I had a lot of fun participating in the The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap last year, but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do it again this December. I knew I would be preparing for a trip to NYC the week of the shipping deadline, plus trying to get a head start on my own cookie baking for my Christmas Party, and let’s be real, it stressed me out last time. It’s a lot of pressure to bake for other bloggers, plus think about how things will ship, and make sure you get everything out on time. Despite all that, I signed up, reminding myself of a few key lessons learned from last year:
- Test the cookie in advance.
- Don’t leave everything to the last minute.
- This is supposed to be FUN!
I took my own advice and everything went so much more smoothly this year. I chose this Espresso & Hazelnut Biscotti because I made a batch last month for my former boss, and received an email from him declaring it THE BEST BISCOTTI EVER so I was sure it would be a hit (also: the recipe is from The Messy Baker Cookbook, which we all know is amazing). Biscotti is also great for shipping, which I realized after receiving Gingerbread Biscotti in the swap last year from Cheri. I actually had everything baked, packaged and shipped two whole days prior to the deadline, and didn’t take the whole so seriously this year. I shipped my packages to Claude in Winnipeg, Sarah in Calgary & Laura in Ottawa, and waited for the Instagrams to roll in.
In return, I received these cookie packages:
Ginger Molasses Cookies from Sylvie (Sylvie Isabelle) in Quebec:
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie Butter Cookies from Carole (The Yum Yum Factor) in Toronto:
Ancho Chili Chocolate Cookies from Bernice (Dish ‘N’ The Kitchen) in Calgary:
Espresso & Hazelnut Biscotti
Source: Slightly adapted from The Messy Baker Cookbook, only because I left out the orange zest and cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 tbsp vanilla
2 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tbsp espresso powder
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1 1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted, skins removed, and roughly chopped
- Preheat the oven to 350 and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until combined.
- Stir in the flour, baking powder and espresso powder and mix until just combined. Add in the chocolate chips and hazelnuts and stir again until incorporated.
- Split the dough in half and shape each half into a log, aiming for 12″ long and 1″ high. Bake for 25-35 minutes, then remove from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 325.
- Put the logs on a cutting board and use a sharp serrated knife to cut the lots into 1/2″ slices. Place the cookies cut side down on the baking sheet, and bake for 10 minutes. Flip them over and bake for 5-10 minutes more.