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!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Cookie Recipe #6 - Sugar Cookies

The origin of cookies appears in 7th century AD Persia when it became common to use sugar in that region(http://whatscookingamerica.net/History/CookieHistory.htm Whatscookingamerica.net). Through the Muslim conquest of Spain, cookies then spread to Europe. By the 14th century whether you were royalty or just a street vendor, cookies were common.

Today's cookie is the Sugar Cookie. There are many different recipes for Sugar Cookies, but following is the one I generally use. Send me your favorite Sugar cookie recipe and why you prefer this one.

Ingredients: 1 lb (4 sticks) butter, softened, 3 cups granulated sugar, 4 eggs, 2 teaspoons vanilla, 5 cups flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon baking powder, sugar or other toppings for decorating.

Instructions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In large mixing bowl, beat butter; add sugar and continue beating. Add eggs and mix gradually incorporating the butter/sugar mixture; add vanilla. Sift in flour, salt and baking powder and blend well.

Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheet 2 1/2 inches apart. Using decorator sugar, raw sugar, mini chocolate chips, coconut, nuts, or whatever topping you desire, place on each cookie. You may gently press the top of each cookie before placing the topping for better coverage.

Place in a preheated 350 degree oven for 10-11 minutes. Cookies should be lightly brown around edges and slightly underdone in middle. Remove from oven and allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for a couple of minutes (they can finish baking during this time). Transfer to cooling racks. When cool, enjoy with a glass of milk or a cup of coffee!

Cookies Rule!!!

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