Last weekend I attended a Cookie Exchange at a friend’s house.  I think this is my 3rd year to participate.

The premise is simple:  bake enough cookies so that each person can take home a 1/2 dozen (of your) cookies and in return you get to take home a 1/2 dozen of their cookies.  So with 11 people participating, I made six dozen cookies, bagged them up six at a time, eleven bags full.  I took them to the Cookie Exchange, and came home with 10 other cookie varieties….I came home with 5 dozen cookies.

“Hey kids!  I’m home!  We’re having cookies for dinner….come grab whatever you want!”

Seriously.  I said that.

What a great mom I am…

What I love about the Cookie Exchange, besides the social “getting-out-of-the-house-and-spending-time-with-adults”, is that I get to sample a variety of cookies.  The problem is….by the time I throw all the cookie bags and plates into my basket to bring home, I don’t know what’s what!  Sure, I have recipes, but I don’t know which cookie is called “Cake-Mix Cookie”.  Process of elimination sometimes works, and I assume the peanut butter flavored cookie is the “Peanut Butter Cookie” and the “Pumpkin Chocolate Chip” is the one that has pumpkin flavoring….you get what I mean.  And not everyone remembers to bring the recipe, so sometimes you have no idea what you’re getting!

This year I made sure to make labels on my cookie bags so that at least MY cookies were identified and the recipe even had a picture of the cookie on it (stolen off the internet of course).  The girls helped me assemble the labels (made with a Creative Memories Tag punch, a paper trimmer, some distressing chalk-ink, and a bit of glue.)

As of Thursday morning I wasn’t sure what kind of cookie I was going to make.  I usually make the Nieman Marcus cookie whenever I have the opportunity, but I’d already done that.  I thought about Peppermint Chocolate Chip, but decided nah.  I thought about Cowboy Cookies- but gosh those are a lot of work with a lot of ingredients…stirring by hand, ugh my arms are sore just thinking about it!

So as I browsed the internet that evening, I found them.  MY cookies were going to be the “Double Chocolate Snowquakes” that were featured on MSN.com Thursday afternoon.  Friday morning, I made a half batch (to see if they were any good), and decided those cookies would be the cookie I’d share with the group.  I modified the recipe a bit to make them a little sweeter, though.

Here’s the recipe….

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups milk-chocolate chips
Extra confectioners’ sugar for rolling

Directions

Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside. Cream butter until smooth in a large bowl with an electric mixer set on medium speed. Add the sugars and beat until combined. Add eggs and vanilla and mix thoroughly. Reduce mixer speed to medium low, add the flour mixture to the egg mixture, and mix until a soft dough forms. Add chocolate chips and mix to incorporate. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking pans with parchment paper and set aside. Place the confectioners’ sugar in a medium bowl and set aside. Keeping dough well chilled, shape 1 tablespoon of dough into a ball. Roll the ball in the confectioners’ sugar to coat generously — do not shake off excess sugar. Place balls 2 inches apart on prepared baking pans. Bake until cookies have puffed and cracked and are slightly firm to the touch — 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and cool completely.

Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.