I participated in ‘The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap‘ again this year. Despite the fact that it isn’t Australian based, I still think it’s such a great cause and also so much fun to give and receive cookies. You can read about my experience last year, here.
This year I needed to bake gluten free cookies. Instead of trying to alter recipes and re invent the wheel so to speak I decided to go with something that was naturally gluten free, meringues. I made little meringue cookies with my own twist. These have a strong hit of coffee (hence the espresso title) and their bottoms are dipped in chocolate and almonds. The coffee, chocolate and almonds make the perfect combination.
Espresso Meringue Cookies with Chocolate Almond Bottoms
- 4 egg whites
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 tblsp ground instant coffee
- 120g milk chocolate
- 1/2 tsp oil
- 1 cup crushed slivered almonds (toasted)
Pre heat oven to 140c. Place the egg whites and sugar into a heat proof bowl over a pot of simmering water(be sure your water isn’t too hot or it ill cook the egg whites). Stir constantly until the sugar dissolves, once dissolved place into a bowl of a mixer and whip for about 5 minutes until egg white mixture is thick, firm and glossy. Add in coffee and whip till combined. Place into a piping bag and pipe onto baking paper lined trays.
Place in the oven for 1.5 hours. After this, turn the oven off but leave them in the oven to cool, for best results, make this recipe in the evening and leave the meringues in the oven overnight to dry out. Meringues will be ready when they feel feel hard, lift away from the paper easily and sound hollow when tapped.
Once ready melt chocolate in a microwave, check and stir every 30 seconds. Add in the oil to the melted chocolate and mix. Dip the bottom of each meringue into the chocolate and then the almonds, place on a baking sheet to set.
These Espresso Meringue Cookies were sent to Erika Rax, The Little Blue Bicycle and The Aussie Kitchen. I received delicious Peanut Butter Choc Chip cookies from Erika Rax, spicy Ginger cookies from The Little Blue Bicycle (I can’t believe you’re only 14) and Triple Chocolate gluten free cookies from Fati’s Recipes. I have to admit, this cookie swap makes you feel like a little child again. I was constantly checking the mailbox and the door to see if I had received more cookies. Once the last one arrived I was so disappointed that I wasn’t going to be receiving any more. So, if you’re baking cookies, please post some to me.
Have you heard about The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap? I hadn’t until a few months ago when I signed up. Basically, you sign up, make a donation, wait for your matches, bake your cookies, package your cookies, send your cookies, oh and let’s not forget, you receive cookies too. But it’s not all just about sending and receiving cookies, the donations are for Cookies for Kid’s Cancer, a not for profit organisation looking for the improved research into therapies for paediatric cancer, such a great cause that I’m delighted to be a part of!
Inspired by the American origin of the cookie swap and equipped with popular American ingredients in the pantry (ie, pretzels and peanut butter cups) I decided on these Peanut Butter Pretzel Cookies. (Logo courtesy of fbcookieswap.com)
Here’s what you’ll need to make these cookies.
Peanut Butter Cup, Pretzel Cookies
Makes 40 Cookies
(adapted from a previous recipe, White Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies)
2 cups dark brown sugar
2 tblsp smooth peanut butter
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
3 1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
8 x 15g peanut butter cups (I recommend doubling or even tripling this as it really wasn’t enough)
1 1/2 cup pretzels
Pre heat oven on 180c. Cream butter, sugar and peanut butter, add in vanilla and eggs and combine well. Add flour, salt and baking powder. Mix until just combined, turn mixer off and scrape down the sides. Crush your pretzels and chop your peanut butter cups, throw these into your mixer and mix on a very low speed until it is spread throughout the cookie dough. Roll into 2.5cm balls (you should get about 40 cookies), lay on a cookie sheet leaving 2.5 cm gaps between each one, and flatten slightly. Bake for 12 minutes.
Once these babies were baked, I let them cool, then placed 6 cookies into 6 ziplock sandwich bag (2 bags per blogger, 1 dozen each).
