Cookie exchanges. They are a great way to get a nice assortment of baked goods on your Christmas goodie platter. I used to have some girlfriends who would get together on a snowy Saturday and bake several kinds of delicious treats (and maybe enjoy a cocktail or two) to share but those friends have come and gone. We’ve all become separate in our daily lives, through maturity and distance. Sometimes it’s better to have loved and moved on then never to have loved at all. Still, I do really miss being able to share the baking experience and be able to have extra goodies at Christmas time.
When I heard about the fourth annual Great Food Bloggers Cookie Swap I was really excited! Who doesn’t like to receive packages in the mail…especially ones containing cookies? As an added bonus, the host ladies; Lindsay at Love and Olive Oil and Julie at The Little Kitchen, along with several sponsors, have chosen to support Cookies for Kid’s Cancer with the $4 entry fee collected from each participant. Receive treats in the mail AND support charity? I signed up right away and got to work looking for a flavourful cookie that would also be solid enough to survive a cross country journey via Canada Post.
On the weekend of the Calgary Food Bloggers bake sale I bought several goodies from other local bloggers. The Spicy Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies from Bonnie at Scrumptiously Fit Food were my favourites and I realized they would be a good cookie for the cookie swap. I would have just used Bonnie’s recipe but it wasn’t posted by the time I needed to bake these cookies. Instead I found another suitable recipe online and adjusted it to my taste.
It didn’t take any time at all for my cookies to reach their destinations. The first package to arrive was the one heading to Claude at À la Claude in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The next package showed up at Laura’s (Food Love Happiness) house in Ottawa, Ontario and the last, but not least, package to arrive was for Robyn at Planetbyn in Mississauga, Ontario. From the photos and comments it looks like they made it one piece and were appreciated.
Ancho Chili Chocolate Cookies (Adapted from Completely Delicious)
- 3/4 cup (169 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup (213 grams) brown sugar
- 1/2 cup (100 grams) sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups (240 grams) all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup (56 grams) cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/3 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ancho chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup (1 3-ounce, 85 grams bar) chili chocolate, chopped
- Coarse sugar, for rolling (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugars together on medium high speed until pale and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each. Add the vanilla extract.
- In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, cayenne pepper and salt. Add to the mixer and mix until combined. Stir in the chopped chili chocolate. The dough will be very thick.
- Roll into rounded tablespoons and roll in the coarse sugar, if desired. Place on the prepared sheet and press down on the rounds so that they have a flat top. Bake until tops are cracked and edges are set, 8-10 minutes. Let cool on the sheet pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Store the cookies in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
And now I suppose you’re all wondering what delicious cookies I received in return?
These Gingersnaps from Sylvie Isabelle were great with tea while we trimmed our Christmas tree. The next to arrive were the Brown Butter Pumpkin Cookies from Carole at The Yum Yum Factor. Believe me, after a day of shopping in crowded local Christmas markets they were well appreciated!The last to arrive were these pretty fleur de lis Rose and Lemon Scented Cutouts by Jane’s Adventures in Dinner.