Sunday, January 24, 2010

Cookie Exchange!

So I just realized I never updated for my annual Christmas Cookie exchange! It is a tradition I started Christmas 2006 - each of my guests brings a big batch of cookies to share. The ladies each send me their recipes so I can collect them all and make recipe "books" so anyone can head home and make any of the delicious concoctions they just had. Oh and of course everyone gets to take home a huge tray of a variety of cookies to share (or to not share) with their husbands, families, etc.

This was the 4th annual exchange and my friends always continue to amaze me with the delicious goodies they make. Everyone always seems excited to come, hang out with each other, chat and celebrate the season! It is always a good time!

Per usual, I make at least two recipes. I always feel as hostess I should provide more than one cookie. Both recipes were from the Martha Stewart Cookies cookbook, which I'd received from my Aunt as a Christmas gift the year before and both recipes were delicious!!!

Gingerbread White Chocolate Blondies

(from Martha Stewart Cookies)

2 ¼ cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda

1 ¼ teaspoons salt

1 ¼ teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

1 ¼ cups (2 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 ¼ cups packed light brown sugar

½ cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk

1 ¼ teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1/3 cup unsulfered molasses

1 ¾ cups coarsely chopped white chocolate (10oz)

Nonstick spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 13 x 9 inch baking sheet with nonstick spray and line the bottom with parchment paper and set aside.

Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and spices in a bowl.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugars on medium high speed until creamy and pale, about 3 minutes. Add eggs and yolk one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add vanilla and molasses and mix on medium speed until combined. Add flour mixture on low speed until combined. Stir in white chocolate.

Spread batter evenly into prepared pan and bake until golden on edges, about 35 – 40 minutes. Let cool completely in pan, cut into 2 inch squares. Blondies can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Banana Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies

(from Martha Stewart Cookies)

1 cup all purpose flour

½ cup whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon course salt

½ teaspoon baking soda

¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

½ cup granulated sugar

½ cup packed light brown sugar

1 large egg

1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract

½ cup mashed ripe banana (about 1 large)

1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats

1 12oz bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips

½ cup coarsely chopped walnuts (about 2 ounces), toasted.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Whisk together both flours, salt, and baking soda in bowl.

Put butter and both sugars into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to low. Add egg and vanilla; mix until combined. Mix in banana. Add flour mixture; mix until just combined. Stir in oats, chocolate chips, and walnuts

Using 1 ½ inch ice cream scoop, drop dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper., spacing about 2 inches apart. Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until golden brown and just set, 12 to 13 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks for 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks; let cool completely. Cookies can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature for up to 2 days.

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