White Chocolate Cherry Shortbread Cookies #FBCOOKIESWAP

White Chocolate Cherry Shortbread Cookies #FBCOOKIESWAP

It is that time of year. The time of year where I wonder, “what was I thinking?”  In our home bakery it is currently crunch time and we work about 16 hours a day from the week before Thanksgiving to December 20th. I woke up this morning knowing that I have a blog post due.  But then I am reminded what an awesome cause The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap is. Did you know that the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap raises money to help childhood cancers? How awesome is that? So it doesn’t matter how busy things are in the bakery, I will make time. Because kindness matters. Any one willing to roll up their sleeves matters.  Sometimes I think in this big world we don’t think a little contribution will make a difference, but I believe that it does.  Cookies for Kids’ Cancer is a national non-profit organization committed to funding new therapies used in the fight against pediatric cancer, which claims the lives of more children in the US than any other disease. Take a moment to think about that for a second. I am so thankful to the sponsors below who matched our donations to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, dollar for dollar (up to $3000)

The best part of the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap is getting to meet new bloggers and have some actually make me cookies!  There are so many bloggers, I love how the swap introduces you to blogs you may have never run into before.

This year I received some amazing cookies from:

Christina from the Running Foodie  made these melt in your mouth orange pecan shortbread cookies. Our mail has been arriving late lately and these came at about 9 at night. Totally dangerous time to receive yummy cookies. It’s not like you are going to go for a run after indulging in them.

Jenny at Honey and Birch  made Chocolate Sea Salt cookies. You can’t go wrong with chocolate but I found myself crushing on her super cute business cards. You know I have to love them because I don’t use words like “crushing”

Lady Behind the Curtain made loaded chocolate chip pretzel cookies. Hello!!! Sweet and salty, my weakness.

I love the challenge of the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap, because there is something about creating a cookie recipe for your peers. I wanted to create a little something that reminded me of Christmas. White chocolate cherry shortbread cookies seemed to fit the bill. It is the perfect cookie for the holidays. When you package it up, it looks so pretty with the white and the dark red pops of color.

WHITE CHOCOLATE CHERRY SHORTBREAD

Yields : 45, 2.5” squares

For printable recipe, click here.

  • 2 cups unsalted butter {room temp}
  • ½ confectioner sugar
  • ½ brown sugar
  • 4 cups minus 2 tablespoons unbleached flour
  • 1 cup dried tart cherries
  • 2 tbsps. Amaretto
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 cups white chocolate chips

White-Chocolate-Cherry-Shortbread-Ingred

DIRECTIONS:

For the cookies:

1. Place flour and salt in separate bowl.

2. Chop the dried cherries. Spray your knife with cooking spray. This will help keep the cherries from sticking to the knife.

3. In your mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar together on low until combined.

4. Add in salt and extracts.

5. Slowly mix in flour.

6. Add in the chopped cherries.

 

White-Chocolate-Cherry-Shortbread-Cherries

Helpful hint:  When you chop the dried cherries spray your knife with a little bit of cooking spray. This will keep the cherries from sticking to the knife.

FBCS-Cherry-Shortbread-Collage

7. Once the dough has come together you have a few options for chilling your cookie dough. You can break the dough into 4 medium sized disks. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the fridge to chill for 2 hours. Or you can use this tutorial to roll your dough out how we do.

8. After the dough has chilled remove from the fridge and cut your cookie shapes.

9. Preheat oven to 350°F.

10. Line your baking sheet with silicon baking mats or parchment paper.

11. Bake for 13-16 minutes depending on your oven. Edges should be nice and golden brown.

White-Chocolate-Cherry-Shortbread-Drizzle

For the White Chocolate Topping:

1. While the cookies are baking you can melt the white chocolate.

2. Place white chips in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at MEDIUM (50%) 1 minute; stir until chips are melted and mixture is smooth. If necessary, microwave at MEDIUM an additional 30 seconds at a time, just until smooth when stirred.

3. Then place bowl on top of a pot with a shallow amount of steaming water while stirring slowly.

4. Once the white chocolate is completely melted, pour the mixture into a disposal piping bag

5. Cut a small slit on the bottom.

6. Drizzle on top of the cookies. Want to see a quick video? Head over to instagram to see how easy it is? LINK to White Chocolate Drizzle

White-Chocolate-Cherry-Shortbread-Cookies-1

Now all that is left is to package up your white chocolate cherry shortbread and share them with your family and friends. Do you love the printables below? My friend, Kara, from Love Babble on Etsy created them. She was so kind to offer them for free on our blog.

