Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2012: Waffle Cookies

It’s holiday cookie swap time! This year, I decided to participate in THE BEST COOKIE SWAP EVER: The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap! How could you not love an event that combines some of the best things ever: baking and eating cookies, supporting a good cause, receiving fun mail, exchanging recipes, and meeting new friends. Here’s how the creators, Lindsay and Julie, describe the swap:
"The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap brings together food bloggers from around the world in celebration of all things scrumptious. The premise is this: sign up. Receive the addresses of three other food bloggers. Send each of them one dozen delicious homemade cookies. Receive three different boxes of scrumptious cookies from other bloggers. Eat them all yourself (or, you know, share. If you want. No judgement either way.) Post your cookie recipe on your blog. See everyone else’s cookie recipes. Salivate. Get lots of great ideas for next year's cookie swap. Rinse and repeat."

To impress my three lucky matches, I wanted to make a cookie that I love, and that other people may not have tried before. I immediately thought of my mom’s waffle cookies with maple glaze. While my dad was always the baker and sweet tooth in my house (not to mention the waffle fanatic), it was Mel who always made the waffle cookies.

Growing up, Amanda and I were obsessed with waffle cookies. Along with Mel’s smoky salmon dip, Oma’s poppy seed struedel, and whole pomegranates from Grandpa’s tree, waffle cookies were one of those things that the other kids (in rural Washington in the late 80s/early 90s) didn’t have in their lunch box. Imagine the cafeteria trading power we could have had! But alas, we hung on to our waffle cookies for dear life, they were far too delicious to part with!

Mel’s cookies have shortening, but I went with full on butter for a cookie that’s buttery, dense, salty, sweet, and just downright delicious. And top that with sweet maple-cinnamon glaze….need I say more?
Waffle Cookies with Maple Glaze
1.5 cups unsalted butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1.5 cups brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs
4.5 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
For glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
4 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
a pinch of cinnamon
Cream butter, both sugars, and vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour and salt, and mix into butter mixture until stiff dough is formed. You'll need to chill your dough before cooking, but you have a few options. You can either roll dough into walnut sized balls, spread out on a cookie sheet, and pop in the freezer for 30-60 minutes, or you can roll into logs, freeze for 30-60 minutes, and slice off half-inch thick slices to cook. Cook in a hot waffle iron until golden brown. 
Whisk together glaze ingredients, and drizzle over cooled cookies. 
These hold up really well in shipping, and also stay fresh quite away. To package for shipping, I filled 2 little treat bags with 6 cookie each, and put those side by side in a plastic container filled with tissue paper, which went into a shipping box filled with packing paper. 

Wait, there's more!
Looking for more recipes from the cookie swap? Check out the blogs of my random matches: the gals I sent these bad boys to, as well as the gals who sent cookies to me!
Heed the Feed: http://heedthefeed.com 
My Kitchen is Open: mykitchenisopen.com
The Right Recipe: http://therightrecipe.org
a periodic table: http://aperiodictableblog.com

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