What Christmas would be like without all the sweets and cookies? Christmas cookies is as much a tradition as carols and Julie and Lindsay know it well. So this year they organised the 3rd Annual Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap. If you haven’t heard of this before, the swap brings together food bloggers around the world, who exchange cookies and share their favourite cookie recipe. Each participant also donats a small amount to the Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, an non-profit organization dedicated to funding research in order to find safer, more effective treatments for paediatric cancer. This year the event managed to raise a total of $13,778.40!!
My initial idea was to make something traditional and Greek. Something like melomakarona, a traditional Greek Christmas Cookie with honey syrop and walnuts. But as these cookies are soaked in the sweet honey syrup, I thought that it would probably not be a good idea to put them in a box and send them by mail. So, I tried to find a recipe that uses honey as a main ingredient and is also convenient for shipping.
And I found it. Based on the traditional molasses and spice cookie recipe, I created my honey, orange and cinnamon cookies. I used honey instead of molasses and orange zest and cinnamon instead of ginger. Orange and cinnamon are two of my favourite ingredients when baking Christmas goodies.
The best part is that you not only send but also receive and taste cookies from other fellow food bloggers. I received cookies from Kathy , Julia and Persis. I just loved them. Thanks girls, they were delicious! (Actually I was planning to write a whole post about the cookies I received, but as I have eaten most of them there are not many left to photograph..)
I can’t wait until next year! By the way, you can find more information about the swap here.
- ¾ cup packed brown sugar
- ¾ cup butter or shortening
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 egg
- Orange zest from one orange
- 3 tablespoons orange juice
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Orange zest and melted chocolate (for decoration)
- Preheat oven to 180°C.
- In a bowl of a stand or handheld mixer, cream the butter and the sugar for about 2 minutes on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the honey, egg, orange zest and orange juice. Beat well on high speed, scraping down the sides as needed.
- In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
- Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet. Do not overmix. Cover dough tightly and chill for 1 hour.
- Roll dough into balls and place them on greased cookies sheets.
- Press balls lightly with a fork.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes, until edges of cookies are just firm. If cookies have risen up too much, press them down with a fork.
- Let cookies on baking sheets, then tranfer to racks to cool completely.
- Drizzle with the melted chocolate and sprinkle with orange zest