White-Chocolate-Cherry-Shortbread-Packaged

 

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2012: Clove Crisps

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2012: Clove Crisps

I am so excited to be apart of The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2012. It took me a couple of weeks to figure out what recipe I was going to make. I finally narrowed it down to three different cookies, but one cold evening the cookie I choose spoke to me. Yup, that’s right my cookies speak to me! What is better on a cold winter night than a spicy cookie with hot coffee or tea?

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2012

A few weeks ago social media sites were buzzing about The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2012, a cookie exchange being organized by Lindsay of Love and Olive Oil and Julie of The Little Kitchen.The premise of this cookie exchange? Sign up to receive the addresses of three other food bloggers. Bake three dozen cookies and mail them out to your assigned food bloggers … then wait for three dozen cookies from other food bloggers to appear on your doorstep! It sounded like so much fun, I signed up immediately. It was really neat this year because OXO sent each of the bloggers a nifty cookie spatula. 50% of the proceeds of each cookie spatula will go to pediatric cancer research. Not only is this Spatula a great cooking tool, but it’s a constant reminder to “Be a Good Cookie.”

Clove Crisps

  • 15 ounces unbleached flour {sifted}
  • 3 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. white pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 cup butter {room temp.}
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp. Praline Liqueur
  • 1/4 tsp. pure orange extract

Instructions:

  1. In a bowl, sift together flour, cloves, cinnamon, pepper and salt. In another small prep bowl, place the egg, Praline liqueur and orange extract.
  2. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Approximately 2 minutes. Add the egg, praline and orange extract. Mix until well blended. Scrap the bowl down. Added the sifted dry ingredients in two additions on low speed.
  3. Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface and knead until the dough forms a smooth disc. Wrap the cookie dough in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator.  Let the dough sit for at least 4 hours to let the flavors develop.
  4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. On a lightly floured surface roll the dough out about 1/8 inch thick. Bake for approximately 12 minutes. This is based on a 2.5″ round fluted cookie cutter.
  5. Let the cookies cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Recipe inspired by Fine Cooking Cookies Holiday 2012

 I had the priviledge of sending cookies to Kristin over at Kristin Pot Pie, Kristin from Per L’Amore Di Cibo, and to Esme from Chocolate and Croissants.  Now let’s talk about the yummy cookies I received. I posted pictures on instagram if you want view the yumminess.  The best part is these bloggers picked some of my family’s favorite flavors. Butterscotch and bacon are my boy’s delight.

Caylas Cookie Jar:  Oatmeal Butterscotch Cookies

Chip Chip Hooray:  Chocolate Butterscotch Cookies

Bakeaholic Mama:  Maple Bacon Sugar Cookies

Do you feel like you missed out this year? I know this happened to me last year. Just go to this link and sign up. You will receive email updated about the next Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap: http://fbcookieswap.us2.list-manage1.com/subscribe?u=66bf80afd570fcb3c6194e49e&id=317a470233

Enjoy!

Mother Goose Day Cookie Swap

Mother Goose Day 2012

Happy Mother Goose Day! Until a couple of weeks ago I had no idea there was even a day set aside for Mother Goose. But I guess if there is national peanut butter day, of course there would be a Mother Goose Day.  Mother Goose Day was founded in 1987 by Gloria T. Delamare when she published her book, “Mother Goose; From Nursery to Literature”(McFarland Pub). Mother Goose rhymes have been around since the late 17th Century. That is quite the tradition that has been handed down from generation to generation.

My mother was a kindergarten teacher and growing up we didn’t just sing the nursery rhymes. My mom had all sorts of neat crafts and flannel board materials to go with the Mother Goose songs. It was hard to choose which nursery rhyme to choose for our swap but the more I thought about it, the more obvious the choice became. I will come back to this in a minute.

One of the coolest things about being a part of a cookie swap is seeing that everyone has their own style and it is like Christmas when the packages come. Over the past couple of months I have had the pleasure of getting to know some of the different cookiers around the web. They are generous, fun, encouraging and kind. Many people think, a sugar cookie is a sugar cookie, but everyone’s cookies were so good and tasted very different. Between the four of us there was vanilla, lemon, chocolate and brandy cookies.

Pat-A-Cake

by The Baked Equation

Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake, baker’s man. Bake me a cake as fast as you can.

Pat it and roll it and mark it with a “B”

And put it in the oven for baby and me.

Mother Goose Day

Whenever I am instant messaging with my baker friends on the computer my husband will always ask me, “Who are you patty caking with?” I was suprised to find out when I started researching my theme that it is not “patty caking” at all. I had grown up and to this day thought that patty caking is the way that it went. The cutest thing happened when I was decorating the cookies. My husband came in and said, “Oh, you did them wrong, it’s not pat-a-cake, it’s patty cake. Well we both learned something new thanks to Mother Goose Day.

