I have been part of cookie exchanges every year for at least the last 5 years but this is my first year doing an International Cookie Exchange! I took part in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap this year. Essentially everyone that takes part is matched with 3 bloggers within their country and then they ship one dozen cookies to each of their matches. In turn, you get one dozen cookies from three bloggers that had you as a match. So essentially a huge cookie exchange! I think there were over 600 bloggers involved this year!
I had been looking at this recipe for years – literally! I thought it sounded like an interesting combination but I kept not making it. Finally I did in October and I LOVED it! Gingerbread and white chocolate are perfect together. I don’t know why more sweets don’t use this combination. There is something about the spicy gingerbread that pairs perfectly with the creamy sweetness of the white chocolate. I have now made two other desserts using this combination as well as making this recipe again! And I knew it kept quite well and didn’t crumble so I figured it should work well for an across Canada trek!
The blondies are the perfect chewy texture that is expected of blondies. (For those unfamiliar with blondies, they are essentially brownies without the chocolate – so expect the dense, chewy texture of brownies!) And like I said, the flavour combination is amazing. So in other words, everyone should make these a regular on their “cookie baking list”. It is definitely on mine. And I don’t mean just for Christmas!
Gingerbread White Chocolate Blondies
- 2 3/4 cup plus 1 Tb flour
- 1 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1 1/4 cup butter, room temp
- 1 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup plus 2 Tb white sugar
- 2 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup molasses
- 2 to 3 cups chopped white chocolate
- Line a 12 by 17inch rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350°
- Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt and spices in a bowl.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a regular bowl and use a hand mixer), beat butter and sugars until creamy and pale, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs and yolk one at a time. Add the vanilla and molasses and beat until well combined.
- Add the flour mix slowly on low speed until mixed. Stir in the white chocolate.
- Spread batter in the prepared pan and bake about 25 minutes – the edges should look slightly cracked and golden.
- Allow to cool and then cut!
I found these fun boxes at Winners and they worked perfectly for 12 of the blondies! I hope they shipped ok! The recipe says that the blondies can be stored, air-tight, for up to 1 week at room temperature.
Every Christmas season I have a need to try to find the absolute best Chewy Ginger Molasses cookies out there. Three years ago I actually tested out recipes and ‘forced’ them on the same people to see which one they prefer. There was the more ‘cakey’ ginger & spice recipe that I had been making for years, the ginger molasses crinkles that my friend swears by, the double ginger cookies with candied ginger as well as powdered ginger, and one more that I don’t remember (obviously not the best one). Every week I would bring a different one to work and insist on my co-workers eating them and giving me feedback! Well, the consensus was that they were all good. Some liked the kick of the double ginger, some liked the texture of the cakey ones and others liked the crinkles.
Well the next year came and I still wasn’t sure that I had the absolute BEST recipe. So I tried a couple more and found this recipe. I love this one. The cookies are so incredibly chewy and soft and although they are thin, I love the texture. And the spice and molasses is perfect! I of course still must try other recipes (and did try one earlier this year, which was a total fail – they were crispy and not so great!) but so far this seems to be my favourite! Although the amazing Starbucks version, which has both the thick and chewy feel that is required of this kind of cookie and the spice that gives the perfect flavour for this season, was my original goal, I have found that this version is delicious by its own standards. I still have one more recipe to try this year though! It is supposed to be excellent as well! We will have to see…
I learned something important this year. Although I knew there was a difference in the three types of molasses available, I always forgot what the difference was when I went to buy more. So I guess last time I bought ‘Fancy’ molasses and made one batch of these cookies. Well they weren’t very dark and although they were still delicious, I didn’t feel like they had the full taste of molasses that I was looking for. Luckily, I ran out after making these cookies and had to buy more. This time, as usual, I still didn’t remember what I needed – only what I had previously used (and that it was too light). So this time I bought the one with the gingersnap recipe on the side – the ‘Blackstrap’ Molasses. Then I learned the difference: fancy molasses is the lightest and actually isn’t a byproduct of the sugar making process, unlike Blackstrap, which is the darkest, has the strongest flavour and is the leftover byproduct of the sugar making process. And ‘Cooking” molasses – well that is the one that is generally supposed to be used apparently! It is a mix of the two so it has a “middle-of-the-line” flavour and colour. To show the difference, I actually made these cookies with both fancy and blackstrap. I am sure you can see the difference.
Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies
- 2 1/4 c flour
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup butter, room temp
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 Tb water
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 c molasses
- 2 Tb white sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Whisk together flour, spices, baking soda and salt.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (or use a regular bowl and a hand mixer), beat butter and 1 cup of sugar together until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes). Beat in the egg, then the water, vanilla and molasses.
- Slowly add in the dry ingredients while beating.
- Shape the dough into 1 inch size balls (I use a 1.5 Tb cookie scoop and it is PERFECT!) and roll in the 2 Tb extra sugar. Place them on the cookie sheets about 2 inches apart.
- Bake 8-10 minutes or until they look set but still soft. Allow the cookies to cool on baking sheet about 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.