About the time Halloween was wrapping up, I saw a blog post for what was being touted as “The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap.” Christmas cookies to be exact. Even though I am a planner by nature, I was not yet in the mood for Christmas cookies. I was still trying to get my Thanksgiving menu figured out, for crying out loud! But after I followed the hosts’ links (Julie with The Little Kitchen and Lindsay at Love and Olive Oil), I discovered that this was simply a group of bloggers looking for a way to expand their circle and experience new sites that they may have otherwise overlooked. I am not a joiner by nature, so I sat on this for several weeks. But in the end I figured “What the heck, I am going to make cookies anyway.”
The first task at hand was to figure out what to make. When I queried the kids about what our best cookie was, I got a unanimous answer: Better-Than-Hot-Cocoa cookies! This is a recipe from my mother. She simply called them chocolate refrigerator cookies, but my kids renamed them “Better-Than-Hot-Cocoa” cookies when posed the question “What could possibly be better than cocoa on a cold day?” I upgraded her recipe to include a marshmallow butter cream frosting as well, just to round out the concept of a cup of hot chocolate. These are as good frozen as they are cooked (I should know!). I would be shocked if you don’t find them addicting!
The plus side to this is that I also received cookies. I got a dozen each from the following:
- Alyssa at Two Minds Cook Alike sent rugelachs. These were fruity and flaky. I liked these a lot.
- Valerie at “A Recipe for Happiness” sent a double chocolaty cookie but didn’t include the cookie’s name or a blog link. These were the kids’ favorite, but they were too sweet for my taste.
- And someone named Carol (no blog listed) sent me Festive Italian Cookies. These reminded me of these Russian Tea Cakes my Aunt Rose used to make. Us adults liked them, but the kids weren’t thrilled with the nuts.
While I am personally not a cookie eater, my family enjoyed receiving sweets that were new to us. Thank you to you all for the lovely treats!
I sent a dozen each of my cookies to:
- Kelly at The Pink Apron
- Cynthia at Sweet Words, Tasty Treats
- Marjorie at That’s the Way the Cookie Crumbles
I have never sent my cookies to anyone and I hope they arrived intact and the frosting wasn’t all mushed on the wrappings. That wouldn’t have stopped me from licking it off :)
“BETTER THAN HOT CHOCOLATE” COOKIES
1 c. soft shortening
½ c. sugar
½ c. brown sugar
2 ¾ c. all-purpose flour
½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
¾ c. cocoa powder
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine shortening, sugars, and eggs until smooth and fluffy. Combine the dry ingredients and either whisk or sift. Add to the wet ingredients and mix on medium speed until combined, scraping down the bowl as needed. The dough will look like wet clay.
Put the dough onto a silpat or other clean surface. Press firmly with hands into a ball and then begin to roll it out into a log. Wrap it tightly in waxed paper, twisting the ends. Place in the freezer over night.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
With a large, sharp knife, cut the log into ¼” slices. The bottoms where the knife cuts will be a little “crumbly” so I typically gently remold them with my fingers. Place slices slightly apart on an ungreased cookie sheet (I can typically get 15 to a sheet). Bake for 5 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the sheet before moving to a cooling rack. Makes approximately 30 cookies.
Marshmallow Butter Cream Frosting
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 (7 oz.) container marshmallow crème
1 c. powdered sugar, sifted
Place all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on medium speed until well combined, scraping down the sides as needed. Spread as much or as little as you like. This makes enough for 3 dozen.