Cookie Swap 4 took place on the 2nd of August, and once again it was a national event that saw cookie lovers from around the country gathering together to exchange treats, socialise and most importantly raise money for Learn to Earn and specifically their Bake For Profit students who are in dire need of more kitchen equipment to assist with their training. Do have a look at the website to see how this fantastic organisation gives people “a hand up, not a hand out”!
This was my second cookie swap and following on from last year’s event I could not wait to get involved again. (You can read about my first Cookie Swap experience here.) Once again, the Cape Town event took place at Dear Me and was hosted by the lovely Ishay of Food & the Fabulous.
The bakers outdid themselves this year with a delectable selection of cookies, brownies and sweet treats and I have included some pics of just a few of the goodies on offer. As always I had a great time catching up with foodie friends and loved meeting some new faces too. If you love baking (or eating, this event is open to non-bakers too) then I would encourage you to come along to the next event. Keep an eye on the Cookie Swap Facebook page for details.
I went back and forth with a couple of ideas for what I would be bringing on the day, and in the end I decided to do a variation of my favourite sugar cookie recipe. I love this recipe because the dough holds its shape well during baking and can be rolled and re-rolled many times. Which also makes it a perfect recipe to make with the kids, and dear daughter and I had a marvelous time rolling dough and cutting out all the hearts. This recipe makes approximately 70 biscuits depending on size, so feel free to halve it if you don’t need quite so many. Happy baking y’all!
CHOCOLATE ORANGE SUGAR HEARTS
Makes about 70 biscuits
265g butter, softened
300g castor sugar
3 large eggs
6 tsp finely grated orange rind (about 2 oranges)
2 tsp vanilla extract
600g cake flour
1 tbsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
150g dark chocolate chips
extra flour for dusting
100g dark choc for drizzling (optional)
Step 1.) Cream the butter and castor sugar together until pale and soft. Add the eggs, orange rind and vanilla extract and mix together.
Step 2.) Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and chocolate chips in a bowl. Add this to the butter mixture and mix gently until the dough comes together and everything is combined.
Step 3.) Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
Step 4.) Preheat your oven to 180°C and line a baking tray with baking paper. Dust your work surface and a rolling pin with a little flour, and roll the dough out to a thickness of 5mm. Use a heart (or any other) cutter to cut out shapes. Pop these onto your prepared tray allowing a little room for spreading.
Step 5.) Pop the tray in the oven for 6 minutes, then rotate the tray 180 degrees and bake for a further 4-6 minutes, or until the edges and bases of the cookies are starting to turn golden. IMPORTANT: Baking time will depend on the size of your cookies! Place the cookies on a cooling rack.
Step 6.) Break the dark chocolate into pieces and carefully melt in the microwave on a low setting, whisking every 30 – 60 seconds. Scrape the melted chocolate into a small piping bag / sandwich bag with a hole cut in the corner and drizzle the chocolate over the cooled biscuits. Allow to set before packing the biscuits into an airtight container.