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Be a Cookie Swap Hero | Beyond the Peanut Butter Blossom

It’s cookie baking season y’all! Get out those aprons, here comes some cookie inspiration. No matter what your age, who can resist a cookie?

When winter rolls near, we all start dreaming of making cookies with kiddos and destroying our kitchens in the process, but who cares! Some of you may partake in the tradition of a Cookie Swap, and we are here for it. Not to point any fingers, but are you tired of seeing the same chocolate crinkles, iced sugar cookies and peanut butter cookies with Hershey’s® Kisses®?

It’s OK, we get it, and we are here to up that cookie game. These cookies are fun and easy with elevated ingredients that may surprise you and will certainly make you top contender for cookie swap hero this year! Word of caution, one is only for adults, but who said kiddos get to have all the fun?

OK, who is on board with an adults-only cookie? This cookie is drool-worthy and made especially for nostalgic adults who crave some chocolate chip cookie goodness!

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, tightly packed
  • 1/2 cup salted butter (melted)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups dark chocolate, chopped
  • 2 teaspoon orange zest
  • Sea salt for sprinkling

In a large mixing bowl combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Whisk together until fully blended. In a different bowl, combine brown sugar, butter, egg, bourbon, and vanilla. Whisk together until fully blended and smooth. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix again until well combined. Lastly, fold in chocolate chunks and orange zest. Cover the bowl and chill for one hour. While chilling, pre-heat your oven to 350°F and lightly grease two cookie sheets. Using a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop, scoop out the chilled dough onto the cookie sheet and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake for about 10 minutes until the cookie’s edges are set, but inside is still a bit gooey. Devour!

Shortbread is a classic and is so simple to make. Most of the time, you probably have the ingredients in your pantry. This version amplifies the buttery flavor of this classic cookie with almond and toasted pistachio. Great for a cookie swap, and they are even better after a few days!

  • 16 tablespoons salted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 cup shelled and raw pistachio, finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 300°F and lightly grease two 8” square cake pans. In a mixing bowl, beat together the butter, sugar and extracts until fully incorporated. Add the flour. (It may seem dry but keep beating, and it will come together.) Divide the dough in half and add each half into the cake pan. Gently press into the pans and sprinkle on pistachios, smoothing it out. Use a fork to prick the dough all over. Bake until light golden brown, about 30 minutes. Remove and cut immediately into 12 equal strips (per pan). It won’t cut as well cold. Enjoy!

These cookies are a go-to every year around Thanksgiving but are honestly great any time of year if you are looking for something unique, pretty and oh-so flavorful. The little specks of rosemary shine through and combine sublimely with the orange flavor. They are a little sweet, a little tangy and herbaceous!

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • Sugar for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350°F and line a cookie sheet with parchment. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Using a stand mixer, beat both sugars, olive oil, zest, juice and rosemary until smooth. Beat in the eggs and almond extract. One cup at a time, add the dry ingredients, beating until combined. Using a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop, scoop out balls and place on the baking sheet about 1 inch apart. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a cooling rack. Swoon!

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