Dec 11, 2011

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2011

This year I participated in a nationwide cookie swap (The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2011) that was hosted by Lindsay at Love and Olive Oil and Julie from The Little Kitchen and I have to say that it was a wonderful experience for me! Thank you ladies for hosting this cookie swap!!
The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2011
I've been blogging about food/recipes for a couple of years now. Not very consistently but nonetheless blogging.  This opportunity this got me really excited about connecting with other food bloggers and and the food blogging community and maybe even blogging more consistently!
I live in South Texas and all my cookie swap matches got sent to the East Coast: New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia. I really can't wait to participate in this again next year.
I received Cranberry Almond White Chocolate Chip cookies from  Tara at ChipChipHooray, I received Chunky Chocolate Gobs from Beth at Eat.Drink.Smile and Peppermint Mocha Frappuccino Cookies from Lauren at Keep It Sweet. All three cookies were DELICIOUS! I am excited to be able to get the recipes for all three!
The cookies that I sent were called Dark Chocolate Cafenela Cookies. They are a recipe adapted from your basic chocolate chip cookie. I changed things up a bit and used dark chocolate chips, cinnamon and instant coffee granules.
Here is the recipe:
Dark Chocolate Cafenéla Cookies
Non-stick vegetable oil or Canola oil spray
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon Kosher salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon Vanilla Bean Paste
2 cups of Dark Chocolate Chips
1 cup of pecans, toasted
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
Preheat the oven to 375. Spray 2 large baking sheets with non-stick cooking spray or prepare 2 silicone baking mats for your cookies and set them aside. Whisk flour, baking soda, and Kosher salt in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat butter in a large bowl until it is smooth. Add both the brown and granulated sugar and beat to blend.  Add the eggs and vanilla bean paste, cinnamon, coffee granules and beat to blend as well. Add the flour mixture and beat at low speed until it is blended in. Stir in the dark chocolate chips and nuts.
Drop the cookie dough by 2 level tablespoonfuls onto your prepared baking sheets, mounding one on top of the other. Space your cookies like 2 inches apart. Bake until the edges are browned and the tops are golden brown, 11-12 minutes. Transfer the cookies to cool. This recipe made 3 dozen cookies.
I was just gonna send these cookies in a ziploc with some tissue paper but then I thought, "how fun would it be to doll up the presentation?" So, I headed to Target to get me some cute packaging.
This is what I found and how I packaged my sweet goodies!

As I said earlier, I really can't wait to do this again next year!
The cookies I received are from the following lovely ladies:

Lauren from Keep it Sweet

Tara, Beth and Lauren, thank you so much for your wonderful cookies!!