Wednesday, December 11, 2013

At Home: Coconut-Cranberry Chews

I am so thrilled to take part in the 3rd Annual Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap. The basic idea of this cookie swap is to send out 1 dozen cookies to 3 food bloggers that you've been matched up with, and then you get to receive 3 different types of cookies from 3 different people that have been assigned to you. But the best part about this year's swap is that both Lindsay and Julie organized all this to support Cookies for Kids' Cancer. So with a cookie swap registration fee of $4, every dollar goes directly to this charity - raising over $13,778 this year. How awesome is that?

For the swap, I decided to make Coconut-Cranberry Chews as a gift from What Micky Eats...At Home.  I tried to go really festive with this combination of coconut, cranberries, and orange. In fact, these straightforward, tasty rounds are everything a holiday cookie should be.

Coconut-Cranberry Chews (Makes 5 dozen. Adapted from My Recipes)
  • 1½ cups butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 Tbsp orange zest
  • 2 teasp vanilla
  • 3¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teasp baking powder
  • ¼ teasp salt
  • 1½ cups dried cranberries
  • 1½ cups sweetened flaked dried coconut

- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar, orange zest, and vanilla on medium speed until smooth.
- Add flour mixture into butter mixture and stir to mix.  Then beat on low speed until dough comes together, about 5 minutes.
- Mix in cranberries and coconut.
- Shape dough into 1-inch balls and place about 2 inches apart onto lined baking sheets (parchment paper works better than Silpats for this recipe - trust me).
- Bake until cookie edges just begin to brown, about 12 minutes (shorter baking time will yield a chewier cookie; longer baking time will yield a crispier cookie).
- If baking two sheets at once in one oven, switch their positions halfway through baking.
- Let cookies cool on sheets for 5 minutes, then use a wide spatula to transfer to racks to cool completely.

I made more than the required amount for my cookie swap because I wanted some for myself too, duh!  The mixture will look dry until it comes together as a dough. If it's too crumbly to form into balls, the dough needs to be mixed longer; it should be a smooth, homogeneous mass.  The coconut-cranberry combination is delightful, and that extra hint of orange zest makes them so fragrant.   This cookie is sure to get you in the spirit of the holidays!

I packed them up for my cookie swap matches and mailed 1 dozen (plus a couple extra for good measure) to each food blogger the next day.  I hope they arrived intact and that my matches enjoyed them.

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2013
In turn, I received Preacher Cookies from My Catholic Kitchen, Chocolate Mint Thumbprint Cookies from Beth's Blue Plate Special, and Toasted Sesame Crisps from A Couple In the Kitchen.

The cookies were fantastic and I look forward to participating in next year's Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap.  Check out all the other cookies on Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram with hashtag #fbcookieswap.


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