Monday, December 1, 2008

Holiday Cookie Swap

It's finally here! For those of you who are just joining us, today is the very first "Bloggin' It From The 'Burbs" Cookie Swap.

As I have previously stated, life out here in small town America gives me little opportunity to entertain; therefore, I am holding my very own Christmas Cookie Swap - blogger style of course.

Here are the rules: on Monday, December 1st (that's today) post your favorite cookie recipe on your blog, link it back to "Bloggin' It From The 'Burbs" either with your own link in your post or you can grab one of the widgets from the sidebar. Then come back to my page, add a comment and at that point I will have a "Mr. Linky" so that a link to your post will show up on my blog.

And who can hold a party without having some kind of door prize? Certainly not me! So, depending on how many of you decide to join in, I will either draw a name out of a hat (so very official, don't you think?) or get one of those random-number-picker-thingies (don't you just love my non-technical terminology?) and one of you will win this very lovely Southern Living Incredible Cookies cookbook, filled with page after page of mouth-watering cookie recipes and photos.
So good luck! I can't wait to read (and try) some of your cookie recipes.

As for mine, I have spent hours upon hours in the kitchen trying to perfect the following recipe. It has become my "signature" cookie, if you will. It's gotten so bad, that if I don't take these sinful little things to church, we might just be excommunicated...they're that good!

They are time consuming but well worth every minute (not to mention every calorie) you put into them. The trick is getting them to the finished product because every stage is irresistible - from the cookie dough, and the cookies right out of the oven (oh, are they good soft and warm) to the crunchy cooled ones...however, nothing is better than the iced ones.

Praline Fantasy Cookies
Ingredients for cookies:
  • 1/2 cup of unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups firmly packed golden brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla (I use the real stuff)
  • 1/2 tsp maple extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose four
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 - 1 cup of chopped pecans

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, beat butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer at medium speed, until creamy.
  2. Add egg, vanilla and maple. Beat well.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Turn electric mixer to low and gradually add to creamed mixture. Beat at medium speed.
  4. Gradually add pecans until well mixed.
  5. Cover and chill until dough is easy to handle (about 30 minutes to an hour).
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease baking sheets or use parchment paper to line.
  7. Form dough into 1 1/2 inch to 2 inch balls and place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Lightly and slightly flatten cookies with fingers.
  8. Bake 10 minutes (NO LONGER! - not even if they don't quite look done to you - believe me they are).
  9. Cool on wire racks.
Oops...I told you they were hard to resist

Ingredients for icing:

  • 1 1/2 cups firmly packed golden brown sugar
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners' (powdered) sugar
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 1/2 tsp maple extract
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

Directions:

  1. To prepare for this next part, which is very messy by the way - cover your counter tops in saran wrap or parchment paper and then lay out your cookies in rows.
  2. To make the icing: Combine brown sugar, cream, butter, maple and vanilla in a medium sized saucepan. Cook over medium high heat until sugar dissolves and mixture boils - STIR CONSTANTLY.
  3. Remove from heat and beat in confectioners' sugar until smooth and starting to slightly stiffen.
  4. Pour over all the cookies once and then the second time through (you will have to move a little more quickly because the icing is getting harder by the minute) go down one line of cookies pour the icing then add a pecan or a few pieces of chopped pecans to each cookie.
  5. Repeat the process until all cookies are iced twice and pecans have been added. (There will be leftover icing ~ which if you can come up with something to do with it (besides drink it), I'm all ears.
  6. If you can try to wait until the next day to eat them because it is at that time that the icing has somehow softened the cookies back to post-oven chewiness.

*Keep them in an air tight container.

**Makes around 3 1/2 dozen but recipe easily doubles.



Cookie Swap Participants
1. Julie (6 recipes for a cookie tray)
2. devin
3. Hillary
4. Amber
5. The Happy Mom
6. Daniele
7. Heidi
8. Beth
9. KnitPurlGurl
10. Amy
11. Christy Monfort

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13 comments:

Devin said...

The cookie swap was a great idea! I can't wait to see all of the great recipes.

Hillary said...

Howdy! I have been "stalking" your blog for a couple of weeks, and I thought I would participate today. Thank-you, I enjoy reading about your small corner of the world!
-Hillary

Suzanne said...

Hi Melinda. I went to OC and recognized you from there. I've been reading your blog for a few weeks! I intended to make some cookies this weekend...I made other desserts but not cookies! I plan to make some tonight and post the recipe!

Have a good day!

Amber said...

Melinda- Fun, fun, fun! Thanks for organizing this. We missed you guys last night.

The Happy Mom said...

Hi Melinda, I'm back from my Thanksgiving trip just in time for your cookie swap! :)

Your look SO good and I love all the pictures, I'll have to make those for sure. Thanks for organizing this!

Daniele said...

I can't wait to see everyone's cookies. You know we will be packing on a few pounds this winter if we keep this up.

This Crazy Thing Called Motherhood said...

Oh wow, yours was awesome with all the great pictures and stuff!

My my recipe, I posted a fun twist on a basic sugar cookie I am trying out for an in-person cookie exchange with my church gal pals this Saturday. Hopefully the cookies turn out as awesome as yours did!

Knit Purl Gurl said...

I digiscrap recipe cards - so I linked to my current cookie recipe! I LOVE cookie swaps! :)

Amy said...

This promises to be great fun! I hope I find some easy recipes...

Ice House said...

These sound delish! I've got TONS of pecans from our tree this year. These sound like a GREAT way to use them!!

Thanks for hosting the cookie swap. It was tons of fun! I hope you make it an annual occasion ;-)

The Monfort 3 said...

Yikes!! I am so hungry now!!! (Must Wii Fit! Must Wii Fit!!!) Thanks gals for some super yummy ideas!!!

Susan said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Susan

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Tami said...

Oh, wow! These look delicious!

I'm really enjoying your blog!