This year, I joined in the 2012 Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap where I received the names and addresses of three fellow food bloggers and shipped each of them a dozen cookies. In return, I got a dozen cookies from three other food bloggers that had received my name.
The hardest part of the entire process was deciding what to bake. I think the cookie you choose says a lot about you and so I wanted it to be somewhat creative (I didn’t think plain sugar cookie was the way to go here) but comforting enough to where folks wouldn’t be disappointed (I also didn’t think fancy schmancy was the best option here). I settled on these peanut butter fudge oat cookies.
My reasons were three-fold (Friends reference, “The One with Chandler in a Box”):
- These cookies made enough for my three recipients and then some. The ‘some’ I ate. ie, I could not mess these up by faulty math. And I’m one of those people that gives gifts that I want.
- They seemed pretty viable. They were soft enough to give a little should they get bumped on their journey but not so soft that they fell apart. At least this was my theory and those who received them hopefully did not have a box of sticky, peanut buttery oat crumbs?
- I was confident in the ingredients. Who wouldn’t like the combination of peanut butter, oats and fudge?
The recipe made a ton of fudge so next time I may even put more fudge on each cookie before baking them instead of standing over the pot with pretzel rods, apple slices, a straw, etc. in an effort to not waste the glorious fudge.
- Chocolate Gingerbread Men* from A Frosted Kitchen – obviously Sarah takes pride in impeccable decoration without sacrificing necessities like good taste and texture.
- Yummy Fruit & Oat Bars* from love.life.eat – Felicia's note said that she got these from Thomas Keller’s new cookbook. This fact set an incredible standard. Dropping a TK bomb sets a certain tone for sure. BOOM!
- Biscotti* from Slim Pickin’s Kitchen - The Biscotti was great. But to top it off Amber included a little bag of Chai tea! Stop. It. She clearly goes the extra mile and realizes details matter.
The anticipation of seeing a box shaped like a possible cookie container, coupled with the yumminess that inevitably arrives at your doorstep, makes me want to do a quarterly cookie swap. I think every change in season warrants an event such as this one. Who’s in?
*Note, I may not be calling these cookies the correct name so head over to their blog to get the full story, legal name and recipes. For instance, TK would never use the word ‘yummy’ in the name of one of his dishes. He’s to sophisticated.
Peanut Butter Fudge Oat Cookies
Adapted from TheKitchn
1/2 cup butter, very soft
1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 1/2 cups oats (I actually used a mix of old-fashioned and quick)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet)
One 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
Preheat oven to 350°F and line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl, mix the butter, peanut butter, and sugars. Mix in eggs and vanilla. Add the oats, baking soda, and salt, and mix thoroughly. Refrigerate the dough.
Begin preparing the fudge topping by mixing chocolate chips and condensed milk in a saucepan. Turn the burner on low and, stirring frequently, warm the chocolate until it is completely melted and evenly mixed. Keep the burner on simmer and keep a spoon handy as you may need to restir the chocolate before topping the cookies.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and, using a cookie scoop (or else your hands will be a gooey mess), drop wanut-sized balls onto the cookie sheet. Press each ball semi-flat and top with a dollop of the chocolate mixture. Bake the cookies for 10 – 12 minutes or until just golden around the edges. Let the cookies firm up a bit then transfer the parchment sheets to wire racks before completely cooling.