This year I decided to participate in my first ever Cookie Swap!
This means that I sent out three boxes of cookies to three food bloggers and three other food bloggers will be hopefully sending me three boxes of goodies.
While I was mailing my boxes of cookies I did have this moment of thinking that this might be some very elaborate pyramid scheme to get millions of free holiday cookies for a few lucky people!
Of course, that won’t really happen. Food bloggers are generally the nicest people ever and I have full faith that I’ll receive my delicious boxes of cookies.
This year I think something crazy like 700 food bloggers signed up for the cookie swap. I have no earthly idea how long it took Lindsay and Julie to organize and match that many people, but I do honestly hope they sent themselves a few free boxes of cookies just for the trouble!
If you want to sign up for next year’s cookie swap, there’s already a signup form for it.
These brown butter guys are the cookies I sent out to my matches!
1) Add butter to a small saucepan over medium heat. Melt butter, stirring slowly. After butter melts, continue to cook for a few minutes until the butter solids start to brown. It easy to tell this if you use a non-dark colored pan as you'll be able to actually see the brown bits on the bottom. You can also tell when the butter is browned by the smell. It will start to smell very nutty which means it's done!
2) Pour off browned butter carefully. Try to leave most of the browned solids in the pan, but it's okay if some go with the butter. Let this cool.
3) Cream together sugars with brown butter until they are smooth using a hand mixer or stand mixer.
4) Beat in eggs one at a time and vanilla extract.
5) In a separate bowl, combine all dry ingredients except chocolate chips and cherries.
6) Slowly mix in dry ingredients into the butter mixture. Mix until just combined.
7) Stir in add-ins (chocolate and cherries).
8) Spoon large tablespoons of cookie dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
9) Bake cookies at 375 for 10-12 minutes until they are lightly browned around the edges.
10) Let cookies cool on a wire rack.
What I like about these cookies is that they are surprising. They look just like normal old oatmeal cookies, but they are jam-packed with flavor.
Step one to creating that flavor is to brown some butter. That gives the cookies a great nutty flavor that goes really well with the brown sugar.
If you’ve never browned butter before, it’s not all that hard. Just add your butter to a small saucepan and melt the butter over medium heat. Stir it frequently and after a few minutes the butter solids will separate out and sink to the bottom of the pan.
If you have a light colored saucepan, you’ll be able to actually start to see them brown a bit. You’ll also be able to smell the butter. When it’s done, it will have an intense nutty smell.
Start to finish, the butter browning process maybe takes 5-6 minutes.
Then you can pour off your browned butter. Try to leave behind most of the butter solids, but its okay if some get mixed in. It won’t affect the recipe at all.
The Cookie Dough
Start this dough by mixing together all the dry ingredients in a bowl. If you can’t find oat flour, you can definitely use just all-purpose flour.
Then slowly mix in your eggs and your vanilla.
Once that is all mixed together, slowly mix in your dry ingredients, working in batches.
Try not to overmix this dough. When the flour is incorporated, it’s done!
I figured these cookies would have lots of flavor and great texture as-is, but this is a cookie swap so I wanted to amp up the flavor even more.
So I mixed in some chocolate and dried cherries. I figured it’s hard to go wrong with these flavors.
Once those are mixed in your dough is done and you’re ready to make some cookies!
Baking the Cookies
Scoop large tablespoon-sized balls of dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper. You should get about 36 cookies out of this recipe.
Twelve cookies per baking sheet should be about right.
Bake these guys at 375 for 10-12 minutes.
The should be lightly browned around the edges and still a bit soft in the center.
Let them cool on a wire rack if you have one.
If you’re photographing your cookies, here’s a TIP! Don’t photograph them on a counter that is almost exactly the same color as the cookies.
Talk about camouflage!
I stressed out a lot about how to ship these cookies. I ended up letting the cookies cool completely and then sealing them well in a large freezer plastic bag.
Next I lined a large box with plastic wrap and filled the bottom with spicy kettle corn! I figured that would cushion the cookies a bit and also give the recipients a little extra treat.
Signed. Sealed. Delivered.
Now I need to make another batch of these for myself!