The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap

I can’t believe I haven’t talked about the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap before now! I found out about it from reading Love and Olive Oil, and knew immediately that I wanted to participate.

The swap was created and hosted by Love and Olive Oil and The Little Kitchen. This is the description of the swap: After you sign up, you receive the addresses of three other food bloggers. You then send each of them one dozen delicious homemade cookies, and then you receive three different boxes of scrumptious cookies from other bloggers.

Umm how awesome is that??? Supremely awesome! I’ve never gotten cookies in the mail, or sent them for that matter. Most of the mail I get nowadays is from colleges (one college sent me gloves. I mean seriously. I know I’m awesome but I don’t want to go to your school. I will probably use the gloves, though! ;)

It took me a long time to figure out what cookie I wanted to send…there are so many awesome options! But after I saw a recipe for chocolate chip cookie bars with pretzel crust, I knew I had to make them. Baking the bars was really fun. I packaged them up and sent them off to Joanna from Go Ahead and Snicker, Nicki from Nick-Stirs, and Stephanie from Life Tastes Like Food.

It was really exciting when I started receiving cookies! I got two packages in one day! The first one I opened was from Renee at Casa del Kuchen. She sent me Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies that tasted so good, especially when I put them in the microwave! Look how pretty the packaging was :)

I looovvee chocolate cookies. Now I want to make some of my own!

The second package I opened was from Amy at Fearless Homemaker. She sent me Chai Snickerdoodles. I’d never had cookies like this before and they were yummy with an interesting flavor!

The third package I got came several days later from Erin at Big Fat Baker. She sent me Chocolate Rolo Cookies that were really yummy. I warmed them up and the caramel got all gooey and tasty.

I was left with so many wonderful cookies that I ended up bringing some of them in to school and sharing them with my friends :)

Here are the packages that I sent off!

I’d never sent cookies in the mail before, so hopefully they held up ok!

These are the bars I made. Mmmmm! Seriously these were super delicious. The chocolate chip cookie dough part was gooey and soft, and the buttery pretzel crust was amazing. I think my favorite part of the whole thing was eating the pretzel bits that fell off the bars! I made a double batch of bars to make sure I had enough to send out, but I ended up with tons of leftovers. My family ate some and then I brought some in for my English class…everyone loved them!

I would absolutely recommend that you make these bars for upcoming Christmas parties, or any time of the year! I know I’ll be making them again for sure. Here’s how you make them:

My littlest sister helped me make the bars. She started by helping me crush the pretzels into small pieces.

Here are the pretzel pieces with butter mixed in. Seriously I think this is the only way to eat pretzels haha :)

I have two pans because I made a double batch. Put the pretzel pieces in a 9 by 13 baking pan (lined with parchment paper) and bake for 8 minutes.

After that you make the cookie dough and gently press it on top of the pretzel crust. Bake for 20-24 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time.

This is what the bars looked like when I took them out after 10 minutes to rotate them. I almost wanted to just eat it like this…but I resisted :)

Here are the finished bars! The cookie dough was still soft and gooey, and the pretzel crust was just incredible!

Don’t those just look so good???

You might remember this cute snowman from this post. I just love him! I have a lot of new Christmas props I’m going to be using in coming posts.

Now I know some of you are probably bummed that you didn’t get to participate in the swap this year. But don’t worry, you can go to this website to sign  up to get email notifications of next year’s swap http://eepurl.com/hsS-Y.

I want to thank all the people who sent me cookies, all the bloggers who particiated in this swap, and especially Lindsay and Julie from Love and Olive Oil and The Little Kitchen for putting so much time and effort into making this happen! This was such a fun experience for me and I’m sure for everyone else who participated! It was estimated that over 22,000 cookies were sent around the world in this swap which I think that is just incredible. This was the perfect way to kick-off my Christmas baking…there will be much more to come!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars with Pretzel Crust

Ingredients for the Cookie Dough:

  • ¾ cups Unsalted Butter, At Room Temperature
  • ¾ cups Granulated Sugar
  • ¾ cups Dark Brown Sugar
  • 2 whole Large Eggs
  • 1-½ teaspoon Real Vanilla Extract
  • 2-¼ cups All-purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • ¾ teaspoons Kosher Salt
  • 1 bag (11 Oz. Size) Semi-Sweet or Milk Chocolate Chips

Ingredients for the Crust:

  • 3-½ cups Pretzel Sticks, Crushed Into Tiny Pieces
  • ¾ cups Unsalted Butter, melted

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350ºF. Line a 9×13 baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. Start by making the crust. Crush pretzel pieces either in a large ziplock bag and a mallet, or by using a food processor, until you have coarse pieces. Combine pretzel pieces with the melted butter, stirring to combine.
  3. Spread the pretzel mixture over the bottom of the prepared pan and bake for 8 minutes.
  4. While that’s baking, start on the cookie dough. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugars at medium speed until creamy. Add eggs and the vanilla, beating until just blended.
  5. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. Gradually add the flour mixture to the sugar/egg mixture, one cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in the chocolate chips.
  6. Drop large spoonfuls of the cookie dough and scatter it over the pretzel crust. Carefully and evenly spread the batter over the warm pretzels, gently pressing the dough down with your fingers.
  7. But the pan in the preheated oven and bake for 20-24 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the cooking time.
  8. Remove the pan wihen the bars are golden brown.
  9. When the bars have cooled completely, remove the bars from the pan by lifting up the parchment paper. Cut into bars and enjoy!

The original recipe says this makes 15 bars, but you could easily make double that, depending on what size you make the bars.

Source: Simply Scratch :)

Have a great week and happy baking! :)

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