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!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Cookie Recipe #9 - Mountain Cookies

Mountain Cookies have a sugar cookie base encasing a mound of cream cheese, coconut and pecans. The whole cookie is then drizzled with melted chocolate. After eating a few, you will want to climb the highest mountain (or a nearby hillside; maybe just a few steps to retrieve more cookies...)

Ingredients: 2 cups butter, softened, 2 cups confectioner's sugar, 4 teaspoons vanilla, 4 cups flour, 1 teaspoon salt. For Filling: 1 pkg (8oz)cream cheese, softened, 2 cups confectioner's sugar, 4 Tablespoons flour, 2 teaspoons vanilla, 1 cup finely chopped pecans, 1 cups flaked coconut. For Topping: 1/2 cup chocolate chips, 2 Tablespoons butter, 2 Tablespoons water, 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar.

Instructions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large mixing bowl, beat butter for 30 seconds; add sugar and continue to blend. Pour in vanilla and mix well. Sift flour and salt over mixture and fully incorporate.

Using floured fingers, shape into 1 inch balls; place on ungreased baking sheet. Make a deep indentation in center of each cookie with thumb. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until only the edges of the cookies are just lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool on baking sheet for a minute or two before transferring to cooling racks. As soon as you remove the sheet from the oven, carefully (they will be hot)push down in the center of each cookie again to make room for the filling.

As cookies are cooling, make the filling as follows: In medium mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy; add sugar and flour; mix well. Pour in vanilla and continue beating. By hand, stir in the pecans and coconut. Using a teaspoon fill each cookie's middle, distributing it evenly among the cookies.

To make the topping, heat chocolate chips, butter and water in a small saucepan, stirring until melted. Remove from burner and stir in sugar. Using a small spoon, drizzle the hot chocolate over each cookie. Voila! - Mountain Cookies!

Cookies Rule!!!

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