It’s that time of year again, when bells are a-jingling, lights are a-sparklin’, and spirits are spiraling downwards into depression as finals suck the life out of us…I mean, spirits are soaring with holiday cheer while everyone is frantically clogging up the mall to finish last minute shopping. Ahem.
Well! There’s no better way to kick the ba-humbug out of you than with some homemade cookies filled with good cheer. Or so I tell myself to ward off the guilt of inhaling sugary carbs with a disapprovingly high calorie count. Yum.
Before I manage to bring your spirits down further, as we’ve mentioned in a few posts, we’ve taken part in this year’s Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2012! [insert cheers and applause here] This year, the cookie swap isn’t just contributing to the food blogger community but it’s also supporting the Cookies for Kids’ Cancer’s cause. OXO will match donations to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer for up to $100,000! In fact, OXO was kind enough to send us a nifty little “Good Cookie” spatula. How cute is that?
Does Cookies for Kids’ Cancer sound familiar? If you read our previous post, then you’d know that S.S.Munchies is also holding our own fundraiser until the end of January 2013 for Save the Children and Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. Read our post for more information on the fundraiser and help donate or spread the word!
Now, on to what you were actually waiting for…If you liked our cookies last year, we think you’ll love what we made this year — so make sure to try them out before the world ends next week! This year, I made some simple but tasty Almond Biscotti with Mint Chocolate and Jas has some special Carrot Oatmeal Surprise Cookies in store for you.
Hey guys, Jas finally making my reappearance today. It’s that time of year again: Cookie Swap! This called for me to drop all my work, roll up em sleeves, and finally get back to baking over this past Thanksgiving break. Mmmm what better way to procrastinate? This year, I definitely wanted to make a healthy, yet scrumptious oatmeal type cookie, as I have been a bit obsessive over oatmeal lately. Hey, as a poor college student what better quick breakfast than instant oatmeal and hot water? (plus rivers of honey and chunky bits of walnuts mmm). Yet, I wasn’t aiming for just any boring old typical oatmeal raisin. After browsing through recipes, I decided nothing fit into what I felt like making, and ended up doing a science experiment of sorts and winging it. The end result of my Carrot Oatmeal Surprise Cookies ended up beautifully mouthwatering with the perfect balance of salty, sweet, chewy, and crunchy. Yay for mad scientist Jas in the kitchen! Here’s the delectable (and super healthy) recipe below. Keep in mind that everything is free for variation of your own desires, as I pretty much eyeballed everything. (I have measuring lines in my eyeballs that tell me to stop pouring when it reaches the “delicious” level). Oh, and the carrots give the cookies such a lovely golden orange splash of color, definitely perfect for a gift cookie!
Carrot Oatmeal Surprise Cookies
(makes 36 small cookies)
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 egg (preferably room temperature)
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup whole wheat flour
- ¼ cup unbleached all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt (sea salt works nicely)
- 1 ½ cup of oats (any kind is fine, I just used instant)
- 2/3 cup nut of choice (I used 1/3 pecans and 1/3 walnut mix)
- 1tbsp freshly grated ginger
- 1 cup finely grated carrot
- 1/3 cup raisins (I used a Taiwanese variety har har har)
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg (I left this out as I couldn’t find it for the life of me)
Start off by preheating your oven to 350F and lining your baking pans/trays with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. In a large separate bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the softened butter and sugar until fluffy and add the vanilla extract and egg. Mix to incorporate. Slowly add the flour mixture to the batter in parts, mixing until just incorporated each time.
The perfect taste of carrot cake in cookie form, studded with pecans and walnuts and elegantly spiced with cinnamon and the sweet taste of chewy raisins will make you smile, enjoy!
Photographs taken by Jasmine Hwang
Almond Biscotti with Mint Chocolate
- 3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon orange liqueur
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 cup whole almonds, toasted, coarsely chopped
- 1 large egg white
- 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate morsels (optional)
- 1/2 tsp mint extract (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Sift flour, baking powder and cinnamon into medium bowl. Mix sugar, melted butter, 3 eggs, vanilla extract, orange liquer (I went with Grand Marnier) and zest in large bowl. Add flour mixture to egg mixture and stir with wooden spoon until well blended. Mix in almonds.
Divide dough in half. Shape each dough half into flat logs and transfer both logs to a baking sheet. Whisk the egg white in small bowl until foamy and brush over the top and sides of each log.
Bake logs until golden brown (logs will spread slightly), about 30 minutes. Cool logs completely on sheet on rack, about 25 minutes. Maintain oven temperature.
Cut logs on a diagonal into 1/2-inch-wide slices. Arrange slices, cut side down, on the baking sheet. Bake 12 minutes. Turn over and bake about 8 minutes. This ensures extra crunch and gives a nice toasted color to the biscotti.
Optional: Melt your choice of chocolate and add mint extract. Smooth mint chocolate over top half of the biscotti. Let cool and enjoy~!
This year, we sent our cookies to Icing on the Cake, Hearts in My Oven, and Shuffling Freckles. Hopefully our cookies made it to you safely. Check out their blogs to see what kinds of delicious cookies they whipped up for the cookie swap!
Also, we’ve received some addicting Lemon Honey Drop Cookies from Meal Planning Magic, fancy Anise and Brown Butter Maple Pizzelle from The Way to My Family’s Heart, and some incredibly fragrant Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies from Wilde in the Kitchen. The cookies made it to us safely and were yummy in our tummies!
~ AJ ~