I sent the package with a little note from me, and I used these coookie swap printables from Love and Olive Oil. I bubbled wrapped them and placed them in a mailing box from AusPost, next time, I think I’ll wrap my cookies well and send them in a satchel instead, sending out 3 packages of cookies in boxes proved to be an expensive exercise. These cookies were sent to Erin of Cut the Cookie, Muppy of Muppys and Manuela of Manu’s Menu.
As exciting as it was to make and send my cookies it was even more exciting receiving cookies in the mail. I received roasted almond honeycomb cookies from Amanda at Chewtown, white chocolate cranberry cookies from Daisy of Never Too Sweet and date and walnut cookies from Kate of Cooks Companion. Thank you ladies all so much, the cookies were delish!
The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2012, done and dusted, I look forward to participating next year.Thanks to Love and Olive Oil and The Little Kitchen for organising such a wonderful event.
A few weeks ago, I made these Oreo stuffed chocolate chip cookies from Picky Palate. They were delicious. My little man, Muhammad Uzayr loved them too, he even learned how to say “cookie”, I now call him my little cookie monster, for a little kid, he can devour a cookie in minutes!
Since he is so into cookies lately I decided I would whip some up for him (secretly, they were for me too). I didn’t have chocolate chips, so I had to come up with something else. I decided on peanut butter and white chocolate. I always have peanut butter in the house and I also had half a bag of white chocolate chips in the pantry. These white chocolate, peanut butter cookies were amazing, the flavours make a great combo. Especially when the cookies are still slightly warm, and the white chocolate is still gooey inside.
White Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies
50 g peanut butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 3/4 cup plain flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup roughly chopped white chocolate melts/buttons
Pre heat oven to 180C. Cream butters and brown sugar on a high speed till light and fluffy. Add in egg and vanilla and mix well. On a very low speed, tip in flour, salt and baking powder until combined. Lastly throw in chocolate chips and ensure they are mixed through well, you may need to do this part by hand. Roll dough into balls and place an inch apart on a baking sheet. I made fairly small balls.
Tip: I only baked 10 balls. The rest I left to freeze on the baking sheet, then packed them into ziplock bags once they were frozen. Here’s another secret, I would pop 1 or 2 out of the bag and put it in the microwave for 30 seconds. Who knew microwaves could cook cookies? Best thing I ever did! I had little peanut butter white chocolate treats when ever I wanted (I wanted them everyday, sometimes twice a day. Shhh!)
These white chocolate, peanut butter cookies are a must to try out! Let me know if you give it a go!
It’s ANZAC day tomorrow. So I decided I’d whip up some ANZAC cookies, then decided to change things up a bit. What do you think of an ANZAC slice??
I love ANZAC biscuits, they’re really easy and quick to make, no need for mixers or waiting for ingredients to soften or cream. Plus it’s egg free, great for those with an allergy.
Here’s the recipe
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup Dessicated coconut
1 cup self raising flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
125 g butter chopped
2 tblsp golden syrup
1 tblsp boiling water
1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda
1/2 cup Icing mixture
2+ tsp water
1 tblsp poppy seeds
Pre heat oven to 160c. Grease and line a slice pan with baking paper. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside. Stir butter, golden syrup and water over medium heat till smooth. Remove from heat and add in bicarb, combine well ensuring there are no lumps. Add syrup mixture to dry ingredients and combine well, press firmly into slice pan and bake till golden (15 – 20 minutes). Let slice stand until completely cool (trust me, you need patience with this one, or the slice will crack)
For glaze, combine water and icing sugar, add a little water at a time as it can get too wet very quickly. Mix well. Cover Anzac slice while still in pan. Sprinkle poppy seeds and slice once cool and set.
Variation: If you’d still like to make cookies, use the same recipe, just use 1/2 a cup of flour. Roll into balls and press onto a cookie sheet lines with baking paper, bake till crisp and golden.