It’s cookie time!!!
This year I participated in The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap hosted by Lindsay from Love and Olive and Julie from the Little Kitchen. Not only was this a fun way to discover bloggers I didn’t know before, but all of the proceeds go to the charity Cookies for Kids’ Cancer which helps to raise funds for research to treat and cure pediatric cancer. This year the swap raised over $13,000, wahoo!!
When I was first brainstorming ideas for the cookie swap, I had dreams of a caramel laced, apple oatmeal cookie. After I couldn’t get my caramel soft enough, I said to heck with it and re-thought my cookie, this time I was going to go with a praline, brown butter oatmeal cookie. And they turned out absolutely delicious, the only problem? They were really delicate; no bueno for shipping halfway across the country (will be posting about these in the upcoming weeks). So I went back to the drawing board and came up with these pretty things.
The idea for these came from those specialty pretzel thins grocery stores carry this time of year. Someone at my work brought in the white chocolate and peppermint coated version, and I could not stop eating them if my life depended on it. When my last batch of cookies didn’t quite work out, I immediately thought of the flavors in the pretzels thins, and knew exactly what I was going to do.
Classic shortbread dough is laced with almond extract, and then dunked into melted white chocolate and coated in crushed pretzels, peppermint and a little salt. I don’t love overly sweet cookies, so the salty, sweet and crunchy combination was a winner for me.
BUT the best part of this cookie swap are all the cookies you receive in the mail!
The first batch was a Maple Ginger cookie, from Megan at Nutrition Awareness. These were soft, chewy and dee-licous, and the maple syurp she used was sourced right from her parents farm!
The next batch was from Betsy at Betsy Life, hers were Chewy Peppermint Bark Cookies. These were also fantastic; chewy, with chunks of dark chocolate (my favorite!) and laced with peppermint bark. Winner.
The last batch was from Ace at The Toasted Sprinkle, she sent a riff on my favorite grocery store cookie of all time – the oreo. No words needed.
Now I’m fat, full of cookies and I’m a very very happy girl – and so is my hubs!
- 1 pound unsalted butter, room temperature
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 4 cups flour
- 2 cups white chocolate chips
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 cup crushed peppermints
- 1 ½ cups crushed pretzel thins
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Whisk flour and salt together, set aside.
- In the bottom of a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar on a medium speed until light and fluffy.
- Add almond and vanilla. Beat until combined.
- With the mixer on low, slowly add flour. When dough has come together, divide into two equal balls and form into a discs. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 15-20 minutes.
- While dough is chilling, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Roll dough out dough in between ¼ and ½ inch thick, and cut into two inch circles. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake for about 12 minutes until barely pale brown on the edges. Cool.
- While cookies are cooling mix chocolate and vegetable in a microwave proof bowl. Heat in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between, until completely melted.
- Toss crushed peppermints, pretzels and salt together on a plate.
- Dip half of cookie in white chocolate, then dip in peppermint and pretzel. Dry on parchment paper.
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