How exciting! We’re at the halfway point between the first day of December and Christmas Day and I’m excited. I can’t wait till Christmas but at the same time I’m really enjoying the excitement in the lead up. Included in that excitement was the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2012.
I signed up for the swap after hearing about it via Best Friends for Frosting (I’m pretty sure) in November. The deal is, you bake a bunch of cookies. You send 1 dozen cookies to three food bloggers (that’s one dozen each) and in return, three food bloggers send you cookies! It was so much fun making up my packages and I love love love recieving mail so getting the cookies was awesome too!
I made biscotti, because it keeps really well and it ships really well. I added pistachios, cranberries and white chocolate – Christmas colours! I sent my cookies to these three lovely ladies who blog: Muppy at Muppys, Manuela from Manu’s Menu and Catie from Sweetly Baked.
In return, I got three amazing packets of cookies. From Amanda at ChewTown I got Roasted Almond, Chocolate and Honeycomb cookies, from Faazia (awesome name!) at Modest Munchies I got Peanut Butter Cup and Pretzel cookies and from Kate at the Cook’s Companion Challenge I got date and walnut biscuits!
I really enjoyed the cookie swap and I’m pretty sure it’s going to become an annual date on my calendar. Part of Christmas is sharing what you know and what you love with other people – and cookies are definitely what I know and love!
Adapted from Mediterranean Kitchen
375 g plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
250 g caster sugar
2 egg yolks
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp lemon zest (or orange)
75 g shelled pistachios
75 g dried cranberries
75 g chopped white chocolate
Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F and line two baking trays with baking paper. Set aside.
Sift flour and baking powder into a large bowl and mix in sugar. Make a well in the centre and stir in the eggs, egg yolks, vanilla extract and lemon zest.
Use your hands to mix in the pistachios, cranberries and white chocolate. Divide the dough into thirds and shape them into logs on the baking trays. Leave about two inches for spreading if you’re baking two on one tray (I did and it worked out fine).
Bake in preheated oven for about 35 minutes. Let cool about ten minutes on the trays and then slice each log into half centimetre bars.
Arrange the biscotti back on the trays (yep, you can use the same baking paper and everything). They can be nestled quite close because they’re not going to spread any more. Bake for eight minutes, then flip the cookies and bake a further eight minutes.
Let cool on trays before impressing your far-away friends.