Cookies for a Cause & to Share

Rosemary Lavender Shortbread (1)

It was around this time last year, that I started getting seriously jealous of some of my bloggie friends. They were getting boxes of cookies sent to them from across the country. From complete strangers! Apparently, they were all in on it together and well aware of the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap. I signed up immediately last December, and as with most things, completely forgot about the program until the emails started pouring in a few weeks ago.

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap is hosted by Love & Olive Oil and The Little Kitchen. I’ve participated in food swaps and penpal programs in the past but this was way different. First, you have no idea who your cookies are coming from until they actually arrive. Each blogger is assigned three recipients to send cookies to. Bake a dozen cookies for each, then send them off. Then one day *BAM!* Cookies on your doorstep. I’m generally a bigger fan of giving than receiving, but those unexpected cookies always happened to show up when most needed.

Not only do you get to bake, share and eat yummy treats, but it’s cause-worthy. To join the swap, participants need to donate a few dollars. These dollars are then matched by our wonderful sponsors–OXO, Dixie Crystals, Grandma’s Molasses and Gold Medal Flour–and sent over to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, a national non-profit organization committed to funding new therapies used in the fight against pediatric cancer, which claims the lives of more children in the US than any other disease. This year over $1o,000 was raised! See what a few hundred bloggers can do?

The biggest catch was creating a cookie recipe I’ve never blogged about before. As a kid, my mom and I used to make shortbread stars every Christmas. In fact, the exhaustive work is probably what put me off roll and cut cookies for life. But, it’s Christmas, and somehow it just felt right. I jazzed the cookies up a bit by adding fresh rosemary and dried lavender to counter the rich sweetness of the shortbread. And I went with disks instead of stars. Hey, at least I cut them out, you should be happy!

Rosemary Lavender Shortbread (Makes 5 dozen)

  • 2 c (4 sticks) salted butter, softened
  • 1 c confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 4 c all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp fresh chopped rosemary
  • 1 tbsp culinary lavender

In the bowl of a standing mixer, cream butter, sugar and vanilla until fluffy. In a medium bowl, mix flour, rosemary and herbs. Gradually add flour mixture to the butter. This is a very stiff dough, so be patient as you’re mixing. It will all come together. Cover mixing bowl with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

Rosemary Lavender Shortbread (2)

Preheat the oven to 300°F.Divide dough into thirds, working with one at a time and chilling the rest while not in use. On a well floured surface, roll dough out to 1/4-inch thick. Cut dough with desired cookie cutter (I used a 1 1/2-inch circle) and transfer to parchment lined baking sheet. Bake 10-15 minutes until slightly browned. Repeat with other portions of dough.

Rosemary Lavender Shortbread (3)

Who did my tasty treats go to? My cookies went off to New York and Florida, to Ausra at Vaikai ir Vanilė, Connie at Urban Bakes and Wanda at My Sweet Zepol. And of course, I know you’re wondering, “What did I get in return?” Well… I can’t say enough about Kelli’s Peppermint Pal Cookies or Nicole and Susan’s Raspberry Almond Shortbread Cookies!

Cookie Swap

Interested in signing up for next year’s Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap? Easy. Click here, fill out the form, then forget all about it like I did and you’ll get notified next fall. Happy baking!


12 thoughts on “Cookies for a Cause & to Share

  1. Pingback: The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap: Peanut Butter Crumble Cookies | Mammy2Grammy

  2. Hey Melissa,
    Thanks for stopping by Mammy2Grammy and for sharing this lovely recipe. I can’t even imagine the wonderful smell of lavender and rosemary floating from the oven. I too dislike baking cut out cookies, but I’m so thinkin’ I need to try these little jewels. Bye for now, ❤ Kim

    • Thanks Kim for your kind works! They actually weren’t as challenging as I remember cut out cookies. Maybe I’ll start to make more of them! No, probably not… 🙂

  3. Pingback: Peppermint Pal Cookies « Brooklyn Locavore

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