool completely, it was time to pair them up and get them ready for the fillings. You want to make sure you pair up cookies of almost the exact same size so when they sandwich together, everything is even.

And these silicone liners worked wonderfully for the cookies. Not a single thing stuck to the pan!
I filled one pan with cookies and topped them with one mini marshmallow each. Those went under the broiler and were watched closely for the toasting to happen. This was about 2 minutes max.
The other tray of cookies were spread with a thin layer of melted chocolate. Once the marshmallow is toasted, immediately sandwich the cookies so the fillings don't get too cooled. You want the marshmallow to smoosh and ooze and stick to the chocolate.

Don't mind the quality of the pans in this picture - this was just used for broiling. But watch the gooey, toasted marshmallow smoosh out when the top cookie is pressed in place.
And the voila, they are complete. I wrapped them up in groups of six per bag and tied them off with fun holiday ribbon.
Then it was time to wrap up the cookies securely with lots of tissue and newspaper for padding and send them to my fellow bloggers.
Of course you have to have a taste tester and my guy was a very willing participant. He loved them. The graham cracker cookie was delicious and he didn't want me to ship them all out!

In return for my cookies, I received treats from three bloggers - salted caramel cashew cookies that were divine from Stetted.
Ginger and Lime cookies from Hot Dinner, Happy Home that were the most unique cookie my guy and I have even eaten. I would have never thought that flavor would have worked and it really did.
Hall Nesting sent me Peanut & Cookie Butter Chocolate Chip cookies that were very large, thick cookie - made perfect for sharing. I could definitely taste the cookie butter.

I love this exchange and look forward to it every year! Here's how it works - you need to be an active blogger that writes about food throughout the year. You sign up and a few weeks later are given the names, addresses, and websites of three fellow bloggers. In return, your name, address, and website is provided to three other bloggers. Then you bake your treats, package them, and ship them out. The hardest part is waiting patiently for your three treats to come in the mail and find out what they are. 

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