Secret Valentine Cookie Exchange
Posted by betsy
For the on-line cooking group I’m part of, French Fridays with Dorie, we had a fun event for Valentine’s Day: a cookie exchange. I was assigned another participant, and, last week, I sent her cookies along with a few extra surprises. Another person was assigned me, so last week, I received a special package with cookies and some surprises as well.
My package came from Mary at Lights On No Brakes. Mary is my fellow administrator, helping Laurie out with the French Fridays site. Over the past few months, I have come to know Mary better, so it felt extra-special to get a package from her.
It turns out that it’s been Mary’s tradition for many years to send cards for Valentine’s Day. So, not only did I get a lovely card but also a “holiday” letter, like many people send for Christmas, filled with the highlights of her year along with photos. I felt like one of the family.
Mary sent me delicious White Chocolate Chunks Cookies with Pistachios, Dates & Rosemary. Until she sent the recipe, I could taste something mysterious, a bit of je ne sais quoi! I couldn’t quite identify it. Turns out to be the rosemary. Fresh herbs in a cookie is a wonderful touch. I haven’t been sharing my cookies, and have mostly been enjoying them with tea, but Mary says these are good with dessert wine or a coffee drink. I still have a few left.
In addition to the cookies, Mary also treated me to a beautiful little book with thoughts about friendship and some ginger chews. What a wonderful box of presents to celebrate a bright spot in winter.
White Chocolate Chunks Cookies with Pistachios, Dates & Rosemary
Makes about 36-40 cookies.
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon butter (divided use)
2 teaspoons fresh minced rosemary
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
8 ounces white chocolate chunks (use the best brand available to you)
1 cup chopped pistachios
½ cup finely chopped dates (mini-squares)
Melt 1-1½ teaspoons of butter, and saute rosemary until fragrant (do not brown). Pour out on paper towel to soak up extra butter.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. In mixing bowl, combine remaining 1 cup butter, rosemary, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla. Beat until creamy. Add eggs and beat to incorporate. Gradually add flour to egg mixture, mixing well. Stir in chocolate, pistachios and chopped dates.
Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheets. Bake 8 to 10 minutes. Do not let cookies get overly brown.
Adapted from a cookie recipe of Irving Karas, executive chef, Envy the Steakhouse, Renaissance Las Vegas, 2009.