Saturday, December 15, 2012

Cookie Week: Salted Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

What a week, as of today we are officially in mid-December. There is still much to be done this holiday season, but in light of recent events, even more to be thankful for. I don't have to words to describe how awful it must be to lose a child in a tragedy like that in Connecticut, or how Lily's family must feel losing their daughter to a hard fought battle with cancer. This morning I'm thankful for those who fight to keep young lives safe, who fight to eradicate all cancers, and it seems like "thank you" just begins to cover it all.

This week I was honored to blog with a group of women who are constantly using their blogging platforms to shine light on the issues most important to them. During Cookie Week, Kristen at Comfortably Domestic is working with Glad to Give and tallying up the number of cookies we've all swapped this week. Glad to Give will in turn donate a dollar to Cookies for Kids Cancer for every cookie exchanged this week (you can participate too, send your totals to comfortablydomestic <at> gmail <dot> com by today).

On Thursday, my co-workers and I swapped cookies during shift change at my fun market job. This was my first in-person cookie swap which was exciting, as I've only ever participated in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap (also exciting). I'm lucky to work with lots of foodies, so there was no shortage of great cookies to be had.

For my contribution I made Salted Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies from Food 52. There is cookie that a Detroit bakery (and I'm sure thousands of others) makes - Sea Salt Chocolate Chip - I'm obsessed. I happily sprinkled flakey, crunchy Maldon Sea Salt all over these cookies. In all, I contributed fourteen cookies to the market-swap, and gave the rest to co-workers at my non-profit job (the beauty of multiple jobs - more distribution outlets for baked goods). 

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
cup sugar
large eggs
teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3/4 cups creamy peanut butter (not all natural)
1/2 cup unsalted peanuts
cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
coarse sea salt for sprinkling cookies

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar with an an electric mixer on medium-high speed. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Beat in peanut butter until just combined. Beat in dry ingredients until just combined. Stir in peanuts and chocolate chips.
  4. Drop 1 heaping tablespoon of cookie dough two inches apart. Top each cookie with a few sea salt crystals.
  5. Bake cookies for 12-14 minutes, until the edges are firm.

Be sure to check out all of the Cookie Week posts via Comfortably Domestic!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2012

To say I've been looking forward to the 2nd annual Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap since August would not be an exaggeration.  Last year's swap kept my friends and I fueled during finals week. This year's swap was just what I needed to launch myself into the holiday season amidst work, life, etc! The sweet addition to this year's swap was that each participating blogger represented $4 going to Cookies for Cancer.

As I haven't spent much time baking in past few months I sought out infallible recipes for this year's swap. When I found Dorie Greenspan's recipe for Chocolate Chunkers, I knew it was "the one." Four types of chocolate eliminated all room for error, not even my finicky oven could mess up this one.

I did worry the final product, which was amazing, may have been a little delicate for shipping. The "crunchies" as Dorie called them, semisweet and white chocolate chips, peanuts and raisins, outweigh the cookie dough here and so the dough loosely holds these cookies together. Hopefully my cookie recipients forgave any presentation problems at first bite!

Get the Dorie's Recipe for Chocolate Chunkers here.

Off to New York, Tennesee and Florida
In exchange, I received three dozen great cookies.
These ladies know how to bake! I've been stowing away the cookies they sent in my freezer and I'm looking forward to enjoying them all winter long. If you're interested in signing up for next year's swap - sign up here.

Later this week I'm joining my favorite bloggers of all time who are baking for Cookie Week.  Kristen at Comfortably Domestic is organizing this baking extravaganza alongside Cookies for Kids Cancer (much like the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap). For each cookie exchanged, Glad to Give is donating $1 to Cookies for Kids Cancer. Be sure to follow all the action of Cookie Week via Kristen's blog or use #cookieweek on Twitter.