Being a food blogger during the holiday season sure has its perks - not only was I able to attend a cookie swap for bloggers in person, I also participated in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap! Dozens and dozens of cookies were shipped and received by bloggers all over the country, thanks to two brilliant ladies - Lindsay, of Love and Olive Oil, and Julie, of The Little Kitchen.
Participants were asked to send one dozen of the same cookie to three randomly selected bloggers, and then wait patiently (or in my case, impatiently) for three packages of our own to arrive on our door steps. I signed up right away because I had never participated in a cookie swap (this was before I found out about the cookie swap in NYC) - it sounded like so much fun!
Once again, I had a hard time trying to figure out what cookies to bake for the swap since it could not be a recipe we had already posted on our blogs (but could be adapted), and it had to be sturdy enough to be shipped. So that eliminated the ginger molasses cookies I had recently blogged about, as well as the holiday cookies I made last year such as the chocolate crinkle cookies, Russian tea cakes, or Oreo cheesecakes cookies. It also meant no fragile cookies such as French macarons, lace cookies, or anything too cake-y.
In the end, I decided to adapt my Rolo & pretzel chocolate chip cookies - I swapped out the Rolos and pretzels for shredded coconut and dried cranberries to make it more festive for the holidays. The subtle crunch of the coconut was a pleasant contrast to your typical cranberry oatmeal cookie. Typically, we see dried cranberries paired with white chocolate chips but I decided to keep the bittersweet chocolate chips as I personally don't like white chocolate - it tends to be too sweet and overpowering for me. Hopefully, the recipients of my cookie packages share the same sentiment.
As for the cookies I received - 2 of my 3 packages have arrived as I write this post - there was a super-cutely packaged box of cowboy Christmas cookies, and fragrant peanut butter cookies - both were dee-licious!
Have you participated in a holiday cookie swap? There's still time - your cookies don't have to be fancy (just yummy), just grab a few of your baking-lovin' friends and swap away! Or if you're a food blogger and want to be on the list for next year's swap, sign up here.
Coconut Cranberry Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yield: 3 dozen cookies
2 ½ cups pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
⅓ cup coconut oil, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup dark brown sugar
½ cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ¼ cups old fashion rolled oats
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and baking powder and salt. Set aside.
Using a mixer, cream together the butter, coconut oil, granulated and brown sugars until light and fluffy. Gradually add the milk and vanilla extract. With mixer on low, slowly add in the flour mixture until incorporated. Mix in the rolled oats.
Using a spatula, stir in the shredded coconut, dried cranberries, and chocolate chips. Place bowl in refrigerator to allow dough to chill for 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a cookie scoop, drop dough onto cookie sheet, 2 inches apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until light golden brown; one sheet at a time. Chill one sheet of cookie dough while other is baking.
Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Store in an air-tight container at room temperature for 3-5 days, or freeze to enjoy later.
Source: Adapted from a previous recipe on Sweets by Sillianah