I’m not entirely sure where to begin – there’s a certain art to storytelling you see and you must parcel out the juicy bits at the right time. Not too long ago, I heard of this fascinating concept of cookie swapping. It coincided with my favorite time of the year and it involved cookies! I’ve been following The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap for a while now – I came across it when I first started blogging and I’ve been secretly hoping to initiate something of the sort here. Who doesn’t love getting things in the mail? Finally, my blog was eligible and I wrote, fingers crossed, to Lindsey and Julie, the organizers. They wrote back, excited to have us on board, provided I could find a few other eligible bloggers for the same. I quickly wrote to Riddhi of Cook by Book and a few others and was overwhelmed with the response. IT WAS HAPPENING! Thank you Julie and Lindsey for being so cool and so accommodating! Thank you Riddhi for being an amazing blogger friend and responding almost immediately – I swear, this girl kept my spirits up. You deserve a lot of cookies (now that we know shipment is an option!)
In spite of the payment hiccups and organizing shipment etc (it’s a fairly new concept here and there’s always a chance of things getting lost in the mail etc), all in all, it turned out amazing. The best feeling ever, is reaching out to new bloggers out there, swapping cookies and knowing its all for a good cause. I cannot wait for next year.
My matches included gluten free lentil cookies with tomatoes and basil from Sangeeta’s blog, candied ginger and chocolate chip cookies from Himanshu and White Chocolate and Apricot cookies from Riddhi’s Cook by Book. In turn, I sent out cookies to Deeba of Passionate about Baking, Himanshu of White Ramekins and Sangeeta of Desi Videshi.
After a lot of list making, I settled on Lavender Crisps. One of my matches requested for wholesome ingredients and I wanted to comply with something exotic, of course. It’s an adapted recipe and I love that includes wheat bran and whole wheat. They’re baked thin and crisp up very well. They’re so enjoyable with tea or a late night snack. I helped myself to a few and sandwiched them with Biscoff spread. DREAMY.
Yields: About 3 dozen (depending on how you cut them)
Adapted from: Joy of Baking
3/4 cup (95 g) whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup (60 g) all purpose flour
1/4 cup (13 g) wheat bran
1/3 cup (65 g) caster sugar
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
7 tbs (95 g) cold, unsalted butter
1 tbs mild honey (I used organic honey)
2 tbs milk
1 heaped tbs dried culinary lavender*
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract* Note – Dried culinary lavender is not available in India. You can try ordering it from Amazon or swap it for lavender tea or any other flavored tea that you like. I’ve used Earl Grey and loved it!
1. In the bowl of a food processor, add all the dry ingredients and give it a quick pulse.
2. Add the butter – I like to measure out the butter, cut into cubes and give it a quick freeze in the freezer while I work on setting everything else and remove it at the last possible minute – and pulse only till the consistency is sandy. Finally add milk, extracts and honey and pulse again till the dough has just combined. Remove contents of the bowl onto a worktop and bring together, gently, using your palms. Clingwrap and refrigerate up to a week or until firm.
3. When you’re ready to bake, pre-heat the oven to 150 deg C. Line 2 cookie trays with a silicon mat and set aside. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it sit out till malleable (but not entirely soft).
4. Lightly dust flour onto your worktop and rolling pin. Cut the dough in half and roll out one half till thin (less than a centimeter) and even all over. Cut out desired shapes with floured cookie cutters and bake for 15 minutes (not longer as they may burn) and be vigilant the whole time. I like to fill both trays at once and let the other chill in the refrigerator while one bakes. It’s humid here so that’s necessary. Remove carefully onto a wire rack and let it cool before transferring to an airtight container for up to a week.
Disclaimer: All proceeds from the participation fee of this initiative were donated, in full to Cookies for Kid’s Cancer Research. For more information about the The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap, see here. For subscribing to participation information for next year’s swap, see here.