‘Tis the season for: Cookie swaps!

This year we participated in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap. The rules were simple. Bake and send a dozen cookies each to three recipients. Get three dozen cookies in return. INHALE COOKIES. Write blog post. The hardest part was deciding what cookies to make. And how to package them so they were cute yet still safe for shipping. And while it would have been easiest to go with one of our tried and true recipes, we decided to go with something completely new, resulting in a few weekends of trial and error.

Barcelona Cookie Food Blogger Cookie Swap

Introducing: the Barcelona Cookie. They have nothing to do with the city of Barcelona, but have everything to do with a fave chocolate bar by Vosges, which served as the inspiration. The premise is simple: dark chocolate, toasted almonds and sea salt. Where the trial and error came in was finding a recipe that would hold up to shipping and stay fresh for more than a week. And there was some debate over the right amount of salt.

Barcelona Cookie Food Blogger Cookie Swap Almonds Sea Salt Fleur de Sel Barcelona Cookie Food Blogger Cookie Swap Chocolate

We started with a chocolate wafer recipe. One that we had made before, found on Smitten Kitchen. We made a few modifications, like ditching the salt and adding almond extract. Shouldn’t every cookie have almond extract? Then we toasted almonds with sea salt to top off the cookies. What resulted was a rich-salty-sweet-nutty-crunchy cookie. But they are thin enough that you can eat like a dozen without really blinking.

Barcelona Cookie Food Blogger Cookie Swap Chocolate Barcelona Cookie Food Blogger Cookie Swap Chocolate Almond

For the packaging, we designed and printed tags, picked up some canning jars, and ordered colorful twine. We placed the cookies in a clear bag which we then placed inside the jar for an added layer of protection. Of course, we also had to add a protective layer of wax paper. Kinda ruined the aesthetic, but necessary for shipping.

Barcelona Cookie Food Blogger Cookie Swap Chocolate Twine Barcelona Cookie Food Blogger Cookie Swap Chocolate Twine

And based on some nice notes from our recipients (Soup Addict, Ma Vie en Rose, and Munching in the Mitten), we think they were well received! And they arrived in tact! So, in the end, I think we got it right.

And a big thank you to Love and Olive Oil and The Little Kitchen for organizing! Can’t wait for next year! Also can’t forget to thank My Life as Mrs, Kiss My Whisk, and Cooke’d With Luv for sending all the amazing cookies that we’ve already devoured!

INGREDIENTS

For the cookies:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
1 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp baking soda
14 tbsp unsalted butter, slightly softened
3 tbsp whole milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract

For the almond topping:
½ cup almonds
1 tsp fleur de sel

DIRECTIONS

Combine flour, cocoa (we used a combo of Dagoba and Scharffen Berger), sugar and baking soda in the bowl of food processor and pulse several times to mix. Cut butter into smaller chunks and add them to the bowl. Pulse several times. Combine milk, vanilla and almond in a small bowl and with the processor running, add the milk and continue to process until the dough starts to clump around the blade. Place dough in a bowl and knead to make sure it is blended.

Form the dough into a log and wrap in wax paper and refrigerate until firm (at least one hour). Or if you’re impatient like us, freeze for 20 minutes. It just needs to be firm enough to slice.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. While dough is chilling, place almonds in the bowl of the food processor and pulse until chopped. Place onto baking sheet lined with foil and toss with sea salt. Toast in the oven (we used a toaster oven) for 5-7 minutes or until slightly golden and then transfer to small bowl.

Once dough is chilled, with a sharp serrated knife, cut the dough into thin slices (1/8 to 1/4-inch thick). We took an extra step and used a biscuit cutter to make perfect circles, but you don’t have to be that obsessive! Place cookies one inch apart on the lined sheets (cookies will spread slightly). Sprinkle almonds on top. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, rotating the cookie sheets halfway through.

Cool the cookies on racks. The cookies should crisp as they cool. If they don’t, you can return them to the oven to bake a little longer, then cool again. These cookies can be stored for up to two weeks.

Makes approximately 36-48 cookies, depending on how thin they are sliced.

8 responses to ‘Tis the season for: Cookie swaps!

  • mandi w

    posted on 12.12.11 at 12:12 pm

    01

    hmmm sounds awesome ashley – i have a cookie swap this weekend…might have to consider!! thanks for the recipe :)

  • SoupAddict Karen

    posted on 12.12.11 at 12:12 pm

    02

    I can attest – they were delicious! :)

  • girlyobsessions

    posted on 12.12.11 at 12:32 pm

    03

    Thanks Karen! And Mandi, give them a try! They are super easy and you only need a food processor and a knife!

  • Margaret

    posted on 12.13.11 at 11:16 am

    04

    Oh my goodness, these were so tasty. I am definitely adding these to the short list to make for the fam when I go home for Christmas! And I loved the little touches that made it look so professional- the string, for goodness sake!- so adorable :-)

    • Ashley

      posted on 12.13.11 at 1:04 pm

      05

      Thank you Margaret!

  • Rhiannon

    posted on 12.14.11 at 5:23 pm

    06

    I'm doing something similar for some christmas presents, I'm putting the dry ingredients in jars and mailing them out. Love all your different colored twines, and I pretty much live by williams sonoma's vanilla extract. So good.

    • Ashley

      posted on 11.29.99 at 7:00 pm

      07

      My cousin made something like that for Christmas last year and they were a big hit! Great idea! I hope you post some pics when you’re done!

  • michelle091

    posted on 12.17.11 at 1:07 am

    08

    They sound delish! I'll have to give these a try. Thanks for sharing

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