Last weekend we hung lights on the house, wrapped our twig tree in twinkly lights, and put on a big pot of spiced hot apple cider to welcome a dozen friends for my annual cookie swap.
It’s the event that kicks of the holidays every year, held early enough in December to give us ample time for baking before the Christmas parties and other calendar duties take over our days and nights. The snowstorm held off for us and an afternoon flew by, sweetened by over one thousand home baked cookies.
Cookies and Charity
Suffice it to say, my Christmas baking is done, and I’ve even made up a batch of tins to give away, as I was inspired by Ethan and Food Bloggers of Canada to spread some #cookielove. One doesn’t have to look very far to find someone in need of a little holiday cheer.
Perhaps you’ll join in, also? Gift a box of cookies or other holiday baking to a neighbor, a shelter, a group of deserving nurses or anyone who could use a sign of appreciation or friendship.
If you are hosting a cookie swap this month, you can give it a charitable side by reaching out to Jackie of La Casa de Sweets. She’s collaborating with GLAD and Cookies for Kids Cancer to raise funds for funding pediatric cancer research. Raising money for a good cause doesn’t get any easier than sending her your grand cookie total. I did – and GLAD is donating $1 per cookie. Sa-weet.
#CookieLove for Bev’s baby shower
I think I know exactly who could use some #cookielove: Bev from Bev Cooks, who we are honoring in a virtual baby shower today!
Bev’s been cooking up something extra special – twins! Bless her heart. 2014 is going to be an incredibly exciting year for her. Bev has a wicked sense of humor and as a mother myself, I know that it is going to help her enormously during that transition period when her family goes from two to four.
You must check out the adorable nursery she has put together for the babies. Bev also has a great style sense.
I thought I would leave Bev with a few jars of frozen cookie dough, you know, for those moments when nothing except chocolate is going to do.
Gift a jar of frozen cookie dough
Freezing cookie dough and then giving it away in jars or bags is a fun and creative homemade gift option. It gives the recipient the option of baking up fresh warm cookies on their own time and enjoying them right out of the oven.
Speaking of oven, let’s see how those balls of cookie dough bake up and talk about the recipe.
Whole-wheat double chocolate mint cookies (food processor)
Although they are inspired by these Honey Whole Wheat Chocolate Chunk Cookies, also combined in a food processor, today’s recipe is heaps more festive. Plenty of chopped chocolate, plus cocoa, goes into the dough, and a small amount of peppermint extract makes them irresistible.
As you might suspect, my favorite thing about these cookies is not that they can be frozen and gifted, nor their soft chocolate centres, but that they come together quickly in a food processor. No extra bowls required, not butter softening needed; just dump, cream, sift and pulse. Voila, cookie dough. I bet Bev could even do it with one hand after her babies arrive.
Once the dough is made, shape it into balls (I use a 1.5 tablespoon-sized ice cream scoop) and either bake right away or freeze on a tray for later. Freshly baked cookies all Christmas long? You might find it hard to give some away.
|Whole Wheat Double Chocolate Mint Cookies||
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed
- 1/2 cup turbinado sugar or dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 medium egg
- 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 1 cup whole wheat bread flour
- 1/4 cup dark cocoa
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 160 grams of chopped dark chocolate
- In a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, mix butter, sugar and honey until smooth.
- Stop the processor and add egg and extract. Mix again until creamy. With the machine turned off, scrape down the sides with a spatula if needed.
- Sift the flour, cocoa, salt, baking soda and baking powder into the mixer. Add the chocolate. Pulse a few times until the dough comes together in a ball.
- Shape the dough into 18 or 24 cookies, depending on how big you like them, and place on a baking sheet. Flatten slightly with the palm of your hand.
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Chill the shaped cookies in the refrigerator while the oven is heating, about 10 minutes. (This helps the whole wheat flour get absorbed into the dough.)
- Bake cookies for 10 minutes, then remove from oven and let cool on the pan for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to continue to cool and enjoy.
It’s a baby shower for Bev Cooks!
Check out what’s on the buffet and sweet table for our virtual shower. A feast to celebrate twins. Congratulations again, Bev!
Bacon Cotija Guacamole from Gaby Dalkin
Gruyère Gougères from Shaina Olmanson
Lemon Risotto Tarts from Kelly Salemi
Goat Cheese Crostini with Pesto and Roasted Red Peppers from Liz Della Croce
Spinach and Feta Quinoa Bites from Aggie Goodman
Roasted Red Grape, Brie and Rosemary Flatbread from Laurie McNamara
The Fastest Appetizer Ever from Brooke McLay
Apple Pear Tart – Two Ways from Sarah Glyer
Chocolate Chai Frappe from Brandy O’Neill
Cherry Chocolate Kiss Smoothie from Amy Flanigan
Cranberry Sorbet Bellini – Non-Alcoholic and Alcoholic from Megan Keno
Peppermint Mocha Affogato from Christina Lane
toasted marshmallow cream hot chocolate from Jessica Merchant
Pomegranate Lemonade Punch from Heather Christo
Kale Salad with Pomegranate, Orange and Pine Nuts from Rachel Gurk
Pear Cranberry Arugula Salad from Tracy Benjamin
Brussels Sprout Salad + maple roasted cranberry dressing from Katie Unger
Gluten-Free Pasta Salad from Lisa Thiele
Hearty Roasted Winter Vegetable Salad with Honey Ginger Dressing from Heather Disarro
Winter Citrus Salad from Catherine McCord
Creamy Roasted Red Pepper and Chicken Sausage Pasta from Heidi Larsen
Eggplant Parmesan Lasagna from Joanne Ozug
cheesy chicken enchilada ‘double’ stacks from Lauren Grier
Jalapeno Popper Chicken Soup from Kevin Lynch
Thai Spiced Chicken with Coconut Cream Swiss Chard from Brandi Evans
Sausage and Red Pepper Quiche from Tasty Kitchen
Roasted Red Pepper Pasta with Goat Cheese from Julie Deily
Soft and Chewy Oatmeal Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies from Averie Sunshine
Glazed Dulce de Leche Pound Cake from Meagan Micozzi
Mississippi Mud Pie Brownie Ice Cream from Megan DeKok
Buttermint Frosted Sugar Cookie Cups from Shelly Jaronsky
4-Ingredient Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies from Ali Ebright
Sweet Potato Creme Brulee from Brian Samuels
Whole Wheat Double Chocolate Mint Cookies from Aimée Wimbush-Bourque
Mini Chocolate Stout Cheesecake with Salted Beer Caramel Sauce from Jackie Dodd
Red Velvet Hi Hat Cookies from Kristan Roland
Double Chocolate Panini from Kathy Strahs
Are you baking for the holidays yet?