So, at the end of October this year, the Twitterati started tweeting about The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap, organised by food bloggers Love & Olive Oil, and The Little Kitchen.
In the words of Lindsay from Love & Olive Oil, here’s how it works…
“The premise is this: sign up. Receive the addresses of three other food bloggers. Send each of them one dozen delicious homemade cookies. Receive three different boxes of scrumptious cookies from other bloggers. Eat them all yourself (or, you know, share. If you want. No judgement either way.) Post your cookie recipe on your blog. See everyone else’s cookie recipes. Salivate. Get lots of great ideas for next years’ cookie swap. Rinse and repeat.”
Now, I have to be honest, up until this point, I haven’t a great deal of experience in baking cookies. However, I thought that the Cookie Swap was a lovely way to have some contact with those people on Twitter that I follow, and seem to have so much in common with, beyond the 140 word limit of Twitter.
So, the big question was what cookie to bake?
I decided to turn to my new cookery book, Darina Allen’s Ballymaloe Cookery Course.
This is a fabulous book, like a cookery bible really. My Mum had this book at home, and I have always wanted my own copy. So big Thanks to my lovely husband for buying me my own copy recently.
On page 464 I came across a recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies.
I decided to add some orange zest to create a chocolate orange flavour (one of my favourite flavour combinations – think Chocolate Orange Matchmakers… yum).
I did a trial run and was thrilled with the results.
One of my husband’s colleagues even declared that this was his favourite bake of mine, high praise indeed!
So on a recent rainy Sunday in Glasgow, I set about baking the cookies for the Swap.
This time I added some orange blossom water to the recipe, and I think this really helps to bring out the orange flavour.
Once the cookies were baked and cooled I packaged them up for posting…
I was thrilled to receive some lovely feedback from my three matches, and was over the moon to read Amy’s blog post and Jules’ blog post about my cookies.
So, if you fancy trying these out for yourself, here’s the recipe…
- 225g unsalted butter
- 200g light soft brown sugar
- 175g caster sugar
- 2 eggs, beaten
- zest of 2 oranges
- 1 tsp orange blossom water
- 350g plain white flour
- 1 level tsp baking powder
- 1 level tsp bicarbonate of soda
- pinch of salt
- 175g dark chocolate (I use Bournville), chopped
Preheat the oven to 170°C.
Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, and salt into a large bowl.
Using a freestanding mixer beat the butter until soft, add the sugars, and beat until light and fluffy.
Gradually add the eggs, a little at a time, and then the orange zest and orange blossom water.
Add the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, and salt, and beat on a slow speed until well combined.
Finally, add the chopped chocolate and mix in.
Roll a small amount of the mixture (~20-25g) into a ball using your hands, and place on a sheet of Bake-O-Glide on a baking sheet.
Remember to leave enough space between the balls of cookie dough to allow for spreading of the mixture during the bake. I do 9 at a time.
Bake for about 8 minutes, or until just starting to brown slightly at the edges.
Cool for a few minutes on the tray, and then transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
Store in an airtight container.
This recipe makes around 48 cookies.
So far, I have only received 2 batches of cookies, am thinking the Postman couldn’t resist the smell from my 3rd package.
Big Thanks to Laura from Aga Girls for her double chocolate chip cookies… delicious!
Also Thanks to Mrs Iles for her lovely chocolate covered shortbread.
Finally, many Thanks to Lindsay and Julie for all their hard work in organising this cookie swap – ♥.