We are introduced, at an early age, to the sweet wondernous of a cookie. From teething cookies to soothe the swollen aching gums of incoming incisors, onto animal crackers purchased in rectangular-shaped boxes bearing a string handle for easy toting by little fingers. Deciding which part of the animal should be eaten first-the trunk of the elephant or the tail of a lion-depended on how hungry one was. Savor each and every one or simply gobble them down as fast as possible.

My next cookie memory would be the ever famous, possibly all-time favorite, the chocolate chip cookie. There is nothing better than to bite into a round circle of baked dough sprinkled with gooey melt-in-your-mouth chocolate. A chocolate chip cookie can dry tears, heal broken hearts, mend scraped knees and elbows and solve sibling arguments. Most of the problems in the world could likely be solved by a properly baked, right out of the oven, chocolate chip cookie. The power of a cookie is underestimated.

I will attempt in the next 365 days to prepare and comment on a year’s worth of different cookies-one for each day. My goal is to share with others my extreme love of cookies-baking them and especially eating them! Feel free to send me your favorite recipe, your earliest cookie memories, or how cookies may have influenced your life. Cookies Rule!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Cookie Recipe #18 - Fortune Cookies

I always looked at fortune cookies and thought they would be hard to make, as I'm sure others have also. But, they really aren't. You have to work quickly after they are baked to get them into their unique shape, but otherwise simple.
I found this recipe in a cookbook entitled "Martha Stewart's Cookies" published in 2008 by Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. If Martha made it, it can't be bad, right?
Ingredients: 4 large egg whites, 1 cup granulated sugar, 1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted, pinch of salt, 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, 3 tablespoons heavy cream, 1 teaspoon pure almond extract, 45 paper fortunes, about 5 inches long, cooking spray.
Instructions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat baking sheets liberally with cooking spray. In mixing bowl, combine egg whites and sugar, and beat on medium speed until frothy, about 30 seconds. Add sifted flour and salt; beat until combined. Add melted butter, cream, and almond extract and mix thoroughly.
Only prepare 3 or 4 cookies at one time on one baking sheet by spooning 1 teaspoonful of the batter onto the prepared sheet and spreading with the back of the spoon or a spatula into an even, thin 3-4 inch circle. Repeat with the 2 or 3 other cookies.
Bake cookies in preheated 400 degree oven until the edges are golden brown, about 4-5 minutes. Remove from oven to heat-resistant surface and working quickly remove one cookie at a time with a spatula to a clean kitchen towel. Place paper fortune in center of cookie and fold in half. Grab points of each cookie and bend over edge of bowl, pulling points down to form shape of a fortune cookie. Place in ungreased muffin tin to cool completely; repeat with other cookies. This whole process should take about 10 seconds.
Make about 3 1/2 - 4 dozen cookies. Store in an airtight container at room temperature up to a week.
Fortunes can be found on-line at several websites. Words of love can be done for Valentine's Day, Bible verses, or make up your own! Mrs. Confucius say, "Eat many cookies; be happy!"
Cookies Rule!!!

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