Cookie love

Remember last year’s cookie swap party at Shannon’s? There was a lot of sugar consumed in several hours’ span… and it was a blast! This year we had a smaller crowd but that just made for a more intimate conversation and well, there was certainly still no shortage of sugar!!

Last year I made 2 rookie mistakes – I made a recipe I never tried before (true to myself). I also decided to go the healthy route. The cookies came out just okay… and when there is steep “competition,” let’s be honest – healthier cookies rarely stand out. I didn’t love my cookies so I wasn’t trying to “sell” them to anyone (btw, the competition I am referring to is for your taste buds – since most of us couldn’t possibly eat one whole cookie from each batch, we just tried little bites and pieces of each and then maybe chose 1 or 2 favorites to finish… at least that’s typically my game plan for these types of parties!).

This time I was smarter. I picked one of my favorite cookies from 2010almond macaroons with chocolate ganache. Yes, I’m obsessed. While plating my cookies to-go, I even got a nice little surprise – I realized that our bedroom had all this natural light shining in – so I grabbed a placemat and the cookies and snapped a few photos (much better than those previously taken in the dark, if I do say so myself). Aren’t these gorgeous??

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They came out perrrrrrrrfect this time – exactly like the recipe said. I am obsessed more than ever. The are soft and light, with just a slight sweetness and chew and a hint of almond flavor (the cookies are just almonds, sugar and egg whites – I do not add almond extract to the batter). And that chocolate ganache – oh my. Rich, smooth. Drool. [Reminder: the recipe is from the Flour bakery cookbook]

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And yes, I went to the cookie swap proud of my product and ready to gush about it. Winking smile They fit perfectly with everyone’s beauties.

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Our hostess Shannon made pumpkin cinnamon roll cookies

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Jen (you know, the winner of Project Food Blog, no big deal… lol) made meyer lemon shortbread cookies

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Kerstin made pretzel & graham cracker chocolate bars

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Bridget brought light and fluffy lemon ricotta cookies

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And Cara shared her family’s favorite treat – butterscotch peanut butter rice crispies with a chocolate ganache filling (phew, that’s a mouthful!)

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Check out those ladies’ blog for the recipes. Everything was sweet and heavenly. After the party I headed straight to the bar and my friends dug into the goodies. It was a gift that kept on giving Winking smile

On a related topic – Bon Appetit magazine’s latest issue boldly stated that the French macaroon is the next cupcake. If they’re right, I think we’ll soon be bombarded with brand new bakeries sporting these soft adorable treats with creative fillings. I say bring it on!! :mrgreen:

Have you ever had a French macaroon? In a “war” between cupcakes, almond macaroons and whoopie pies – which one do you think should win?

Back to clean eating tomorrow. Next post: healthy cookbook review and your chance to win a copy!

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25 comments to Cookie love

  • If macarons are the next cupcake, I better finally make some! Yours look terrific, as do all of those other cookies. Looks like a delicious night!!

  • What a fun time :) I am a whoopie pie girl – especially when filled with cream cheese frosting!

  • I was bummed to miss the cookie swap. It looks like there were some awesome cookies!

    • Elina

      Maybe we’ll have to have another party mid-year then? Who says cookie swap parties should only be close to the holiday season!

  • I have been obsessed with macarons since seeing them in “Marie Antoinette” years ago. However, I always avoided them because like macaroons, I thought they were also loaded with coconut. I’m glad that isn’t the case because those little cookies are so cute and tasty!

    As far as yours go, I really loved the subtle almond flavor of the cookie mixed with the super sweet ganache – it really is the perfect cookie!

    However, I am a tried and true cupcake girl, and I’m not sure that will ever change. Although you might convert me by hosting a macaron baking session 😉

    • Elina

      They’re a lot of work. It took me nearly 2 hours just to blanch the almonds. I think it would be fun to have a bring your own macaroon party though! :)

  • Avi

    Gorgeous cookies! I think French macarons would win in a throw-down because they’re more exotic and less guilt-inducing than whoopie pies.

  • Whoopie pies!

    Glad you had a fun time and you were happier with this years cookies.

  • Fun! And those pictures are beautiful!! I’m so glad we “caught the daylight” before the sun set soon after we took all those photos! Yay for wide aperture lenses (lol!)

  • So great seeing you Saturday! How was the Lower Depths?? You’re cookies are SO good and I would be a very happy girl if macaroons are the new cupcake :) I am obsessed with anything almond, and I love how little light and fluffy the French ones are. Burdicks in Harvard Sq. makes delicious little French macaroons!

    • Elina

      It was good. I got a nice beer I’ve never had (don’t ask me what it was… Adam got it for me, lol). I need to try the ones at Burdicks – I usually just get their hot chocolate demis. :)

  • i love french macaroons elina, but i’ve been terribly nervous to make them. your recipe does sound fairly easy, maybe i’ll step outside of my comfort zone and give them a try:) oh and they look delicious!
    btw, that cookie party is a fantastic idea!

    • Elina

      Jess – they are a little time consuming (if you have to blanch the almonds, like I did) but not hard at all. Just don’t overbake them and they should turn out soft and delicious :)

      • oh i need to get some blanched almonds, i think i saw them at traders last time i was there….thanks again elina, i can’t wait to try them!

  • You did a great job with those! Lovely presentation (and the others’ cookies look great, too!).

  • love seeing these amazing looking cookies pop up all over town. awesome pictures!!

  • I’m in cookie fantasy heaven. I WANT THEM ALL!

    I need to organize one of these. What could be better than a cookie party? That’s one party no one would want to miss.

  • yes they were fantastic, and i love them too! totally beat out cupcakes :) and i’m definitely in for more swaps!

  • Loved, loved, loved your macaroons! (notice my use of past tense – they are gone!)

  • Chocolate ganache can never be wrong. I hope macaroons catch on in popularity (maybe the gourmet ones will become cheaper that way). Pregnancy craving number one right now is all things coconut, followed by almonds…I could definitely use a large supply of macaroons around the house!

  • These were so incredible and I loved how soft they were – super impressed with your baking skills :)

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