I took part in The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap of 2015! They have been running the event for 5 years now, and I am here to share my experience (and my vegan shortbread cookies!)
Having visited many different blogs over the years, it pays off when you take the time to actually look at their sites. A lot of work goes into them and you can really see the love. When I first began blogging it was more of a hobby/past time while I was home with my daughter. I began to take it seriously again in 2014 and ever since I have not looked back! I have met wonderful people and gained a small audience (woohoo!) Every day I am learning new things and trying to keep up in a large arena. You will not believe how much time blogging takes (I love it so much but people think we just sit around all day…) That being said, I am always open to new ideas and when I came across The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap website, I knew I had to participate!
I decided to make vegan shortbread cookies with crushed candy cane. Now, before I go into more detail, I will give a quick rundown of how this swap works. Basically you sign up and get matched with 3 other food bloggers in your country (saves on shipping costs) and who share similar dietary restrictions if applicable. You bake your cookies, take some pics, and send them on their way. This is like a secret Santa! You keep your mouth shut and wait to hear back from your recipients once they receive your cookies. It is that easy!
Thankfully I received all three batches of cookies with no issues (sometimes people bail out or do not follow the rules, but it happens.) I was soooo happy with my received cookies! Seriously, they were all delicious and well-thought-out! My original recipe idea was to send out shortbread cookies but when I saw that one of my matches was vegan, my idea went out the window. My first idea after that was to go with chocolate chip vegan cookies but as you can see from the picture below, I totally was distracted and screwed up (accidentally doubled my wet ingredients but not my dry…) After mild frustration, I tried again, and somehow came out with delicious vegan shortbread cookies!
The experience was a lot of fun and I look forward to doing it next year. I will say the one drawback is how expensive shipping can be even when staying in your own country. I was lucky enough to have one food blogger quite local, but the other two were in different provinces (and one was so far I had to do expedited shipping to ensure they arrived within 3 days or less or it would have taken 8+ days by standard mail!!) Still a joy to do and seeing from the Instagram posts, my vegan shortbread cookies arrived safe and sound (they better have after picking out these cool boxes from Kitchen Stuff Plus for under $2 a piece!)
15 minPrep Time
8 minCook Time
23 minTotal Time
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup coconut oil, room temperature
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- Pinch of salt
- 1 flax-egg (1 tbsp. flaxseed to 3 tbsp. water)
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 2 tbsp. Christmas sprinkles
- 2 tbsp. crushed candy canes
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, add the sugars and coconut oil. Beat until nicely combined, about 4-5 minutes. Scrape down the sides and add the flax-egg and vanilla. Mix again until well combined.
- In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix and add to wet ingredients, stirring until JUST combined. Stir in sprinkles and candy canes (if desired.)
- Measure out 1 tablespoon-sized portions of dough and roll into balls. Dip into additional crushed candy if desired. Place 12 cookies per tray and bake for 8 minutes. Allow to cool slightly on tray before moving to cooling rack (NOTE: melted candy cane hurts, so use a spatula!)
(Check out the FBCookieSwap website!)
And just for fun (and because I loved the cookies so much) here are the cookies I received!
- Salted Caramel Vanilla Bean Cookies from A La Claude
- Double Chocolate Slice and Bake Cookies from Warm Vanilla Sugar
- Vegan Fruity Ginger Spice Cookies from Bird House Diaries