Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Christmas Cookie Swap Time!!

IN THE NEWS: Ariz. board sued over fish pedicure squabble. Read more HERE.

Since I was recently invited to a Christmas cookie swap, I thought it would be kind of fun to do a virtual cookie swap here in the blogosphere.

Here are the rules: Between now and midnight Saturday, December 5, 2009, post your favorite Christmas cookie recipe on your blog. One you would make for a cookie swap. After you post your recipe on your blog, comment here in the comment section and let me know what cookie you're "making". Easy peasy.
I will draw a winner on Sunday December 6th from all the commenters/participators and I will send that lucky winner a one pound gift package of Crazy Susan's cookies. The winner will be announced on Monday December 7th.

What's Crazy Susan's and do I want a cookie from someone crazy?
In a word...YES.
Yes, you do.

In fact, their Crazy Turtle cookie was recently featured on the Rachel Ray Show as their "Snack of the Day". Trust me. These cookies are scratch your eyes out good!

ONE more Rule, though. Cookie swappers MUST live in the United States.
Sorry. Dem da rules.

Bonus: Anyone is invited to the cookie swap although you might not be eligible for the prize depending on where you live. (See above) :)
If you spread the word about my contest and let me know, I'll enter your name in again for the drawing. That's two entries for the price of one! Well, actually there's no price. It's a free contest. But you know what I mean...

Here's my cookie I'm bringing to the swap: I actually posted this recipe last year on my blog when I made it for a cookie swap, but it's so good, I actually had REQUESTS to make it again for this year.

Warning: This cookie is not for the lighthearted of bakers. It's a lot of work. But REALLY worth it.


For crust
Ingredients for basic butter cookies: HERE

For caramel pecan topping
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into bits
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups pecans (1/2 lb), toasted , cooled, and coarsely chopped

Preparation Make crust:
Grease a 13- by 9-inch metal baking pan, then line with foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang on both ends, and grease foil.

Follow recipe for basic butter cookies to make dough (do not chill), then press dough evenly onto bottom of baking pan, using plastic wrap on top to prevent dough from sticking to your fingers, and chill until firm, about 20 minutes.

While crust chills, put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 375°F.

Bake crust until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack 20 minutes. (Leave oven on.)

Make topping while crust cools:
Cook sugar in a 2 1/2- to 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, undisturbed, until it begins to melt. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally with a fork, until sugar is melted to a deep golden caramel. Tilt pan and carefully pour in cream (caramel will harden and steam vigorously). Cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until caramel is dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in butter, vanilla, salt, and pecans.

Immediately spread topping over cooled crust and bake until bubbling, about 20 minutes. Cool completely in pan on rack, about 2 hours.

Run a heavy knife under hot water, then wipe dry and cut confection into 2-inch triangles, diamonds, or squares.

Cooks' note:
Cookies keep, layered between sheets of wax paper or parchment, in an airtight container at room temperature 1 week

Merry Christmas!

Now who's in the mood for a cookie?


Robyn Campbell said...

Hey Jennifer. I'm in! As soon as I get mine up on my blog, I'll be back! And I copied your recipe. It sounds yum, yummy, scrumptious. Mmmm I'm gonna link back here about the contest too,

But I'm trying to loose weight. Eating out when traveling to hospitals has paid a HEAVY toll. I have added 15 pounds and it's Christmas time. ARGH! I shall return! :)

Chicki said...

Sounds delicious, but after Thanksgiving I've had enough cooking to last me for the next five years! LOL!

I told DH just the other day that I'm thinking about going to Sam's Club for Christmas and getting something already prepared. Bah humbug ...

Stacy Post said...

Hello, Jennifer! I'm going to have to rummage through my cookie recipes and get back to you. I love this idea!

Tamika: said...

Oh yummy! Darn, I wish I could bake. I burn precut cookie dough! Grr...

Jennifer Shirk said...

I think baking--and even cooking--is a dying art.

Doesn't anybody make Christmas cookies anymore? *gasp*

I'm making 6 (maybe 7) kinds this year!

Eileen Astels Watson said...

Oh, this is a great idea, and your recipe sounds so good. Making my grocery list now.

Looking forward to all the wonderful recipes!

Jill Kemerer said...

Thanks a lot. Now I'm hungry for caramaly, chocolaty, ooey-gooey cookies!

Stephanie said...

I'd make my famous Chocolate Chip Molasses Cookies over on my blog!

Stephanie said...

and I pimped you out over on facebook. Too bad you don't have an account so you can see! :oP

Bethanne said...

YUM, Jennifer! Pecan Caramel? Mmm.
Mine are called Cappuccino Crinkles and I'm making them for my upcoming cookie swap on Sunday! :)

Enjoy your cookies!

Dawn Simon said...

You are so fun, Jennifer! I got my favorite cookie recipe off a package (and later a Web site when they quit putting it on the package). Am I allowed to enter with a recipe that isn't mine if I name the company that put it out there? I don't want to break any rules (yours or theirs).

Jennifer Shirk said...

Stephanie: I know, I know. Facebook is the last frontier for me. Maybe I'll make it a New Year's resolution. LOL

Dawn: Go for it! If you have the recipe for the cookie, then I'd love to know what it is!

T. Anne said...

Yum. I love to bake so I'm really going to put in my best effort. There are no promises in December ;) Hopefully Friday I'll have it up!

Jeanette Levellie said...

Scratch YOur Eyes OUt Good? That's a new one! YOu are too funny!

