Sometimes, while checking out my Twitter feed, I stumble upon great ideas – that’s what I thought when I came across the #FBCookieSwap initiative. It’s simple enough: pay a 4$ donation to Cookies for Kid’s Cancer, bake and ship 3 dozen cookies, 1 to each of the 3 food bloggers you’ve been matched with. In return, you get 3 dozen cookies from bloggers you’ve never met.
Since the best thing that has happened to me with my blog is meeting incredible people, I thought this was just PERFECT! However, I do not think I will participate again, for a few reasons.
Shipping costs are prohibitive. The initiative is in its 4th year, and I believe it is not widespread enough outside the U.S. for « international » bloggers to participate. I was matched with bloggers from Ontario – I really do not mind, and in fact, I think it’s great to be matched with bloggers that are from another province. I mean, let’s build relationships across the country one cookie at a time, I’m all for that!
That was until I got my shipping invoice. 33$. Via regular mail. To think that this money could have been given to the charity directly…
I hate to bake. That’s not the organizers’ fault, it’s mine. I think I just got carried away at the thought of receiving packages in the mail, just as I did when I was a kid. That made me completely forget that I hate to bake. I hate following a recipe, which means that I regularly fail at any baking initiative I undertake. I do not keep sugar in my house, except for what’s in my suger bowl in the event that a guest would like sugar in his or her coffe. I drink my coffee black – more often than not, there is no milk at my house.
So to make REALLY sure I would get 3 dozens of cookies with my first recipe, I doubled the recipe below. The result: my colleagues love me because I got at least 6 dozens in the end!
I’m no Martha Stewart. Wrapping a present? Uh oh. I had no boxes, no ribbons, nothing to make sure the cookies would be delivered without being reduced to crumbles, no business cards for my blog (I had some done just for that!), no gift tags… And I hate to wrap or package gifts.
So, in the end, on top of shipping costs, you have to factor in all the ingredients I had to buy being such a baking novice, and all the packaging items as well. This was costly in the end. Fun, but costly.
However, once again, I found that food brings people together. I simply was overjoyed to receive packages from other food bloggers, to discover their blogs, and instantly feel a connection with them. I believe that this is the best thing that social medias, blogs and food will get you: new friendships and connections all over the world. In that sense, the #FBCookieSwap is a huge success.
I do not think I will participate again next year, but I have put a smile on many people’s faces with those cookies… and other food bloggers have put a smile on mine with their (much better than mine!) baking skills! You’ll find my recipe at the end of this post!
Martha’s Ginger Molasse Cookies
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus 1/3 cup for coating
- 6 tablespoons molasses
- 1 large egg
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, allspice, and pepper.
With an electric mixer, cream butter, brown sugar, and 1/2 cup granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in molasses and egg. With mixer on low, gradually beat in flour mixture until just combined. Shape into rolls, wrap in plastic, and freeze for 20 minutes.
Divide rolls into 2-inch balls. Place remaining 1/3 cup granulated sugar in a bowl. Roll balls in sugar to coat; place at least 4 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Flatten into rounds. Sprinkle with sugar remaining in bowl.
Bake until brown, rotating sheets halfway through, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool cookies on a wire rack.