As I was preparing my three boxes of a dozen cookies, I thought I should add something to reflect my knitterly side as well as my bakerly side. So I whipped up these Cookie Swap Badges with safety pin backs:
They were pretty quick, being so small, but it did require figuring out how to sew a French knot. After a few frustrating tries, I finally figured it out. And though I hope that all of my cookies made it to their destinations uncrumbled, at least I know that these were safe.
My fellow bloggers did very well with their packaging, crumble-wise. I received yummies from Ashley from Memoirs From My Kitchen and Kimberly from Kimberly's Treats. I'm still waiting on a mysterious third dozen, but I'm spoilt for choice each night as I decide between dessert options as it is.
I sent cookies to three fabulous food bloggers you should check out: Catherine at The Cat Dish, Alison at Heart of Gold, and Jen at What Jen Does.
As I hinted on Saturday, I took my inspiration for my own cookies from a favorite Czech treat of mine: poppy seed kolaches. I've been lucky enough to have them in Prague, but there's also enough of a Czech immigrant population here in Texas that kolaches are a not entirely uncommon baked good. Which is why I hoped that this flavor profile would be the perfect mix of being personal and interesting, without being too out there. And since these are special cookies, I decided to give them a special photo shoot with some other Czech favorites.
They take a little bit of love, bringing the dough together, rolling it, cutting it, filling it, crimping it, and baking it. But that's what the holidays are all about, right? I had so much fun scheming, baking, and receiving in this truly great swap. If you want to get a heads up for next year's event, you can sign up here. And many thanks to our lovely hosts Love & Olive Oil and The Little Kitchen.
Poppy Seed-Filled Cookies
Makes at least 6 dozen
Adapted from Taste of Home: Raisin-Filled Cookies
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 3 eggs
- 2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
- 5 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons buttermilk
- 1 12.5 oz can prepared poppy seed filling
- Additional poppy seeds for sprinkling (optional)
- In a large bowl, cream together the sugars and butter. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in vanilla.
- Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk (Note: I used a powdered buttermilk as directed). Cover and refrigerate until easy to handle.
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- On a floured surface, roll out dough into 1/8-in. thickness. Cut with floured 3" round cookie cutters. Spoon about 1/2 teaspoon of poppy seed filling on each of the rounds, near the center but not quite. Using water, milk, or an egg wash, wet the edges of the round and fold in half, creating a half-moon dumpling. Crimp edges together with a fork, and cut a small slit in the top. Using more of whatever wash you used for the edges, wet the top of the 'dumpling' and sprinkle additional poppy seeds on top.
- Place 2" apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 10-13 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool.