This year was my first year participating in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap! I don’t get to do a ton of cookie swaps but I sure do love giving away cookies. I was able to “practice” on a potential Christmas cookie this year. I really wanted to make a shaped cookie – but NOT do sugar cookies – and finally decided on doing some shortbread.
More specifically: Lemon Ginger Shortbread!
The cookies have a ground up pecans mixed into the flour to give these a nuttier texture/flavor.
I didn’t use nearly enough ginger to make the ginger shine through as much as I wanted it to. You really get the lemon taste though and I decided to just go with the lemon thing and make a little lemon icing to drizzle over the top of half of the cookies.
My cookie swap receivers each got the drizzled and undrizzled version of the cookies. The undrizzled version is less sweet and a good accompaniment for some tea or coffee.
I haven’t decided if these will make my Christmas cookie list yet. If I do make it, I’ll probably do more of a pecan-cinnamon-ginger thing instead of the lemon (since I usually do lemon ricotta cookies anyway. Don’t want to overkill the lemon thing, you know).
I love how festive these cookies look, even if they are just plain old stars. Coloring the icing would really make these pop! If I had thought about it, I would have used the OXO Good Grips Decorating Bottle Kit I received for participating in the swap. But nope. I used a spoon.
For a stronger ginger flavor, I definitely recommend using more ginger than I did in the recipe below!
Now, to make my final Christmas cookie decisions… what are you baking for Christmas?!
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup pecans
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature.
- 2/3 cup white sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger (use more for a stronger ginger taste)
For the glaze
- powdered sugar
- lemon juice
- Using a food processor or fancy blender (Vitamix!), process the pecans until they are very finely ground. Mix with the flour and salt until fully incorporated.
- Mix butter and sugar over low speed in a mixer for about 2-3 minutes, until fluffy.
- Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the batch and mix until incorporated. Repeat two more times. Add zest and ginger and blend until incorporated.
- Form a large round disk of dough and cover in plastic wrap. Chill dough for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Remove dough from the plastic wrap and roll out with a rolling pin to 1/2 inch thickness. Use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes and place on a baking sheet. Bake cookies for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Move to cooling rack. Once cooled, use a mixture of lemon juice and powdered sugar to create a thick icing to drizzle over the cookies. Let icing harden and then you're reading for cookie eating!
I got these Chocolate Dipped Sugar Cookies from Layla at Brunch Time Baker. These were thin and crispy and I love the added bit of chocolate. I giggled a little seeing someone else had done stars like I did.
When I got back from Portland yesterday I had my two other cookie packages waiting for me. One was this cute little bag of Spritz Cookies from Amanda and her little boy Hunter over at High Heels to Hot Wheels.
Last but not least I got this pretty little box of Chocolate Almond Marbled Sugar Cookies from Kelly at Mostly Homemade Mom. These reminded me a bit of the Snickersnaps I make with their fun marbling!
The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap was so much fun and I’ll definitely be participating again next year! Yay for cookies!