A few weeks ago, some of my absolute favorite people and I put together a cookie exchange to kick off the holidays. My girls and I take things quite seriously, so planning the mechanics of this exchange was no exception. We argued (in the friendliest way possible) over the amount of cookies to provide, the ingredients we were planning on using to ensure a good level of variety, and teased each other over who would have the best cookie.
What a fabulous idea this turned out to be! Everyone showed up with beautiful and delicious cookies to share, ranging from oatmeal butterscotch to Mexican wedding cookies to chocolate with peppermint frosting. I made my tried and true recipe for biscotti, opting for a mix of cranberry pistachio and double chocolate (see below for recipe).
I recommend planning a cookie exchange with your friends, and not just for the holidays! Food exchanges are a fun way to find new recipes and share your own favorites. Plus who doesn't love bringing home food you didn't have to make?!
2/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened
2 tsp baking powder
a dash of salt
1 3/4 cups flour
your choice of add-ins
Some fun combos:
1. 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder + chocolate chips
2. Lemon zest + slivered almonds
3. Dried cranberries + orange zest
Mix your sugar and butter with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in your baking powder and salt, then eggs. Stir in your flour by hand then add your add-ins, hand stir until just fully mixed.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease or lay down a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet and plop on your dough. Smooth the dough to form a long oval on the sheet (it doesn't have to be perfect). Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for about 10 minutes.
Using a large knife, cut your oval in half longways then cut across the other way to create biscotti sized pieces. Turn the pieces on their side and put the cookie sheet back in the oven to back for 7-13 minutes, depending on your oven. Keep your eye on it as you don't want your biscotti to be rock hard!
Cool completely then store in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Best served with a cup of coffee!