How can you go wrong with chocolate, toasted pecans, brown sugar and a little sea salt!
Having followed the previous year of the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap, this year as a new food blogger (YAY!) I was so excited to finally be able to take part in it this year’s festivities! As soon as I saw the notice from Love and Olive Oil and The Little Kitchen, I signed up and began thinking about ideas for a cookie to send to my assigned matches. Even though I am always thinking about food and have fifty million recipes pinned on Pinterest and bookmarked in my (way too many) cookbooks it still took a while for me to finally decide on a recipe for the cookie swap.
This cookie is actually inspired by two different recipes, the cookie base is a slight adaptation of Bake at 350′s brown sugar and spice cookie, minus the spice and the topping is from the Leite’s Culinaria’s toffee cookie with dark chocolate glaze. I decided to go with Bake at 350′s brown sugar cookie recipe because she has never let me down when it comes to sugar cookies and Leite’s Culinaria is always a favorite ‘go to’ spot for recipe inspiration!
This was a very easy recipe to put together and I think it made for a really pretty little cookie. I used a 2 inch scalloped cutter to fancy the cookie up a bit and I splurged on some ‘good chocolate’… only the best for my cookie swap matches!! I think that what I liked most about this recipe is the addition of salt to the very rich chocolate and sweet brown sugar. They are all simple ingredients, but come together nicely to make a very good cookie. These 2 inch cookies are really a two bite cookie, so the danger is that you can/will eat more than you plan to because the are so cute and small and seemingly innocent looking… I just want to put that warning out before you decide to make them, it happened to me!
Although I received the benefit of getting three packages of cookies from three amazing food bloggers, the real purpose of the of Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap was to raise money for an important cause. This years efforts raised over $13,000 for Cookies for Kids Cancer!! Check out the power of cookie baking!! If you would like to be a part of next year’s Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap, sign up here to receive notifications for next year.
Once I finished the cookies I had to get them ready to send out to my matches. I decided to use some pretty sparkly paper and a lovely printable chalkboard Christmas labels from Lia Griffith for my cookie mailing. If you don’t already have food gift labels definitely check these out, they are so cute! I am SO very bad about mailing things, so the fact that I got my cookies packed and in the mail to my matches on time is truly a Christmas miracle. It did take two days and a couple visits to the post office, but I eventually got them out and from what I understand they made it safely to their final destinations.
Being a new food blogger this was also a really great way to ‘meet’ other food bloggers. I’m really looking forward to seeing everyone’s cookie creations at the round up and to exploring all the wonderful blogs represented in the group!
I’ll admit that I was like a big kid every time I drove up to my house and saw a package with cookies waiting for me! My very first package of cookies were from Bree. She has a wonderful blog called, Sugar and Grace… Isn’t that a great name for a blog! After I received the delicious angel wings from Bree, I sent her an email to thank her for such a great start to my first Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap experience. I’ll freely admit that I personally ate all of the cookies she sent to me, they went everywhere with me. I mean she sent them to me in such a perfect little travel bag so I just took them with me in the car to run errands, to work on my commute to the office (they tasted really good with my morning coffee!), the movies… :) Yep, so that’s how I ended up eating them all!
Next, I received this adorable little box of macadamia cookies from Heather of Heather Likes Food!! I honestly don’t remember including my ‘love of macadamia nuts’ on the form when I signed up for the cookie swap, but somehow she knew… she knew how much I love macadamia nuts and sent them to me! These were so good! There may or may not be any cookies left in that box, but thankfully only the box and I know! I did share a couple of the cookies with my fiance, well maybe just one actually, but at least I didn’t eat the entire box of cookies myself this time.
And last, but definitely not least I received the yummy chocolate peppermint cookies from Emily at Everyday Mom. I ate one and I wish I could say that I got to enjoy more of them, but chocolate peppermint is one of my fiance’s favorite combinations so my Sweetie decided that these were his cookies and finished them all off before I had a chance to eat any more… he did said that they were really, really good and that he enjoyed them very much!! I guess I’ll have to get the recipe and make myself some more!
Brown Sugar Cookies with Chocolate, Pecans and Sea Salt
Makes about 4 dozen, 2 inch cookies
3 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar (packed)
2 sticks salted butter, cold cut into chunks
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1/3 cup chopped pecans, toasted
Sea Salt flakes, like from a from grinder
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Whisk the flour and baking powder together and set aside.
- Cream the sugars and butter together. Add the egg and extract and mix until well combined.
- Add the flour mixture in three parts and beat just until combined, scraping down the bowl.
- The dough will be thick, pull out half of the dough and knead to combine, do the same with the remaining dough and set aside.
- On a floured surface, roll out the first half of the dough to about 1/4″ thick. Using a 2 inch scalloped edge round cutter, cut into shapes.
- Place the first set of cut outs on a parchment lined baking sheets and place in freezer for 10 minutes.
- Complete the same process using the second half of the dough.
- Bake cookies for 9-12 minutes, depending on the size of your cutter. Let sit a few minutes on the sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack.
- While cookies are cooling, set up a double boiler and melt the chocolate over the simmering water.
- When cookies are cool, add a dollop of chocolate to the center of the cookie and using a small spoon spread the chocolate spread out almost to the edge of the cookie.
- While the chocolate is still wet, sprinkle lightly with the chopped toasted pecans and a few grains of sea salt. Let the chocolate set.
- Share cookies and make new friends! :)