I had the wonderful opportunity to participate in The Great Cookie Swap recently, where bloggers…well….we swapped cookies. But this isn’t just any ordinary cookie swap…over 500 bloggers from all over the world got together to not only swap over 20,000 cookies… but also helped to raise over $12K for Cookies for Kids’ Cancer!
Cookies for Kids’ Cancer is a non-profit organization committed to funding new therapies used in the fight against pediatric cancer, which sadly claims the lives of more children in the United States than any other disease.
So, not only was I able to be a part of such a wonderful fund raiser… I was able to meet some really wonderful people, as we were each paired with three talented bloggers!!
To share cookies.
And eat cookies.
Lots of delicious cookies!
I was truly excited to be a part of this swap, because last year, BB&B was still too new to meet the requirements, and when I finally received my acceptance email this year…I can’t tell you how happy it made me. And then when I received the names of the bloggers I was to send cookies…well….panic set in.
Because you know…I can’t bake to save my life.
Why would I sign up for something like this??
What on earth was I thinking?
What could I possibly make to send to other people for this swap? Bloggers no less!
I decided on gingerbread cookies, and I’ll tell you why. Years ago, I did craft shows…and Christmas ornaments for me, were big sellers. One in particular, I couldn’t keep on the shelves. I’d take a simple ball ornament, and paint a simple little snowman standing in the snow…with little dots of snowflakes falling around him. People bought them faster than I could make them! And I thought… what if I made my simple gingerbread recipe, cut them into squares, and with royal icing, pipe a little snowman scene on the cookies?
I think they turned out pretty darn cute.
I would totally make these again.
And in my “I can’t bake to save my life, so I’ll make something that is quick and easy” theme… these cookies are pretty darn quick and easy to bake. I’m not going to lie… decorating them takes a little bit of time, but it’s all simple piping. So, I sat and watched a couple corny and sappy Christmas movies while I decorated them.
I received the most delicious cookies from some really wonderful bloggers: Honey Lavender Biscotti from Joy at The Joyful Foodie, Christmasdoodles from Melissa at Persnickety Plates (Melissa’s cookies were the first to arrive. My friends and I were so excited at work when they came, that we ate them all pretty much in one sitting before I even thought to take photos of them to post on Instagram. I felt so bad, but Melissa was so gracious about it!)…and some Double Chocolate Chip Cookies from Doree at Top Notch Mom. I hope you stop by for their recipes, because I can tell you first hand that these cookies truly belong in your recipe box!
This was a wonderful cookie swap, and I’m already thinking and planning what to make for next year! A special thank you to Julie at The Little Kitchen and Lindsay at Love & Olive Oil for all of their hard work and planning that went into this highly successful swap for those beautiful kids battling that horrible disease. It was truly a pleasure to be a part of this. #fbcookieswap
- 3 sticks butter, softened
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup molasses
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1½ tsp cinnamon
- ¾ tsp ground cloves
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 5¼ cups flour
- In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ground cloves, ground ginger,
- Using your stand mixer, add the butter and brown sugar to the mixing bowl, and beat on high until fluffy.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until fully incorporated after each one.
- Add the molasses and vanilla, and beat until well blended.
- Reduce the speed on the mixer to slow, and add the flour mixture one cup at a time, mixing until the flour is mixed in thoroughly after each addition.
- Go ahead. It smells so good….take a little taste!
- Divide the dough, and wrap in plastic wrap… refrigerate for at least two hours.
- To Bake:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Roll the chilled dough out to about ¼” thin using plenty of flour on the surface.
- Cut squares using a 2½” scalloped square cookie cutter or your favorite cookie shape.
- Place on prepared baking sheets.
- Bake for 9 to 12 minutes depending on your oven’s temperature.
- Let cool completely on cooling racks.
- Decorate with your favorite icing and pattern!
- Royal Icing Recipe (From Wilton.com) (Double the recipe!)
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 3 tbsp. meringue powder
- 5-6 tbsp. water (depending on desired consistency. I used 5 tbsp. water)
- Black food coloring
- Blue food coloring
- Red food coloring
- Orange Food Coloring
- Silver or White Decorating Sugar
- Snowflake candy decorations
- Disposable Decorators Bags
- In mixing bowl, beat together the powdered sugar, meringue powder, and water until fluffy. I let it beat for about five minutes.
- To decorate the cookies:
- I used disposable plastic decorator’s bags, and cut the tips off (small, medium, and larger tips cut off)
- Take about one cup of the royal frosting, and add blue food coloring. Mix well.
- Take about ½ cup of the royal frosting, and add black food coloring. Mix well.
- Take about ¼ cup of the royal frosting, and add red food coloring. Mix well.
- Using the white frosting, fill a disposable bag with a small tip cut off, and make the outline of the snow, (see photo of cookie).
- Using the white frosting, fill a disposable bag with a medium tip cut off, and fill in the outline of the snow. Sprinkle with silver or white decorating sugar.
- Using about ¼ cup of blue frosting, fill a disposable bag with a small tip cut off, and make the outline of the sky. (See photo of cookie)
- Using the remaining blue frosting, fill a disposable bag with a medium tip cut off, and fill in the outline of the sky. Use snowflake candy decorations, or using the small tip white frosting, pipe dots around the sky.
- Using the white frosting, fill a disposable bag with a large tip cut off, and begin with the bottom of the snowman, pipe a large dot. On top of that, pipe a medium size dot. On top of the medium dot, pipe a small dot for the head.
- Using the black frosting, fill a disposable bag with a small tip cut off, and pipe a little top hat on top of the head (see photo of cookie). Still using the black frosting with the small tip, pipe two small dots on the middle circle for buttons.
- Using the red frosting, fill a disposable bag with a small tip cut off, and pipe a little scarf on the snowmans neck (see photo of cookie).
- Dip one end of a toothpick in orange food coloring, and carefully draw a triangle nose in the middle of the head.
- Dip one end of a toothpick in black food coloring, and carefully dot two eyes.
- Let the frosted cookies dry on bakers racks for a few hours, or overnight.