Thursday, December 27, 2007

A Holiday Cookie Party

My roomie, Joelf, and I, plus two of our friends (Carlotta and Cookie) decided to host a Cookie Exchange Party this year.

The Cookie Party: The Results Show

You all know how a Cookie Exchange works, right? You bring a ton of your favorite baked cookie, and at the party you nosh on all the cookies and start to feel really sick, and when your blood sugar starts to crash, you load up your tray/tupperware/bag with cookies from everybody. Arrive with 4 dozen you baked, go home with 4 dozen from everybody.

At our party, everybody got the first part right about arriving with cookies--and about 50% were actually homebaked! However, only a few people LEFT with cookies, which means our kitchen table looks like some sort of bakery warehouse.

I don't know how many more cookies I can eat.

December 16, 2007
Name of Cookies: Peanut Butter Pinwheels, Chocolate-Peppermint Pinwheels, GF Cinnamon-Sugar Pinwheels
Occasion: Cookie Party!
  • Peanut Butter Pinwheels: peanut butter dough rolled around semi sweet chocolate
  • Chocolate-Peppermint Pinwheels: chocolate sugar cookie dough rolled around white chocolate and crushed peppermint candy canes
  • GF Cinnamon-Sugar Pinwheels: GF pie dough (leftover from the Gateau Engadine) rolled around cinnamon and sugar

  • Peanut Butter Pinwheels

    Peanut Butter Pinwheel

    These suckers come straight out of a Sunset Cookie Book that my mom had when I was a teenager. The peanut butter cookie dough is pretty straightforward, with the exception of calling for a teaspoon of cinnamon. Say what? I did it, and it's fine, but it kind of puts the peanut butter flavor in the background a bit. I don't think I'll add it next time.

    While refrigerating the dough you melt 6 oz of chocolate and set aside. You pat the dough out into a 12x12 inch square and spread your chocolate, then you roll the dough up jelly-roll style. I HIGHLY recommend patting your dough square out on a piece or two of waxed paper or parchment, and using the paper to help you roll it up--much like you would that bamboo mat to roll up sushi. Exact same thing.

    I froze my dough for a couple of days, which was helpful since Sunday I was overextended with shit to do. However, frozen dough with a solid ribbon of chocolate running through it is hard to cut into straight little slices. A lot of that may have had to do with my knife in serious need of a sharpen. But it was tricky. Somewhere between frozen and thawed is the perfect time to cut this dough into slices.

    Then you bake away! So easy.

    Chocolate-Peppermint Pinwheels

    Chocolate-Peppermint Pinwheel

    This was just an idea I had based on Peppermint Bark. First off, the colors are so pretty, and secondly, totally yummy, and thirdly, it's seasonal!

    I realised I needed a chocolate cookie that could be rolled out; so I looked for a chocolate sugar cookie. This was the one I used, and it was easy and tasty: Equal Exchange's Chocolate Sugar Cookies.

    I was a little concerned when I saw it only made 18 cookies, but I thought I'd try it out anyways. This turns out a sweet and pretty dough that isn't too sticky; I probably could have rolled it out right then, and maybe I should was a bit too stiff after being refrigerated. I melted some white chocolate (6 oz) and crushed up about 6-8 medium sized candy canes.

    Crushing candy canes in an apartment building when you have annoyingly loud neighbors is awesome. I only wish I had done it a little earlier in the morning.

    I rolled the dough out into a 12x12 square, and it looked a bit thin in places but I went for it anyway, and spread the white chocolate and crushed peppermint and rolled it up. The dough tore at the first turn but I patched it up and kept on going. Because the dough seemed a little fragile, I didn't spend a lot of time making sure I was rolling tight and pressing the dough gently together.

    This became a problem when I began slicing the dough after a refrigerated rest. I noticed many air pockets between layers, and oftentimes the dang slice would just sort of fall apart into chunks.

    Eh. I also burned a batch of cookies, but you know I like my cookies a tad burnt anyway!

    There was only ONE perfect cookie from this whole batch after baking; the rest were burnt or crumbled messes or ugly. The cookie was really crisp, but flavorful. This is a good idea, but I need to work on it more.

    GF Cinnamon-Sugar Pinwheels

    (uh, sorry, i guess i didn't take any photos.)

    How easy are these? I had a lot of leftover dough from the Gateau Engadine just sitting pretty in my refrigerator, and since Annmarie was coming (the GF ex roomie) I wanted to bake up a little GF cookie plate for her.

    I rolled out the dough into a ovalish-square and sprinkled the whole thing liberally with cinnamon and sugar. Then I rolled it up just like I did with the other two doughs and popped it in the freezer to firm up.

    A day or so later, I took out the roll, sliced it up, and popped them into the oven.

    Ta-da! So easy!

    Not only that, but many people found them tasty, and nobody who didn't know they were gluten free suspected there was something different about them. That, I believe, is the highest compliment in regards to GF baking.

    So basically, I am feeling totally awesome about my GF baking abilities.


    1. I wish there were cookie exchanges here. (It would have to be a 'biscuit' exchange, I suppose!)
      By this time, I am so sick of mince pies. Everyone does mini-mince pies.
      It is a Christmas rut treat.
      I do like the sound of the peanut butter chocolate pinwheels.
      Nice to have some pictures again, too!

    2. Thanks Melinda! I would do anything for a Chocolate Digestive exchange party. I can eat a whole package of those in 20 minutes.

      My mom makes mini-mince pies for my dad every Christmas, too. It must be the Canadian-British connection. He's the only one who eats them. I'm not a big fan myself.

    3. Send me an email with your address and I will send a pack to you. Milk or dark chocolate?
      It would give me a thrill to send you something that the USofA can't provide.