Monday, December 12, 2011

Dark Red Velvet Shortbread Cookies - The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap

As many of you may or may not know, this year I decided to participate in the first ever great food blogger cookie swap! I know you all might be thinking this sounds a little strange, especially the whole getting cookies from strangers thing, but it was really a lot of fun. Here is how it works. First and foremost, you must have a blog to participate in the cookie fun. Then, you sign up and get the names and address of three other bloggers. You then make and bake your cookies, package up one dozen and send them off and hope they don't arrive as cookie crumbs. In return, you will receive one dozen cookies from three other bloggers. So many cookies and so much fun! I decided to have my cookies shipped to my office so I would not be tempted to woof three dozen cookies at home by myself (not that I am sure I could do that anyways) and so I could share them with my co-workers. Good idea, right? Don't worry, I made sure to save my #1 taste tester some samples. Guess I should have asked him which one was his favorite. That may not have been a fair question considering he almost got week old cookies. Sorry dear.

My first batch of cookies came in last week on Tuesday. They were a wonderful Norwegian Delicacy from a blogger in Texas. They reminded me of big Swedish cookies, but with coconut. Crunchy and so buttery. 

almost too pretty to eat!

mmm cookies!
 That same day I got another box delivered. Two boxes of cookies in one day? Heck yes! These cookies were called cowboy cookies and came from a blogger in Tennessee. They were chock full of oatmeal, chocolate chips, pecans and cinnamon. Not to mention, they were perfect for dunking in coffee or hot cocoa. 

giddy up!
 My third batch arrived later in the week and they were from a blogger in Seattle, Washington. If I had to pick my favorite cookie of the three, this would be them. They were a twix cookie bar. So delicious. They had a shortbread cookie bottom, a gooey caramel middle and a chocolate topping. Just like twix, but bigger and better. 

look at those layers!

All of these ladies made fantastic cookies and their blogs are full of great recipes. I somehow misplaced the inserts they put in the shipments with all their blog information, so I will post the links to their blogs soon so you can check them out!

Now, on to the cookies I decided to make. One of the rules of this swap was that it had to be a cookie that you had not previously blogged on. Darn, there went my idea to use my crack cookies! I did a lot of research and even started to come up with my own recipe when my mom mentioned that she saw a great recipe in one of her holiday magazines - red velvet shortbread cookies. How delicious, right? I'm more of a chocolate chip cookie girl than a shortbread girl, so I was slightly hesitant when I read this recipe. They sounded fabulous, but I just wasn't sure if they'd be the right cookie to send out. Especially, since I never made shortbread cookies before. I didn't want to give some of my fellow bloggers the wrong idea about my cookie making abilities. Come to find out, all the ladies I sent my cookies to loved them! They are crunchy, chocolaty and super easy to make. My only recommendation is to be very careful with the red food coloring. If you spill it or even get some of the dough on your nice white carpet (like I did), it will stain. Just don't fling the dough all over like I did. You'd think I was trying to make a pizza or something. Wild woman over here!

just a few ingredients to make these.

dark chocolate cocoa powder. you can use regular if you have it.

look at that dough - yum!

hummus and pickles do not go in these cookies. chilling the two logs of dough. I was originally going to just slice the logs and bake, but the cookies were too small. Got to have big cookies!
rolling out the dough. I did not have a cookie cutter, so I just improvised and used the top of a canning jar lid. Perfect size!

baked and ready for the swim in the white chocolate.

dipped and covered in gold sprinkles.

packaged up and ready to ship off to my fellow bloggers!

Dark Red Velvet Shortbread Cookies (slightly adapted from my mom's holiday magazine, recipe also located on

1 1/4 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened dark cocoa powder (you can use regular cocoa powder if you have it)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 unsalted butter, cut up into pea size chunks
1 tablespoon red food coloring
3 ounces white chocolate, cut up (I used white chocolate chips)
1 1/2 teaspoon shortening
Sprinkles or nuts for decoration

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a stand mixer combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt. Add butter and red food coloring and mix until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Continue mixing until mixture just forms a ball. 

Wrap and place dough in the fridge to firm up for about 15-20 minutes. Once chilled, on a lightly roll or pat dough to a 1/2-inch thickness. Using a floured 1-1/2-inch round cutter, cut out dough. Place cutouts 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Press scraps together, reroll and cut out. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until centers are set. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool.

In a heavy small saucepan, melt white chocolate and shortening over low heat, stirring constantly. Dip half of each cookie into melted chocolate. If desired, sprinkle with pistachios or nonpareils. Let stand on waxed paper until set.

How badly do you want to get in your kitchen and make these? These cookies are great to make to bring to the office or to package up as a holiday treat for family and friends. Other ideas for decorating these fabulous cookies are to use other cookie cutter shapes, use dark chocolate instead of white for dipping, use red or green sprinkles or even pistachios!


  1. I also received the Norweigen Delicacies and Millionaire's Shortbread. I must say between those and your red velvet cookies I need to do some serious cardio. I quite enjoyed yours.

  2. Love the play on Black and White Cookies! I had to look twice- so festive!