I wanted to share my most recent blogger swap, Hung for the Holidays, hosted by Jenn (Fit Appetit), Carlyn (Just Keep Sweating), and Gina (Burning Babi Fat). I love decorating for holidays, so I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to swap holiday ornaments!
As an ornament giver I was paired with Carlyn from Just Keep Sweating. I sent her an ornament based on her current loves – pink and fingernail polish. She posted about her ornament here if you’d like to check it out.
As an ornament recipient, I was paired with Lauren from Breathe Deeply and Smile, who sent me the most adorable ornament – a Smores snowman, which I love not only because it’s cute, but because it’s holding a wine bottle and glass as well (wine is one of my favorite (ch)treats!)
My ornament came on one of those days that you just want to end. It had a wonderful little Christmas card and cheered me right up!
Thank you so much to Lauren, for the ornament and to Jenn, Gina, and Carlyn for hosting the swap! It was fun shopping for the ornament, trying to find something fun that would fit Carlyn’s personality! But it was like being a kid again, awaiting my own ornament with giddy anticipation!
Have you participated in any mail swaps, and if so, what was the swap?
Now for the cookies –
I don’t usually bake cookies – and when I do, they usually aren’t Chocolate Chip. Why? Because they are my nemesis. I can’t eat just one. But it’s Christmas and I decided to choose one type of cookie to bake – and this year, I chose – wait for it – Chocolate Chip! And I have to say, I’ve done very well to keep my hand out of the cookie jar. I have been able to limit myself to 2 a day! (for me, this is big!)
Chocolate Chip Cookies
(somewhat healthier-fied) adapted from Cooking Light
¼ cup + 3 tablespoons of butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar
3 tablespoons reg. sugar
1 large egg
¼ cup skim milk
2 tsp. real vanilla extract
1 cup. unbleached all-purpose flour
¾ cup white-whole wheat flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1 teaspoon instant espresso coffee powder
Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar in the work bowl and beat on medium speed for about 30 seconds, until the mixture is fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla for 30 seconds longer, until well combined.
In a mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to the mixer, while beating on slow speed., Beat for about 15 seconds, stir in the chocolate chips and espresso powder, and mix for 15 seconds longer.
Prepare a cookie sheet with about 2 tablespoons of butter (or you can use a non-stick spray). Using a 1-ounce scoop, or using a 2 tablespoon measure, drop the cookie dough onto the cookie sheet in dollops about 3 inches apart. I could get about a dozen on one sheet. Transfer to the oven in batches and bake for about 15 minutes or until the cookies are nicely browned around the edges. Bake for a little longer for crispier cookies.