A few weeks ago I got invited to be part of a cookie swap.
This is where you bring a few dozen cookies to a party and “swap” them with the others who show up with cookies, too. You share your recipe, you get a few new ones, it’s a win-win all the way around.
But this cookie swap was different.
There was no real “party.” And the “swap” part wouldn’t be done in person.
This was a virtual swap — called The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap — hosted by bloggers (and my Instagram and Twitter pals) Lindsay of Love and Olive Oil and Julie of The Little Kitchen.
Here’s how it worked: we were e-mailed the names of three other food bloggers to whom we would mail a dozen cookies. I sent my cookies — kakimochi chocolate chip sweetheart cookies — to three food bloggers: Katherine Crepeau (@katherine_june), Heather Eure (@hleure), and Monica Rodriguez (@iarethefoodsnob).
Apparently, mine were among the 22,000 cookies that were mailed around the world as part of this swap.
That’s a lot of cookies.
And as part of this “swap,” we’re sharing our recipes with you, too. (No, I’m not mailing out any more cookies!)
So here’s what I baked and shipped. Hope you enjoy them, too.
If you’re interested in participating next year, sign up here.
Kakimochi chocolate chip sweetheart cookies
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup crushed kakimochi (arare, mochi crunch or Japanese rice crackers)
1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
Enough heart-shaped kakimochi to decorate each cookie
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9-1/2-by-13-inch pan with parchment paper or lightly spray with cooking spray (such as Pam).
Pour about 4 ounces of kakimochi — or half an 8-ounce bag — into a plastic, sealable freezer bag. Using a rolling pin — or, like me, your hands and some brawn — crush the rice crackers into small pieces. Do NOT pulverize in a blender or food processor. Set aside.
In a bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar. Add the egg and vanilla.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda. Combine this mixture with the wet ingredients. Then add the crushed kakimochi and about 6 ounces (or half a 12-ounce bag) of mini chocolate chips. Don’t overmix the batter. (If you do, the gluten would overdevelop and result in a denser cookie with an unpleasant texture.)
Spoon a small ball onto the prepped cookie sheets and press them down slightly. Place the heart-shaped kakimochi (or any shape, really) onto the middle of each flattened ball.
Bake about 8 to 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack, then store in refrigerator.
Dog Kimono from Inu Inu Hawaii
Days left: 3
Dog kimono or yukata from Inu Inu Hawaii (www.inuinuhawaii.com)
Price: $30 online or at pet boutiques such as Calvin & Susie in Kilohana Square
The gist: Bored of the usual dog outfits? Or your pooch is quite the fashion diva? Get a kimono (or yukata) from Honolulu-based Inu Inu Hawaii, which specializes in unique Asian-inspired apparel for dogs. They come in all sizes — in fact, you can custom order ones for larger breeds — and patterns. Imagine your Rottweiler in one of these!
Best for: Dog owners, of course!
dont they call that “potluck”? or a variation of “dutch treat”…yum!
[…] The cookies themselves also surprised me. You’ll have to visit Catherine Toth’s site to learn all about them, but just let me say that they were made with a super secret Hawaiian ingredient that makes for a unique cookie-munching experience. […]
The mathematics and technology behind a cookie swap like this, or fantasy football for that matter, boggle the mind. Just as far as assigning-out the e-mail addresses, I keep thinking of algorithms, when I should just be thinking of the smell of freshly-baked cookies. Ah, the Holidays…
Have you received your cookies yet?
From you? Or from the other bloggers? I received two packages.
I am enjoying one as I read this! Thank you again! I cant believe these cookies came from HAWAII!
that sounds so fun! and delicious.
[…] Catherine gave me a little background on the cookies: she said, “The crunchy stuff (kakimochi) is Japanese rice crackers. They’re flavored with soy sauce. So it’s a bit unusual. But in Hawaii it’s a popular snack. We eat them in buttered popcorn at movie theaters. Seriously.” I hope I can find some here in Austin to try making these delights myself! Check out Catherine’s recipe for the cookies here. […]