Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap: Portland

12 Dec

What a great idea for the holiday season: the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap. Cookies in the mail? Yes, please. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from this endeavor, organizing something like this must have been a lot of work because it took me a lot of energy just to figure out sending three-dozen cookies to three people. Imagine hundreds of cookies to hundreds of people. Thanks to Lindsay and Julie for putting this together. I’m sure I’ll participate next year, too, and perhaps will more success cookie-wise.
Thanks to Addison (Changing My Destiny) for her scrumptious Oatmeal Chocolate Chewies (in super inventive packaging: a tissue paper-filled mason jar; sorry, forgot to take pictures). And Toni (Kitchen Savvy Mom) for her delicious Double Chocolate Chunk Walnut Cookies (I loved how the white chocolate complemented the walnuts). And “Vesta” (Vesta Vamps) for her Aunt Thelma’s Butterscotch Cookies (which interestingly enough don’t have any butterscotch or sugar).

I’ve been in a ginger mood lately, using it for everything from cooking to baking. Also, I tend to go for simple cookies, things where you don’t have to do much assembly but there’s one spice or flavor that really stands out. So when Alton Brown’s ginger snap recipeshowed up in my inbox as part of Food Networks 12 Days of Cookies, it seemed too perfect to pass up. And it has THREE kinds of ginger (fresh, crystallized, and powdered), so these cookies turned out really spicy. Unfortunately, I was too cheap to buy cardamom ($15 ?!), so I made do without. I honestly didn’t miss it, because I don’t really know what cardamom tastes like, but I’m sure it makes some difference. Next time, I’ll just fork over the money.
Here’s the ingredient list:
9 1/2 ounces all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground clove
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
7 ounces dark brown sugar
5 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
3 ounces molasses, by weight
1 large egg, room temperature
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
4 ounces finely chopped candied ginger

Wet ingredients (mmmm molasses)

Crystallized ginger has a really cool texture and makes for awesome, colorful photos.

Oddly, the recipe was in ounces for some things, so I had to do some conversions, which I think may have led to these cookies being too sticky when I put them in to bake. So as you can see, they were a little too buttery and spread out way too much on the cookie sheets. In retrospect, I should have used more flour (and probably cooked a test cookie to make sure the consistency was right. Oh well, learning lessons is what baking is all about, right?

They turned out looking marginally ok, though more greasy than I would’ve preferred. So much for finesse. It’s not my forte. But what I am good at is packages. So I bought some tins and Christmas filling at World Market and packaged them up with holiday cards. Unfortunately, I forgot to write my Twitter handle on the cards, so my recipients onlyknow my first name and blog URL (and our blog is so primitive we don’t even have Twitter linked yet, but we’ll fix that soon).

It made me so happy to package up these ginger delights and sent them to three separate corners of the country: Brighton, MA (West Coast Girl, East Coast Life); Hudson, IA (Table Talk and Walk); and Newark, NJ (The Foodie Next Door).
I know they weren’t the prettiest in the world, but I hope they were still delicious.
Happy Holidays!

4 Responses to “Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap: Portland”


  1. Challenge #20: The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2012 « catsandcommas - November 14, 2012

    […] My cookies last year, Alton Brown’s ginger snaps, did not turn out as great as I’d hoped, but the packaging was my favorite part. […]

  2. The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2012: Portland « catsandcommas - December 12, 2012

    […] For this year’s cookie swap, I wanted to make a cookie with a technique I hadn’t tried before. Sliced cookies sounded like a good option, as I typically find rolled cookies a little too tedious for big batches, and I haven’t had good luck with the consistency and size of my drop cookies (see last year’s ginger snaps). […]

  3. The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2012: Denver « catsandcommas - December 12, 2012

    […] were packed into boxes with some red tinsel! Last year, my packaging was nothing fancy… Nora’s packages were so gorgeous, though, so I wanted to do something festive, too, this time. Sadly, the package […]

  4. It’s that time of year: Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2015 | catsandcommas - October 8, 2015

    […] Nora: Ginger Snaps […]

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