                     Mother Goose Day          Mother Goose Cookies

Humpty Dumpty and the Three Blind Mice

by Trilogy Edibles
 
Mother Goose Day

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.

All the king’s horses and all the king’s men,

couldn’t put Humpty together again.

Mother Goose Day

 

Three Blind Mice

Three blind mice.  Three blind mice.

See how they run. See how they run.

They all ran after the farmer’s wife,

who cut off their tails with a carving knife,

did you ever see such a sight in your life,

as three blind mice?

Mother Goose Day

 Karen, from Trilogy Edibles, couldn’t decide which one to do, so she picked 6 of her favorites. I am so excited to see some of the other one’s that she did. Rub a dub dub, three men in a tub should be a hoot! Is Humpty Dumpty not the cutest thing you have ever seen?

Itsy Bitsy Spider

by Sweet C’s Bake Shop
 

Mother Goose Day

The Itsy Bitsy Spider was the first nursery rhyme that Christina, from Sweet C’s Bake Shop taught her boys and the duo has been obsessed with spiders ever since. My dad used to do the creepy version of itsy bitsy but it sounded more like eensy weensy spider in  spooky voice. I always knew, when I heard that song, it was a matter of time before the “eesy weensy” spider came to tickle me. I love Christina’s adorable cookies. If you are having a bad day or even if you don’t like spiders, those happy clouds will cheer you up.

Queen of Hearts

by Flour De Lis

The Queen of Hearts,

She made some tarts,

all on a summer’s day.

Mother Goose Day

Samantha, from Flour De Lis, sent us her famous chocolate cookies. My son loves to go to the mail box to get Sam’s cookie boxes, only today he was not home from school when they arrived. I was chastised by both my husband and son when they arrived home to find the Queen of Hearts missing. Ooops! Well don’t leave me alone with Samantha’s chocolate cookies, I say.

 We have shared with you some of our favorite nursery rhymes, now share with us what some of your favorites are. We hope you have a good Mother Goose Day. Thanks for stopping by.

Cookie Swap with Flour-De-Lis

Cookie Swap

I have always been a believer in the motto, “it is better to give than to receive.” But I must confess I loved being on the receiving end of my first cookie swap with Samantha at Flour-De-Lis. I have always wanted to do a cookie swap, so when Samantha wrote a blog post about her adventures in chocolate, I chimed in. She tried every chocolate powder underneath the sun, except for the kind I use. She uses, Saco Premium Dutch Cocoa and I use Barry Callebaut Extra Brute Cocoa.

Flour-De-Lis Cookie Swap2

This was my first time making chocolate rollout cookies. I definitely have some tweaking to do. No surprise, I have tweaked my sugar cookie recipe many times to get it to what it is today. Now back to Samantha’s cookies. Her recipe is awesome. He cookies are not overly rich, just perfect. Sometimes royal icing is too much for me, hers was the perfect compliment to the cookie. Not too thick, not too thin but just right. Are these not the cutest cookies?

Flour-De-Lis Cookie Swap

Other than trading addresses we did not trade any other pertinent information. But I learned that Samantha intuitively knows some of my favorite things. First, equations, I love them and not because I love math. Equations, like below, make sense to me unlike their numerical counterparts. If you want to read about my aversion to numbers check out my very first blog post. The cutest thing was when my son picked up this cookie and said, oh this is an equation that = my home! It’s one of those mommy moments you love.

 Cookie Swap

Second, the next cookie is something I live by. Choose Joy. Happiness is fleeting, it can come and go with all sorts of emotions, especially the guy who just cut you off for no reason.  But joy is different. Joy is a choice. I attempt to choose joy even when life is hard and sometimes does not make sense.  {Thanks Samantha} I must say this type of joy tasted delicious. I’m just sayin.

Cookie Swap

Third, I love and admire creativity. I especially admire  people that see things outside of their normal use. I am a very logical person when it comes to tools and what they are used for.  Carrot cookie cutters make carrots and plaque cutters make plaques.  When I first opened the box I saw a carrot cookie cutter and some red, pink and white {CARROTS}. How fun, right?  Then hit me, a good hour later,  these are not carrots. THEY’RE PIPING BAGS. {Yes, I know all caps means yelling} I can get worked up when I figure out stuff like this all by myself. 

Cookie Swap

Fourth, Flour-De-Lis’ cupcake cookies are my favorite. They are fun, happy and make me smile.

Cookie Swap

Thank You soooooo much Samantha for making me these awesome cookies.

Cookie Swap

Phew, the photos are taken, and now I can eat them!  Yeah, me! Yummmmmmy…

Cookie Swap

So take some advice from me, if you want to do a cookie swap, reach out to a friend and ask. Hope you have as much fun as I did.