Dec 12

Will Work for Cookies

Just call me Cookie.  Monster.




Participating in the 1st Annual Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap, hosted by Lindsay of Love & Olive Oil and Julie of The Little Kitchen turned out to be a genius move.

I received 3 dozen of some of the most delicious cookies of the season.  All I had to do in return was mail out 3 dozen of my own.


The cookie recipe I used was based on my favorite Chocolate Sea salt Cookies.  More on that later.  

Here are the goods I received:

1. Neiman Marcus Cookies



Have you guys ever heard the urban legend about the women who was charged $250 by Neiman Marcus for their cookie recipe?  The story goes the she sought revenge by widely distributing the recipe.

Thank god she did, because the result was my receiving 12 of them from Erin @ Adventures in Pigging Out.  They almost didn’t get photographed before my friend and I massacred the bag.



2. Rosemary Shortbread



These herb-y rounds were made for me by Elizabeth @ Big Body, based on a recipe by Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks fame.  These also included candied walnuts on top that not only looked gorgeous, but they also tasted like… errr… candy. :)

I was especially excited to try these because I make my own rosemary-lemon cookies, recipe here.  You can bet I’ll add nuts as a topping in the next version!



3. Ginger Cookies



Heidi’s recipes were popular this year!  The second 101 Cookbooks recipe dozen I received was her Ginger Cookies made by Val @ Tofu Surprise.  These are a chewier cookie due to the molasses in the recipe and not too sweet.  Per Val’s suggestion in her note, these were perfect with tea (as well as a holiday-spiced beer).


Now for my contribution.  I took my original Chocolate Sea Salt Cookie recipe and tweaked it, using cashews rather than almonds and subbing toffee for some of the chocolate chips.  I was amazed by how different the end result was.



The textures were totally different.  The original is a softer, more fudge-like cookie.  This version produced a chewier version – almost reminiscent of a brownie!  I think the toffee was responsible for the chewiness and the cashews for the fact that they spread more.



I wish I’d had more time to experiment further, but these had to SHIP.  If you like a chewy cookie, you will enjoy this version.  I prefer a cake-y cookie, so if I’m being honest… I like the originals better.

Either way, their sweet + salty combination is unbeatable in my book.  Who doesn’t love salt with their cashews?!


Before I give the recipe… let’s talk about how I worked off the bajillion cookies I have been eating last week.  First up I tried something new – Body Rock!  I had been ignoring all the “hype” but now I’m hooked.  In about 10 mins my butt was kicked.

Speaking of kicking, I have re-kindled my love for kickboxing.  I couldn’t get enough this week.  Good thing since I’ve been stead-fast in my commitment to not running.


Workout Recap (12/5 – 12/11)



Chocolate-Toffee Sea Salt Cookies

  • 1.5 C semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips/chopped bits, divided
  • 1/4 C unsalted butter
  • 3/4 C brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 C flour
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 1 C crushed cashews
  • 1/2 C toffee pieces
  • Fleur de sel

Place 1 C of chocolate chunks in a large bowl and melt in microwave (or over a double boiler if you’re fancy like that).  Stir in butter.

Whisk together eggs and vanilla extract.  Add brown sugar (take care to ensure there are no clumps), egg and vanilla mixture to the chocolate mixture.  Stir until well-combined.

Sift together flour and baking powder.  Add flour to the chocolate mixture, stirring just until smooth.

Fold in remaining 1 C of chocolate and almonds.  Refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.  Or place in freezer for 30 mins if you’re impatient like me.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  With a spoon, scoop a heaping tablespoon of the dough on to a parchment-lined baking sheet.  If desired, gently flatten with the palm of your hand (I like mine better in “globs”).  Sprinkle with fleur de sel, patting lightly.

Bake for ~12-13 mins.  Allow to cool as best you can before devouring with an icy glass of milk.


This week is sure to involve a LOT more cookies cooking – I’m catering a party for 40 this weekend!

What is your “go to” cookie?

Have you tried Body Rock?  What’s your favorite one?



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  1. Cait @ Beyond Bananas

    What a fun event. I am seeing people receive their cookies and wish I had known about it earlier!!!

  2. Matt @ The Athlete's Plate

    I’m actually not a huge cookie person since I don’t have much of a sweet tooth. I like peanut butter cookies though :)

  3. Lisa ♥ Healthful Sense

    I want those chocolate cashew cookies!
    What a fun swap =)
    Have a great Monday!

  4. Parita @ myinnershakti

    I’ve stalked the BodyRock website before but am too intimidated to do anything more than that. Haha…

    And those cookies sound amazing – I think these are going on my to make list when I’m home next week.

    1. Laura

      You should try it! The best part is that you can do it in the privacy of your home… where these’s no one there to know if you look silly. :)

  5. Alayna @ Thyme Bombe

    Oooo….I have been craving a really good ginger cookie. The ones you made sound amazing too, toffee is one of my favorite sweets.

  6. Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean

    mmmm you know i love my toffee :)

  7. Mary @ Bites and Bliss

    Yum!! Those are some good looking cookies you got there! Lucky you. :)

  8. Lee

    Now I need a cookie. This post is making me hungry.

  9. Carol @ Lucky Zucca

    Yummm!! I love toffee!!!

