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, February 8, 2010

Cookie Recipe #37 - Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Have you ever wanted to pour some melted chocolate in a jar of peanut butter, toss in some chopped peanuts, then grab a spoon and eat to your heart's content? Eating one of these is just about like that. One of the ladies I work for, Carin, let me borrow a book of hers (Treasury of Holiday Cookies published by Publications International, Ltd, in 1994) and said these cookies are her favorite-I think they could be one of mine now, too.
Ingredients: 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips, 1 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar, 2/3 cup shortening, 1 tablespoon water, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 2 eggs, 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/3 cup cocoa, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, 3/4 cup finely chopped peanuts, 36 miniature peanut butter cups (I used the dark chocolate ones), unwrapped, 1 cup peanut butter chips.
Instructions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place chocolate chips in microwave-safe measuring cup or bowl and heat for 2 minutes; stir. Repeat until smooth; cool slightly. Combine brown sugar, shortening, water and vanilla in large bowl. Beat at medium speed until well blended. Beat eggs into shortening mixture. Add chocolate slowly and mix until well blended.
Combine flour, cocoa, salt and baking soda in medium bowl, then add to shortening mixture and stir just until combined. Shape dough into 1 1/4 inch balls; roll in nuts. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 375 degrees for 7-9 minutes or until set. Remove from oven to heat-proof surface and immediately press a peanut butter cup into center of each cookie. Press sides of cookie up against cup. Cool 2 minutes on baking sheets before removing to cooling racks. Allow to cool completely.
To make drizzle, place peanut butter chips in heavy resealable plastic food storage bag. Seal. Microwave for one minute. Knead bag until smooth. Cup pinpoint hole in bottom corner of bag and squeeze out in a zigzag pattern over each cookie.
Makes about 3 dozen peanut buttery, chocolatey, peanutty cups.
Cookies Rule!!!

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