My work allows me to experience some fun foodie things too, I'm a lucky girl that way. We hosted a movie screening for Burnt. Bradley Cooper was in it! I really couldn't ask for anything more. A hot guy whowho happens to be a chef and of course the numerous shots of glorious food, I was totally in! Being that my son was on his semestrial break, I brought him along with me. I always take the offer of him spending less time on gadgets. And of course, as a mom of an almost tween, I savor the moments when I can still drag him along with me.
Let me warn you moms out there that there is a lot of swearing in this movie. I have not worked inside a professional kitchen but I guess it was somewhat expected after reading Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential. My son also pointed out that he saw Gordon Ramsay's name in the credits. So now we really knew and understood where all the F bombs came from.
That however, doesn't take away from the fact that it was a good movie. There was a lesson in there that I made sure to point out to my 11 year-old boy which is that when you choose to do bad things, it comes out to haunt you one way or another.
Okay, no more spoilers here! Let's get down to why I made these cookies!
Michelle of Momma 'n Manila invited me last 2014, when I first met her to join her annual Cookie Swap (Read her post on 2014's Cookie Swap). I was unable to do so because it was a weekday but I told her that I would love, LOVE to join the next one. For her 2015 cookie swap, I was absolutely game!
For my cookie entry, I decided to throw everything that I love into one cookie. Dark chocolate, toffee, sea salt and strawberries. It took 2 tries to perfect my recipe but I was happy with the texture, flavor and the surprise stuffed inside the cookie. I also came up with a name to describe my cookie creation: Midnight Cookies. Why?! Because it's a SEXY cookie! It's dark, rich and each bite will leave you wanting more! Haha! I was ready!
In a cookie swap, you basically have to bake a dozen cookies for each swapper and probably an extra 2 dozen for the hostess. This is so everyone gets to take home a dozen each of everyone's cookie. It ended up that we had to make 10-11 dozen cookies which was a daunting but achievable task. After all, the take away is a mountain full of cookies for the family to enjoy!
We were in great hands with our Cookie Swap hostess, Michelle. She thought of everything: decor, food, giveaways and even prizes for the winners. I'm proud to say that I won Most Creative Cookie! Yay!!! But everyone's cookies were delicious and we were eating them for days! Ultimately, it was tiring to make that much cookies but the experience and the energy from the swappers was just amazing! Take a look for yourself in the photos below!
The HOLIDAY COOKIE SWAP entries:
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup unsweetened/dark cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 Tablespoons milk
- 1 and 1/2 cups dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips, reserve some for garnish
- 1 cup freeze-fried strawberries, reserve some for garnish
- 18 pieces Riesens dark chocolate toffee
- coarse sea salt
- Pre-heat oven at 180C / 350F.
- Using a handheld or stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter on medium speed for about 20 seconds. Add the sugars with the mixer running on medium speed. Cream it all together until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- In a separate medium size bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt together. Slowly add to the wet ingredients. Stir in the milk, then fold in the dark chocolate morsels and freeze-dried strawberries. The dough will be thick and very sticky. Chill for at least 1-2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. Set aside.
- Take 2 Tablespoons of chilled dough and split in half and roll each into a ball with your hands. Stick toffee into 1 ball of dough. Top the toffee with the other ball of dough and seal down the sides so that the caramel is securely stuffed inside. Repeat with the rest of the dough and toffee. Top each cookie with leftover chocolate chips and strawberries. Sprinkle each with sea salt before putting into the oven.
- Bake for 15 minutes. Cookies will appear undone and very soft. Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for at least 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Makes 16-18 large cookies. Cookies stay fresh and soft in an airtight container up to 7 days.