  10. sportsglutton

    You owe me 10 bucks or a truckload of cookies, as I’m the cookie monster and have copyrighted the use of that name. :-)

    1. Laura

      Hahaha! I’ll gladly share some cookies. :)

  11. STUFT Mama

    OMG- those cookies look amazing!!!!! I want them NOW! I wish I was in on the cookie swap just so I could rig it to get my hands on your special cookies. He he! I’ll be a cookie monster too!!! Mmmm……..

  12. Linda

    This is fabulous!! What a great round up of recipes!! I made a similar rosemary shortbread cookie; I need to check out this recipe! These are all making me so hungry!!

    1. Laura

      Rosemary shortbread is the best. I love that savory and sweet combo!

  13. Maggie @ kitchie coo

    Laura, your cookies look out of this world! Since I just made your cake balls that were divine I can’t wait to try these! I am a big fan of the whole sea salt and sweets trend, so delicious together! Your participants were some lucky duckies. This swap was so fun to participate in and I am having so much fun today reading about what people gave and received. I can’t wait to do it again next year.
    Happy Monday to you!

    1. Laura

      Thank you! I’m so glad you liked my balls. ;)

  14. Hayley @ Oat Couture

    Ooh love swaps like that! Sucks to live so far away!! :( I used to love bodyrock, actually still do but I haven’t done one of their workouts in ages! I have been sooo damn lazy recently relying on muay thai for my workouts. I just have not had the urge to plan out and motivate myself otherwise. Thank god coach makes each session so killer!! Glad your loving kickboxing again btw! Try thai if you get the chance, I reckon you would love it!!

    1. Laura

      They do have Thai, but I’m scared to take it! :)

  15. Heather @ Better With Veggies

    Catering for 40 – that sounds awesome! I hope you’ll share you menu later, I’m curious. And I think those cookies sound great, I love chewy cookies (more satisfying or something).

    1. Laura

      You can bet I will share. Maybe to the point of over-sharing. :)

  16. Kiri W.

    Oh wow, all the cookies look amazing! Since I have a particular weakness for salted caramel, I bet I’d have loved yours! I’ve actually never had a Neiman Marcus cookie…

    I had such a greta time with this cookie swap (well, minus my cookies being stolen), and am so happy my swap matches were happy with the ones I made! Such a great event, I’ll definitely swap again (this was my first ever swap)

  17. Christin@purplebirdblog

    Toffee really does make for a magical cookie… those look crazygood! Well, all of the cookies do actually!!! :)

  18. Julie at Burnt Carrots

    I’ve heard of the Neiman Marcus cookie recipe but never tried it! It looks awesome! Your cookie recipe looks amazing especially since I have a sweet spot for toffee! I love the idea of swapping out some of the chocolate chips.

    1. Laura

      You should try the Neiman cookie. I don’t know if i’d pay $250 for it, but it is one tasty cookie recipe!

  19. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles

    Everything looks fantastic but I will admit, I have a weakness for rosemary shortbread… so, so, yummy! What a fun cookie swap (love that it wasn’t just the recipes, but the actual cookies – how cool!)

  20. Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love.

    You got some really great goodies! I really like the lemon and rosemary ones because it’s different from what you would expect to get! And your cookies just look even more awesome! You can never go wrong with toffee!

  21. Courtney @ Fitness with a Fork

    All of these cookies look amazing! Can’t wait to try your recipe! :)

  22. Parsley Sage

    …I want your cookies. The ones you got and the ones you made! Salted toffee, oh heavens that sounds delish! Cookiepalooza!

    Buzzed :)

    1. Laura

      LOL @ cookiepalooza – that’s what they should call it next year!

  23. Val

    I’m so glad the cookies made their way to Georgia safely! Glad that you enjoyed them. That’s too funny that you got two Heidi Swanson recipes. Also, your beer selection has been duly noted. :) High five for runner-food bloggers!!

    1. Laura

      Thank you so much! You can never go wrong with Heidi. :)

      *5 back at ya!*

  24. Rachel @ My Naturally Frugal Family

    Those do look just like brownies…I sure they were delish.

  25. Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga

    omg these all look wonderful!

    i love a chewy rather than cakey cookie so i would have been in heaven with the new version.

    and molasses/g-bread cookies and flavors are also awesome…

    mmmmm, yummy post!

  26. Grubarazzi (@Grubarazzi)

    Toffee, chocolate, sea salt and cashews? That is the best combination I’ve heard all day! Good googly these look good.

    1. Laura

      It wasn’t a bad idea, I’ll tell you that. ;)

      Thank you!

  27. Lauren

    Laura, thank you AGAIN for sending these cookies. They were WONDERFUL. My absolute favorite part is the salt. The Fleur de Sel looks so beautiful sprinkled on the cookies, and it tastes just perfect along with all the chocolately/toffee goodness. I only wish I’ve been working out like you to burn them all off!

    1. Laura

      I am so happy you liked them. Thank you!!! :)

  28. Raevyn

    They were DELICIOUS, if a bit crumbled, my box got a little squished somewhere along the lines, but I enjoyed all of them anyway!

    1. Laura

      I’m sorry they crumbled! More padding next time. :(

      Thank you and I’m glad you enjoyed the cookie pieces.

  29. Carroll @Vanilla Lemonade

    Chocolate, toffee and Sea Salt- a bundle of melt in your mouth goodness!

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