This was my first year participating in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap, and let me tell you what fun it was! I baked a staple in my house, my Great-Grandmother’s recipe for homemade mandelbrot (sort of like the Jewish form of biscotti).
It was very fun to package my cookies up and ship them all over the country. I sent packages to three outstanding bloggers: Kinsey Cooks, Pistachio Doughnut, and The Princess Pancake. I have checked out each of these blogs and can attest that they are all up to fabulous things :)
I also received some absolutely delicious cookies! I received double chocolate pomegranate cookies from What Dress Code?, chocolate coconut cookies from The Pantry Key, and Orange Spice Rye Shortbread with Cranberries from Oh Dear Bakery. They were all delicious.
If you get the chance to participate in the cookie swap next year, I would highly recommend it. It is a lot of fun, you receive some delicious cookies, and you know that it is all for a great cause. If you’d like to be added to the mailing list for the cookie swap, sign up here.
Grandma Lilly’s Mandelbrot
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup and 2 tablespoons sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 tablespoon grated orange peel
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups almond meal
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- Any other add-ins you’d like (chocolate chips, dried fruit, etc.)
- Preheat the oven to 325°.
- Blend the oil and 1 cup of the sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the eggs, vanilla and almond extracts, and the orange peel and blend thoroughly.
- In another bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder, and 2 teaspoons of the cinnamon.
- Blend the flour mixture into the oil mixture.
- Mix in the sliced almonds and any add-ins you’d like.
- Divide the dough into 4 or 5 portions and shape each portion into an oval loaf on a lined baking sheet. Loaves should be about two inches wide and one inch high. Loaves should be about 2 inches apart on the baking sheets.
- Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon onto the loaves.
- Bake for 45 minutes. Remove the loaves from the oven and cut them into 1 inch thick slices. Place the slices cut side down on the baking sheets and place them in the oven for another 5-10 minutes, depending on how crisp you like them.
- Transfer them to cooling racks and let them cool.
- Eat and enjoy!