As convenient as technology has made our way of communicating with people around the world, I do love receiving the good old-fashioned letter or package in the mail. I can't remember the last time somebody sent me a letter, but the last package I got was from my sister on my birthday. She really took the time to decorate the box and the card and I loved opening the package to see all that. I also love sending packages because I feel like everybody feels the same way. When I learned about a cookie swap among bloggers, I had to join in! Baking, sending packages, receiving packages, and sharing recipes: what's not to love?
The three types of cookies above are what I received. Berlinerkranser (the circle cookies) and chocolate and almond dipped shortbread cookies are from Janet at Simply So Good. These were delicious. The shortbread was flaky and so fragile, it just crumbles in your mouth and sometimes just in your hand. I loved the orange zest flavor in the Berlinerkranser and those were also great.
The Springerle cookies (on the left in the bottom picture) I received from Michelle at From Calculus to Cupcakes. Ever since I started looking through food porn, I have seen recipes for these cookies and thought they would be difficult to make. Michelle thought the same, but she said it turned out to be not at all difficult! So now I am encouraged to try to make Springerle when I get the chance. They are so pretty with the designs and I love the lemon flavor. I don't know if I've said this before, but lemon bars are pretty much my favorite dessert and the flavor reminded me of that, so I loved these. Rosalynda from This Mama Can Cook sent me cranberry oatmeal cookies. These were also great. I loved the whole mixture of ingredients. They may be small in size, but they certainly have big flavor. The sweetness from the white chocolate, the tartness from the cranberries, the zing from the orange zest, and the chewiness from the oatmeal all came together to make a great combination.
When it came to choosing a recipe for the cookies I was sending out, I wanted to go for something crazy. I found a recipe for Dulce de Leche Potato Chip Cookies and decided on that because the name just sounds like it's gonna be some crazy cookies. I went ahead and made dulce de leche in the oven from sweetened condensed milk, bought some sea salt kettle cooked potato chips, made the cookies. I was so excited to try these that I think I worked up my expectations way too much. I was very disappointed when I bit into these cookies. They were a tough sponge-y texture and they weren't sweet at all. The chips became soggy in the cookies and there was not enough salt to give it the sweet and salty taste that it was supposed to have. I couldn't send these if I didn't really like them! I resorted to a classic: Cowboy Cookies.
I've actually never had or made these cookies before, but I thought that it's gotta be good just looking at the list of ingredients. There was plenty of sweet and salty in these cookies and the texture was a good crunchy one, not a total flop like the first ones I made. I hope that Emily, Melanie, and Abby who received the cookies enjoyed them!
Cowboy Cookies [Makes 36 cookies]
From Bourbonnatrix Bakes
1 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups rolled oats
14 tbsp unsalted butter, cool but not cold, cut into 1-inch cubes
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp instant espresso powder, mixed with 1/4 cup hot water
2 cups semisweet chocolate chunks
3/4 cup thin salty pretzels, broken into tiny pieces but not crushed into dust
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add the oats and stir to combine.
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat
the butter and sugars together until smooth and creamy. Add the egg and
egg yolk, beating until the mixture looks light and fluffy. Scrape down
the sides and bottom of the bowl, add the vanilla, and beat for 5
seconds. Add hot coffee to
the bowl, mixing until combined.
Add half of the dry ingredients and mix for 15 seconds. Add the
remaining dry ingredients and beat until just incorporated. Scrape down
the sides and bottom of the bowl and fold in the chocolate chunks and 1/2
cup of the pretzel pieces. Cover the bowl tightly and refrigerate the dough for at least 4 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Use a small ice cream scoop with a release mechanism to scoop out dough
in 2 tablespoon-size balls (or use a tablespoon measure) and place the
dough balls onto the prepared baking sheet about 1 inch apart. Sprinkle
the remaining 1/4 cup pretzel pieces over the dough balls. Use the palm of
your hand to press the dough down lightly; don’t smash the cookie-you
just want to slightly flatten the ball and push the pretzel pieces into
Bake for 11 to 13 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the baking
time, until the edges of the cookies are golden brown or just start to
Set the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes to cool. Use a spatula to
transfer the cookies on the rack to cool completely. They can be stored
in an airtight container for up to 3 days.