The sugar high continues here on The Pink Apron with the reveal of our recipes for The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap. I know I thoroughly enjoyed participating because I definitely enjoy baking for others much more than for myself and I also really, really enjoy receiving packages. Getting my boxes reminded me very much of getting care packages in college. They were always a welcome surprise and broke up the day and the ones I received during the exchange were no different. I was lucky enough to receive Peanut Butter Fudgies from Sweet Words, Tasty Treats, “Better Than Hot Chocolate” Cookies from Twice Cooked Half Baked, and Macroonis from That’s the Way the Cookie Crumbles, all of which received high marks from my co-workers. Every time I opened a box there was understandable interest from those who sit around me, so I couldn’t help but share.
For my contribution I made Candy Cane Blossoms. I’m a bit of a sucker for seasonal candies (as made evident through my Cherry Cordial M&M obsession) so when I stumbled upon Candy Cane Hershey’s Kisses I instantly knew I wanted to turn them into a festive holiday cookie. What resulted was a vaguely similar cookie to the Peanut Butter Blossoms and Cherry Blossoms that are staples in my family. The base recipe for the Candy Cane Blossoms came straight off the bag, though being me, I took some liberties. In the original recipe the candy cane flavor came exclusively from the Kisses, but I wanted it to come through in the dough as well so I added some crushed candy cane pieces and mint extract. I liked it because to my taste buds, it carried the flavor through well without taking on a too-strong mint flavor of a breath mint. The candy cane flavor when combined with a copious amount of red sprinkles made for a festive holiday treat.
I had a great time participating and cannot extend enough thanks to Love and Olive Oil and The Little Kitchen for conceiving and executing the swap. Given that over 600 people signed up I cannot imagine it was a small undertaking and thank them for organizing this. If you didn’t get a chance to participate this year, be sure to sign up for their notification list by visiting http://eepurl.com/hsS-Y. They will be sending an email blast out as soon as things start gearing up for next years’ swap. And should you be looking for more holiday cookie recipes they will also be posting a round up later this week.
In making these cookies it may seem like you have to make them incredibly small in order to get a full 4 dozen, but they spread quite a bit.
Adapted from Hershey’s
Yields about 4 dozen cookies
-48 Candy Cane Mint Hershey’s Kisses
-1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
-1 cup granulated sugar
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract
-1/2 teaspoon peppermint flavoring
-2 cups all-purpose flour
-1/4 teaspoon baking soda
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-2 tablespoons half and half
-2 tablespoons crushed candy cane pieces
-Red decorating sugar
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove wrappers from candies.
Beat butter, granulated sugar, egg, vanilla and peppermint flavor in large bowl until well blended. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; add alternately with milk to butter mixture, beating until well blended. Stir in candy cane pieces.
Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in red sugar. Place on ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned and cookie is set. Remove from oven; cool 2 to 3 minutes. Press a candy piece into center of each cookie. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.