Monday, December 12, 2011

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Exchange!

This year I participated in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap!  The premise seemed simple enough -- it was basically an extended, cross-country version of your traditional cookie exchange.  Oh how I loved it when my mom participated in cookie exchanges during the holidays.  We'd come home one day and there would be plates and plates filled with exotic-looking cookies for us to eat.  To this day, every Christmas I tell my mom to make these elusive cookies that I swear we had during a cookie exchange.  There was chocolate, maybe some peanut butter, and chow mein noodles.  I hope to someday find the recipe for this mysterious cookie.

But back to the present-day cookie swap!  Two food bloggers organized an extraordinary cookie exchange between 625 food bloggers in the U.S. and even, I think, in other countries.  We had to commit to making and sending one dozen cookies to three different food bloggers.  Then all of the recipes would be posted simultaneously today!  But choosing the right recipe would be a challenge.  Many of my favorite holiday cookies need to stay chilled and were inappropriate for this cross-country exchange.  So my mom and I went through her traditional holiday cookies and we settled on one of my top 5 cookies for the holidays: the bon bon cookie.  It's an adaptation from an old Betty Crocker recipe, and my 1989 version of that cookbook had already eliminated it from the recipe selection.  I decided to keep the recipe alive, so I baked my cookies and shipped them off to Los Angeles, Colorado, and Florida care of:

Nick @ Macheesmo
Nicole @ Sweet Peony
Leann @ Taste & Travel

I've been out of town for the last five days, so I'm excited to get my three dozen cookies from around the country once I finally get my mail.  Just what I need after a Florida vacay -- cookies :)  So for those of you looking for an easy holiday cookie recipe, or for those of you who received my cookies and want to know the secret behind the magic, here you go!  And I really really hope they turned out well for you!  Check back later for an update on the cookies I received from the swap!

Happy Holidays!

Bon Bon Cookies
adapted from Betty Crocker
makes about 24 cookies

for the cookies:
1/2 cup softened butter
3/4 cup sifted powdered sugar
1 tablespoon of vanilla (yes, tablespoon!)
1 1/2 cups flour
1/8 tsp salt
1-2 tbls cream

for the glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tbls cream
1 tsp vanilla
colored sprinkles

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, use an electric mixer and mix the butter, vanilla, and sugar.  Add the flour and salt and mix again.  At this point, my mother always adds a little dash of cream.  If your dough is dry, you can add even more, up to two tablespoons.

Drop tablespoon-sized balls of dough onto an ungreased baking sheet about 1 inch apart.  Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the edges are just turning light brown.  Let the cookies cool on a cooling rack.

In the meantime, mix up the ingredients for the glaze (except the sprinkles).  Once the cookies have cooled, dip the tops of them into the glaze and let them sit on a pan covered in parchment paper.  Sprinkle the cookies with the colored sprinkles.  Refrigerate the cookies for about an hour so the glaze will set.  Eat and enjoy!

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