How is it December 11th? We're not sure how, exactly, but we are most definitely behind in getting everything ready for the holidays - grading papers, cleaning/decorating the house, cooking, and, of course, shopping. Still, we did manage to get our Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap cookies out in time, and right now, that seems like an accomplishment.
About the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap: This is our second year participating in the Swap. Each participant (all food bloggers), signs up by giving a nominal fee that goes directly toward Cookies for Kids' Cancer. Then each participant receives the addresses of three other food bloggers, makes and sends each of them a dozen cookies, and receives three dozen in return. We all post our recipes on the same day (that would be today), and salivate as we browse through them all! We even received a couple of shiny new spatulas from OXO as part of the deal. Very special thanks to Love & Olive Oil and The Little Kitchen for all their hard work in organizing this great event for a worthy cause. In fact, over $13,000 was raised between bloggers and sponsoring partners!
We tried a new recipe from Stacy Adimando's fantastic book, The Cookiepedia, which had been sent to us to preview by the publisher, Quirk Books (we actually did a review of it in September of 2011). It really is a great resource for all things cookie. We've had a lot of luck with a few of her recipes, but part of the Swap is to try something new, so we did.
We took Adimando's recipe for "Sesame Crisps with Toasted Seeds," added a couple of quirks (no pun intended) of our own, and were really very pleased with the result - a cookie that didn't see-saw into either the too-sweet or the too-savory, and went nicely with both coffee and tea. They had a wonderfully crisp texture and a nutty-caramel flavor. Oh, and they only take about 15 minutes to make, including baking time! We sure hope our sendees, Beth of Beth's Blue Plate Special, Veronica of My Catholic Kitchen, and Micky from What Micky Eats, loved them as much as we did. We will definitely be making them again.
We received some really fabulous cookies as well, as you can see below. Thank you so much to Melanie of Aesthetic Eats, Tal of Ba-Li Cravings, and Caroline of Chocolate & Carrots.
Check out our post on last year's Swap here. And for more great holiday (and year-round) cookie ideas, be sure to browse through The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap recipe roundup!
Toasted Sesame Crisps
adapted from The Cookiepedia by Stacy Adimando
Very Important Note: Sesame seeds at our local supermarket were outrageously priced at $86.24 a pound ($5.39 for a 1-ounce spice jar). But Chris, ever the problem-solver, had in mind to stop at the Indian market where he found...drumroll please...a 28-ounce bag for $4.99. Yup. Those numbers are correct.
Makes about 3 dozen cookies
1 cup sesame seeds
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 375. Toast the sesame seeds in an even layer in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, stirring often for 6-8 minutes or until fragrant. Remove from heat and pour into a bowl. Add flour, baking soda and salt and set aside. Melt the butter together with the sesame oil. In a separate bowl, combine the melted butter/sesame mixture, brown sugar, egg and vanilla and stir until fully combined. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto lined cookie sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake for 6-8 minutes, or until browned around the edges, rotating the sheets halfway through baking. Let cool on the sheet for two minutes then transfer to a wire rack to continue cooling.