The Food Blogger Cookbook Swap 2014 // Chocolate Cookie Butter Babka

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One day, when I was lurking on the interwebz for some recipes and blog ideas, I came upon this cyber exchange – A blogger cookbook swap!

The rules are simple: Once signing up, you are randomly assigned another food blogger anywhere in the country and must mail him/her a new or gently used cookbook. You then take the book mailed to you, create something from it, and write a post, which all go live on the same day. How rad is that?!

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As a new participant of the Food Blogger Cookbook Swap (which was hosted by Alyssa of Everyday Maven and Faith of An Edible Mosaic), I sent a cookbook to Pam of Blueberries and Blessings and got this cookbook from my match in return (thanks, Haley!):

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Because this book is fantasmic and I’m slightly cray, I decided to conquer my fear of yeast (yeastophobia? that sounds gross) and spend President’s Day weekend busting out a babka bundt cake. And because I have a slight obsession with cookie butter, I modified the recipe to include a jar of chocolate-cookie-butter swirl. Because yes.

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If you’ve never made bread before (it had been so long for me that I’m counting myself as a bread noob), measuring is important, so don’t think you’re too cool to measure. I even used a thermometer to make sure that the milk was lukewarm enough to activate the yeast – which might be a little OCD but hey, it led to this insane-looking loaf of happiness.

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Making bread also takes all day. Seriously. I started this at about 9am and finished around 4pm. Worth it? Absolutely, but be forewarned and make sure you don’t have much else to do except watch a season of Portlandia and take photos obsessively.

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While I didn’t do an egg wash on the babka, the next time I would recommend it, as the top gets dried out in the oven. I also didn’t’ realize how gigantic this would be, so I tightly wrapped it and sliced as needed, putting butter, jam, and – obviously – even more cookie butter on it.  Because yes.

I can’t wait to try more recipes from this book, especially since I feel that it describes me so perfectly; cookbook swap success! Check out the all the other people who participated this year, and enjoy this recipe for cookie butter babka with OCD step-by-step photos for your enjoyment.

A modern (slightly insane) baker.

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2014 Cookbook Swap Participants:

A Baker’s House
An Edible Mosaic
avocado bravado
Blue Kale Road
Blueberries And Blessings
Cheap Recipe Blog
Confessions of a Culinary Diva
Create Amazing Meals
Cucina Kristina
Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Cupcake Project
Dinner is Served 1972
Done With Corn
Eats Well With Others
Everyday Maven
Flour Me With Love 
From My Sweet Heart 
Great Food 360° 
Healthy. Delicious. 
I’m Gonna Cook That! 
Je Mange la Ville 
Karen’s Kitchen Stories 
Kitchen Treaty 
Olive and Herb
OnTheMove-In The Galley 
Our Best Bites 
Paleo Gone Sassy
poet in the pantry 
Rhubarb and Honey 
Rocky Mountain Cooking
Shikha la mode 
Shockingly Delicious
Sifting Focus 
Spoonful of Flavor 
Tara’s Multicultural Table 
The Not So Exciting Adventures of a Dabbler 
The Suburban Soapbox 
The Whole Family’s Food 

Chocolate Cookie Butter Babka
(adapted from The Modern Baker)



  1. In a small pan, warm the milk to about 110 degrees (use a thermometer if you have to). Pour into the bowl of a Kitchenaid and whisk in the yeast til mixed and frothy. Add in the butter, sugar, salt, egg yolks, and vanilla and combine.
  2. With the paddle attachment, slowly add in the flour a 1/2 cup at a time. Once all the flour has been added, beat the dough for 2 minutes. Stop the mixture for 10 minutes and allow the dough to rest. Then beat for 2 minutes longer on medium speed.
  3. Spray a large bowl and scoop the dough into it. Spray the top of the dough, cover wish plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1.5 hours.
  4. Once chilled, scrape the dough onto a floured surface and press it out into a rectangle about 10×15 inches. Using a spoon, spread the cookie butter in lines across the dough and scatter the walnuts over it.
  5. Roll up the dough completely and pinch the ends to seal. Take your time to make sure the roll is tight and even.
  6. Spray a 12-cup bundt pan and carefully place the roll in it, joining the ends together as well as possible. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature until doubled in size, around 1-2 hours.
  7. When the dough is almost done rising, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the plastic wrap and bake the bundt for 35-40 minutes until well risen and deep golden.
  8. Cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes, then invert and let cool completely. Serve warm or at room temperature with butter, jam, or more cookie butter.
The Food Blogger Cookbook Swap 2014 // Chocolate Cookie Butter Babka
1 vote, 5.00 avg. rating (95% score)


  1. Haley @ Cheap Recipe Blog says

    Woohoo! You got it, and you made something amazing!
    What a fun event :) Can’t wait for the next one.

  2. says

    I’m so glad you got over the yeastophobia (yes, that does sound gross, lol). This babka is absolutely glorious! Look at the height on this baby! I loooooove that you filled it with chocolate swirled cookie butter because, um, hells yeah! Imagine making bread pudding or french toast with this…the delicious possibilities are endless!

    • says

      I was JUST thinking about doing bread pudding with some of the extra bread. Bread pudding with cookie butter sounds like such a delicious thing, and that might just show up on the blog now!

  3. says

    Omg, omg, omg, COOKIE BUTTER! You’re in San Francisco, right? I recently moved out of San Francisco and my local TJ’s on Geary/Masonic imposed limits on the number of cookie butters you could buy. Pretty painful, since a co-worker got me addicted…

  4. says

    Oh what a GREAT book! As a baker, I’m a fan of Nick Malgieri. You are so lucky to have this book! I also suffer from fits of yeastophobia….but your cake looks amazing! So happy to have been introduced to your lovely blog through the cookbook swap!

    • says

      Thank you so much, I’m happy you stopped by as well! I’ve been reading through this book a lot, and it’s so cool. I’m going to cook some more things from it soon!

  5. says

    Oh goodness me, that is gorgeous!!! I know the intention of this Swap was to share cookbooks but now it has created a very long “I-want-this-cookbook” list for me!

    • says

      Haha I’m glad you like the photos, cus I was awkwardly hovering over my kitchen table for hours trying to get all the shots in! My roommates definitely got a kick out of it.

    • says

      Faith, this was SUCH a cool idea and I want to be involved with any and all future swaps. So happy to have done this and conquered babka!

    • says

      I’m still kind of afraid of yeast to be honest, unless I like super follow the directions. But I think this recipe helped me slowly, SLOWLY, want to do more bread things!

  6. says

    Applauding your OCD photo record AND the gorgeous babka. But how did I not know about cookie butter?! (Off to TJs immediately) This was such a fun event and introduction to so many terrific bloggers.

    • says

      Oh man, prepare to be addicted for the rest of your life. Trader Joe’s even has a limit on how many jars you can buy cus it’s so damn good. Good luck!!

  7. says

    Fantastic adaptation! I’m very impressed with the end result and the day-long process, always worth it, but as you point out you really can’t do much else other than some mindless viewing of TV. Fun to find your blog through the cookbook exchange!

    • says

      Thanks Christy! Have you ever made bread before? I’d be curious to see how long it takes people. I want to try it again but I have to give myself enough prep time so I can do another Netflix binge!

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