The holiday season is officially here! Frankly, it seemed to arrive miraculously the moment we finished the last few bites of turkey, stuffing, and apple pie. I woke up the morning following Thanksgiving to find twinkling lights on every house, sales popping up in every store, and the much anticipated Christmas music serenading me everywhere I went.
I have discovered a new holiday tradition that I am so excited to be a part of. The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap hosted by The Little Kitchen http://www.thelittlekitchen.net/ and Love and Olive Oil http://www.loveandoliveoil.com/. This year they had 566 participants in 7 countries, raising $2,417 for Cookies for Kids’ Cancer (add to that to brand partners’ matching contributions and they’ve raised just over $12,000). Basically it works just like a gift exchange. They send you the name of 3 registered food bloggers. You bake and send one dozen cookies to each one. Then 3 food bloggers get your name, and each one sends you a dozen special holiday cookies.
It was so exciting to receive the holiday care packages in the mail. My kids and I loved eating all the cookies.
Double Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Cookies from The Monday Box www.themondaybox.com
Ginger Molasses Cookie Bars from Celebrating Sweets www.celebratingsweets.com
Toffee Pecan Shortbread Cookies from First Time Foods www.firsttimefoods.com.
I sent cookies to www.dinnerfortwobog.com, www.2cookinmamas.com, and www.thenoshery.com. I hope you all enjoyed your Chocolate Chip Macaroons! I even received a cupcake decorating kit from OXO that I am so excited to use! Please enjoy all these wonderful cookie recipes and check out the blogs of my fellow food bloggers!
Here is a slightly adapted version of Mark Bittman’s macaroons (he’s one of my cooking idols). I have reduced the size of the recipe and added mini chocolate chips, just like the small cans of Manischewitz chocolate chip macaroons you can buy in the supermarket. But better. They are even gluten-free!
⅓ cup sugar
1-cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 egg white, beaten
½ teaspoon vanilla extract (almond extract works nicely too)
Pinch of salt
⅓ cup mini chocolate chips
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with a Silpat or parchment paper. Mix all the ingredients together. Scoop a tablespoon of the mixture into slightly damp hands and roll into a ball, gently compressing the mixture to keep it together. Line them up on a cookie sheet (they won’t expand so the cookies can be relatively close together – no more than 16 per cookie sheet). Bake about 15 minutes or until light golden brown on top. Allow them to cool for 10 minutes before removing to a cooling rack. They will need about 30 minutes altogether to cool. These keep well in an airtight container for 4-5 days.