This past month, I participated in the Second Annual Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap! This international event is organized by Lindsay of Love & Olive Oil, and Julie of The Little Kitchen. Thank you so much, ladies, for your hard work making this possible!
This is becoming a fun tradition. It’s simple: receive the names of three food bloggers. Bake and send a dozen cookies to each person. Receive a dozen cookies from three different food bloggers in return. I was so excited for each box of goodies that arrived. This year, the swap raised money for Cookies For Kids’ Cancer. OXO generously matched donations up to $100,000, and provided all participants with a handy cookie spatula.
I received (clockwise from top left): chocolate m&m cookies from Meagan of A Zesty Bite, pistachio wedding cookies in a beautiful shade of celadon from Lisa of Clawson Live, and coconut macaroons from Koko of Koko Likes. You may notice an extra set of cookies. These are white chocolate toffee crunch cookies from the above-mentioned Julie. She sent me a complimentary set of cookies as a “thank you” for helping her name the scrumptious cookie concoction. She also threw in a set of paper straws from Pick Your Plum. Thanks, everyone! Special congratulations go to Meagan, who very recently welcomed a baby girl to the family!
For my part, I made raspberry pillow cookies. They are my copycat version of the pillow cookie from The Fresh Market. Anyone familiar with these cookies knows how addictive they are, and how tightly the store keeps this recipe under wraps. I used raspberry preserves for the middles, which is similar to the original filling. I would like to come up with a more accurate raspberry filling, but these are close. These pretties went to Lisa of Snappy Gourmet, Christina of Stracciatella, and Nik of A Brown Table. Hope y’all liked them!
Note: these cookies spread a good bit during baking. To help them hold their shape, gently nudge the cookie dough into a slight mound after sealing the edges.
- Preheat oven to 375˚F. Combine butter and both sugars in a large bowl. Beat until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, and beat after each addition. Add vanilla and almond extract and beat another minute. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients slowly, and mix well.
- Form dough into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill until firm, at least an hour.
- Preheat oven to 375˚F. Place raspberry preserves in a pastry bag fitted with a large open tip.
- Roll cookie dough on a very lightly floured surface and cut into 2-inch squares. Place half the cookie dough squares onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Pipe about 2 tsp of preserves into the center the squares. Top cookies with the remaining cookie dough squares and pinch edges to seal.
- Bake for 9-10 minutes, until the edges just start to turn golden. Do not over bake. Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a rack to cool.