It’s another year of one of my favorite times of year, The Great Food Bloggers Cookie Swap! This is my fourth year participating and I look forward to this every year. Not only do I get to sample some wonderful cookies, it’s also an opportunity to meet new bloggers and be introduced to some amazing new (to me) blogs! This event also helps to raise money and awareness for Cookies for Kids' Cancer!
One of the challenges for me when choosing a cookie make for this swap is that the cookies need to be sturdy enough to withstand the postal service as well as a cookie that can withstand being at room temperature until it arrives. I had so many different ideas, but the more I thought about them the more I wasn’t sure if they would be the right recipe. I’ve never been so stressed out on deciding on the perfect cookie, I don’t know what’s going on with me this year!
I finally decided on Mandelbrodt from Mindy Segal’s Cookie Love, which is one of my favorite cookbooks. I love the originality of all her recipes and I’ve been having a blast baking all of her creations. Mandelbrodt is like a Jewish version of biscotti and everyone who has tried them as fallen in love with them. They are a sturdy cookie and can be at room temperature for up to two weeks, so these fit everything I was looking for. And plus these are so so good and they’re fun to look at with all of the chocolate ribbons!
Just like traditional biscotti, these take a little time to make because these are double baked. One of my favorite things about this recipe is that it has layers of chocolate inside! This is done by melting chocolate, then spreading it on a cookie sheet and freezing it until it’s hardened. Then it’s folded into the batter which causes the chocolate to be broken into shards which creates the awesome chocolate ribbons! These cookies also have cinnamon and are covered in a cinnamon sugar coating, and I just love the combination of the cinnamon and chocolate!
This is a wonderful cookie to give out to friends and family or to include in your cookie baskets. I hope that you love this recipe as much as me and my friends and family!
What cookies are you baking this year?
Please check out these participating bloggers whom I either sent cookies to or received cookies from! There are some excellent bloggers and recipes involved in this campaign!
Bloggers that I sent cookies to:
The Sassy Life
In the Kitchen with KP
Bloggers that I received cookies from:
Anna Dishes (Hot Cocoa Cookies that were packaged so incredibly cute!)
Chasing Bagels (White Chocolate and Raspberry Dipped Shortbread-- these were so unique! This is a recipe I see becoming part of my cookie tins!)
Food Ramblings (Peanut Butter Cookie Cups which is a family recipe!)
Cookies I've made from years past:
2014 - Cinnamon Chip Cookies
2013 - Chocolate Peppermint Crinkle Cookies
2012 - Heath Bits Peanut Butter Cookies
from "Cookie Love" by Mindy Segal, pgs. 161-162
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate (64% - 66% cacao), melted
1/2 c. unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 c. sugar
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. sea salt flakes
1/2 tsp. ground
1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
To make the Chocolate Sheet:
Invert a baking sheet and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Line the top with parchment paper. With an offset spatula, spread the melted chocolate evenly across the parchment. Place the baking sheet in the freezer until firm, about 30 minutes.
To make the Mandelbrodt:
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitting with the paddle attachment (or using a hand mixer), mix the butter briefly on medium speed 5-10 seconds. Add the sugar and beat until the butter mixture is aerated and pale in color, about 4 minutes. Scrap the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula to bring the batter together.
Crack the eggs into a cup or bowl and add the vanilla.
In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salts, and cinnamon.
On medium speed, add the eggs and vanilla to the butter mixture, one egg at a time, mixing the first briefly before adding the second, until the batter resembles cottage cheese, about 5 seconds for each egg. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula to bring the batter together. Mix on medium speed for 20-30 seconds to make nearly homogeneous.
Add the dry ingredients all at once and mix on low speed until the dough comes together but sill looks shaggy, about 30 seconds. Do not overmix. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer, if using. With a plastic bench scraper, bring the dough completely together by hand.
Using a plastic bench scraper, fold the sheet of chocolate into the dough until it is "ribboned" throughout. It will break up into shards.
Transfer the dough to a sheet of plastic wrap, pat into a rectangle, and wrap tightly. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or preferably overnight.
Heat the oven to 350 F. fine a half sheet (13 x 18-inch) pan with parchment paper.
To Make the Cinnamon-Sugar Coating:
Mix the sugar and cinnamon together.
Divide half the dough in half. Roll each half into a log nearly the length of the half sheet pan. Spread the cinnamon-sugar across a work surface and roll the logs in the sugar several times. Each log should be generously coated in the sugar. Transfer the logs to the prepared pan and pat down slightly.
Bake, rotating the pan halfway through the baking process, until the tops are firm when pressed, 30-35 minutes. Let cool for 20 minutes on the pan. Lower the oven temperature to 300 F.
Transfer the logs to a cutting board. With a serrated knife, cut the logs crosswise while still warm into 3/4-inch thick mandelbrodt. Put the mandelbrodt on the sheet pan side by side so that the cut sides face out (they should fit snugly all on one pan). Bake until lightly golden brown, 20-25 minutes. Cool completely on the pan.
The mandelbrodt with keep for 2 weeks in an airtight container at room temperature.
Makes about 42 mandelbrodt