Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Cookieswaps With Moms

This past weekend I participated in my first ever cookie swap with my lovely girlfriends and their moms.  Of course it made me miss my mom like crazy so I had to call her and tell her I'm still mad at her for moving so far away.  (Glad Valley, South Dakota which has a population of and stepdad...and has the high distinction of being the town that is farthest from a McDonalds in the continental US.)  I know if mom were here, she would have loved to come.

Jesse invited us all to her warm and cozy apartment above the town square where we enjoyed a stimulating beverages, delicious soup with bread and pesto and of course, staggering amounts of cookies.  I spent much of the visit in a sugar high as the snow and sleet fell outside.  The hours flew by and soon there were Christmas concerts to attend and we all slowly meandered out, loaded up with every kind of cookie imaginable.  We all agreed to share recipes so here is my contribution, adapted from a recipe by Simply Organic:

Peppermint Patty Cookies

1 3/4 cup plus 2 level Tbsp of all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
8 oz. organic dark chocolate, finely chopped
2 3/4 cup sugar, divided
1/4 cup organic grapeseed or sunflower oil
3 Tbsp organic salted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 Tbsp agave syrup
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp peppermint extract
1 cup powdered sugar


  1. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt thoroughly and set aside.
  2. Melt the chocolate in a double-boiler while stirring. Set aside.
  3. In a mixer with the paddle attachment, beat together 2½ cups of the sugar, oil, butter and agave syrup to blend evenly. Beat in the eggs, egg yolk, vanilla extract and peppermint extract. On low, gently beat in the melted chocolate. Gradually add the flour mixture and beat it on low speed until just incorporated. Do not overmix or the cookies will be tough.
  4. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
  5. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Line a sheetpan with parchment or Silpat®.
  6. Take about a quarter of the dough out of the fridge at a time. With clean hands, roll the dough into 3-inch balls. Pour the remaining ¼ cup granulated sugar into one bowl and the confectioners' sugar into another bowl. Roll each cookie dough ball lightly in granulated sugar first, then very heavily in confectioners' sugar. (The plain sugar keeps the confectioners' sugar from soaking into the batter).
  7. Arrange cookies 2 inches apart on the parchment or Silpat®. For crispier cookies, bake 12 to 14 minutes. For a chewier cookie, bake 10-12 minutes. Bake one sheet at a time. They should spread and and show their crinkles, but if they need encouragement, let stand 1 to 2 minutes then press them down flat with a spatula to be about ½-inch thick. Move to a cooling rack and do the next batch.

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