Audience of ONE

P.S. I'm offering a prize on my blog today and tomorrow, too...

Joanne said...

I'm with Tamika, and only bake the precut cookie dough stuff. Sometimes. Not too often. Okay, I wish I baked, but really don't. But these sure look good here! Fun post!

Tess said...

I wish you lived next door and could bring me a plate of these :) I'd repay you by babysitting or weeding your flowerbed.

I've been to a few cookie swaps over the years .. they are fun and this is a great idea for the holidays. I'll have to dust off my secret recipe folder and start deciding.

Terri Tiffany said...

I don't bake anymore much since it's just my husband and I and I would eat them all! BUT you can send me a goodie box and I promise I will share with my single neighbor:))

Katie Ganshert said...

Yummm! What a fun idea! Now I'm really in the mood for some cookies!

Renee said...

Jennifer, thank you for inspiration. Go to my blog and you'll see. I posted two recipes, one I would have made before my gluten-free existence and one now.

Renee said...

Oh, I forgot to name the cookie, Peanut and Chocolate Chex Bars.

Tabitha Bird said...

I'm not in the Us so I can't enter, but I have always loved the American Christmas cookie swap idea! I may post my recipe anyway :)

Thanks for your visit to my blog.

Great idea for a comp by the way.

And "These cookies are scratch your eyes out good." LOL- had me laughing and laughing and laughing :)

Christina Farley said...

What a fun idea! I live outside of the States, but I'll take that recipe!

Kellyann Zuzulo said...

Great idea, Jennifer! Cookie baking time at the holidays is a secret addiction for me ;>
I have a crunchy, buttery, simple recipe for Oatmeal Lace Cookies over at my blog

Bon appetit!
p.s. I'm on the East Coast, outside of Philadelphia.

Kara said...

YUm, I'm going to try to put a recipe up as well. Yours looks delicious!

C. D. Yates/Cynthia Brayden-Thomas said...

I'm in! And I referred my friend Jordana Ryan to you, too. ;)

Come on over to my blog and try out my coconut macaroon recipe. It's fast, easy and YUMMY!

Linda Kage said...

What a coincidence! I was just invited to my first cookie swap party this week! I'm thinking Mint-swirled chocolate chip cookies that come from Nestle. Already mixed! Just slip them in the oven! I'm quite the cook, huh?

Jessica said...

Yum! I want to go to that kind of party!!!

Stephanie Faris said...

Those sound yummmmmmy! I'll try to track down my recipe. I can never find it online so I always use this old, tattered photocopy I made of it 5 years ago.

Stacy Post said...

Candy Cane cookies are up on my blog now.

Enjoy! The other recipes sound delicious too!

Shelli said...

im gaining weight just reading this.

Jemi Fraser said...

Great sounding recipe! I'm a Canadian, so can't enter, but I will definitely enjoy the posted recipes!

My faves are my gingerbread folks :)

Patti Lacy said...

Had to say hi, but I am on the seventh meal based around Thanksgiving Turkey Gumbo with sides of stuffing and fruit.

I may cheat, though and make that delicious cookie recipe. Anything with PECANS.

Love having you at my blog!!!

Ms Snarky Pants said... Mine is up on my blog. I also tweeted it. this was a lovely idea!

Dawn Simon said...

I'm back! :) I posted a recipe for Chocolate Dipped Toffee Bits Cookies over at my blog and told about your contest!

Terri Tiffany said...

Ok Ok

Here's one I just made:)

Pumpkin Cookies
2 Cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cp margarine
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Bake 375
Combine flour, BS, BP, cinnamon, nutmeg. In a mixing bowl, mix margarine then add brown sugar, and beat till fluffly. Add egg, pumpkin and beat well. Combine dry ingredients and drop onto ungreased cookie sheet. About ten minutes.

Suzette Saxton said...

This is fun! I love cookie swaps.

Easiest PB cookies ever:

1 cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg

That's right, no flour. Mix all ingredients, roll balls, bake at 350F for ten minutes. Extra yummy with a kiss pressed in top!

You will never taste "peanut-butterier" cookies.

Jennifer Shirk said...

I knew you ladies couldn't resist!

Kara said...

Okay, I just posted a recipe for the German Lebkuchen cookies over at my Home and Garden blog!

T. Anne said...

I'm posting this on my blog Friday where of course you will be featured. But for the sake of winning here's a preview! XOXO

Sweeta La La's

1 cup of flour
1 stick of butter
1/2 cup of cottage cheese
A pinch of salt
(That's it, really)

*Apricot preserves
*Egg yolk whisked with a teaspoon of water (egg wash)
*Granulated sugar for sprinkling

(this recipe only yields about a dozen. Feel free to double or triple.)

Pulse in a food processor until a ball of dough forms. Wrap in cellophane and shape in a disk. Refrigerate for an hour or over night.
Roll out the dough to a quarter inch (remember flour is your friend at this stage) Cut out circles with a two or three inch cookie cutter. Fill with a tiny dollop of Apricot preserves. Outline the periphery of the circle with gently whisked egg yolks and fold over. Press the half circle closed with fingertips. Brush the tops of cookies with egg wash and sprinkle lightly with sugar.

Bake at 350 for up to 30 minutes or until cookies are puffed and golden brown.

I have to say when my Aunt told me they had cottage cheese, I was slightly grossed out. But really, I've been eating these for years and have never tasted anything but some serious yum. Trust me when I say these stand out in a crowd. Enjoy!