Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Cookie Swaps and Holiday Cheer

Not joking-- I've wanted to participate in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap since before I even launched Whale & Wishbone. It seriously combines all of my favorite things; spreading joy through BAKING, EATING delicious cookies made by talented bloggers, supporting CHARITY, getting MAIL, schnitzel with NOODLES!!! Fine, I made up that last one, but you get the point. It's exciting stuff. 

So naturally, I signed up the minute the form became available, and not long after I received the names of three new blogger buddies to whom I would be mailing cookies: 
Dani from Haute in Paradise, Cassandra from The Chef in Pearls and Jennifer from Jennifer Bakes

For these lovely ladies, I decided to bake a variation of my first original cookie recipe: Salted Caramel Espresso Cookies. The inspiration for this new recipe came from the classic holiday drinks currently in every corner coffee shop. I also didn't think I could go wrong with mint, espresso and dark chocolate as base flavors. 

So without further adieu, I present... The Peppermint Mocha Cookie.

I enlisted my friend Caroline to be my personal photographer for this endeavor. She's a seasoned pro at this point, and willing to work for cookies, which is a rare combination.

Also, Side Note: Short hair don't care. I took these photos the day after a haircut in case you were wondering.

I'm for sure saying something to Caroline here. 
I believe I was laughing while telling her she had to keep the camera still for a gif - clearly that worked well. 

All the cookie dough. I don't believe salmonella is a thing. Just kidding -- You should probably be cautious or whatever.

Yassss cookies. 

The concentration is real because getting the correct cookie to dark chocolate ratio is of the utmost importance. 

Yes, I did break out the Christmas lights for a cookie photo shoot... let's not pretend that's uncharacteristic of me.

I included a note on the most adorable Rifle Paper Co holiday post cards to send along with each cookie shipment.

I found the perfect cookie tins to match my post cards at the Container Store! 

I also included a candy cane in each package because tis the season. 

It was so exciting for me when each blogger received their cookie package! 
You can check out their instagrams here, here and here

Finally ready for the recipe?

This particular recipe makes 48 instead of my standard 24 cookies. It's go big or go home for a cookie swap, amiright? You're welcome. 

Peppermint Mocha Cookies

(makes 48)


1 cup butter softened (2 sticks) 
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar packed
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp peppermint extract
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
7 tbsp ground espresso
4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
6 crushed candy canes


Preheat the Oven to 350 F

Cream together butter and sugar in a large bowl. Add eggs, vanilla and peppermint extract, and beat until combined.

In a separate bowl, mix together baking soda, salt, espresso, and flour. Add to butter mixture and combine to form dough.

Drop rounded tablespoons of dough onto un-greased baking sheets. Using the back of a spoon, slightly flatten each cookie.

Bake for 7-9 minutes until edges are slightly browned. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 3 minutes, before transferring to cooling rack.

In a small bowl, melt dark chocolate and lightly drizzle over cookies. Before the chocolate dries, sprinkle crushed candy canes over cookies.

Note: it's important not to use too much chocolate, or the flavor might overpower the mint and espresso. It's ok to not use the entire 1/2 cup.

Refrigerate until chocolate hardens and enjoy!


Oh and if you're wondering, I also got to enjoy delicious cookies!

I received a lovely package of cranberry- pomegranate - filled shortbread spiral cookies from the wonderful Caroline of Caroline's Cooking.

And thanks to a classic case of me messing up my shipping address, UPS assures me I'll receive a surprise package of deliciousness very soon from the incredible Stephanie of Long Distance Baking.

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P.S Check out the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap website this weekend for links to all cookie recipes from the swap!


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