I hosted my first cookie swap more than five years ago, and the thing I remember most about it was the happy feeling I had perusing all those cookies. Cookies of all shapes and flavors were sprawled on every surface area in my dining room. I couldn’t tell you what games we played or even who all the guests were (ha!) but I do remember it was the first time I’d ever encountered gumdrop cookies – mostly because my first thought was that gumdrops had no business being in cookies.
Just a little while after all the guests had departed the electricity went out. It was a blustery December day and the wind had downed a power line. There wasn’t anything productive to do, so I sat by the fire with a Yoo-Hoo in one hand and my box of Cookie Swap cookies in the other. Curiosity made me taste the gumdrop cookies first and to my great surprise they were good! This is my own version of that cookie.
You can use your favorite gumdrops in these cookies. My favorite is Brach’s Spicettes. They are lightly flavored with cinnamon and wintergreen. I have an aversion to candies that sting the tounge with spice, and these are very mild and pleasant – especially in vanilla cookie dough. You could also use fruity gumdrops or orange jelly slices.
The cookie dough is a little sticky when it’s first mixed up, so it will need to chill in the refrigerator until firm enough to handle. I rolled the dough into walnut-sized balls. This makes big, hearty cookies with 2-3 gumdrops in each.
One word of caution: eating these right out of the oven seems like a good idea, until you burn your tongue on gumdrop napalm. Not that I’d know anything about that – ahem.
If you have candy fanatics in your group of friends or family, then this is just the thing! Kids love them too! These look nice stacked up in a wide-mouth canning jar with a few extra gumdrops sprinkled on top.
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 1/4 cup about 8 oz. small whole gumdrops (I like Brach’s Spicettes)
- In a bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Add egg and vanilla; beat until fluffy. Add flour and salt; mix well. Stir in the gum drops. Chill the dough for 1 hour or until firm enough to handle
- Preheat the oven to 325°F.
- Cover one or two baking sheets with parchment paper. Shape dough into walnut size balls and place them on the prepared baking sheets.
- Bake the cookies for 12-15 minutes or until edges are very light golden brown. Cool on wire racks.
- Package these all stacked up in wide mouth canning jars or in cookie tins with tightly fitting lids.