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!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Cookie Recipe #38 - Sesame Seed Cookies

In the Sparta region of Greece during the holidays you will find people eating these cookies. You don't have to live in Greece to enjoy them, though. I think they would be a great ending for your favorite Chinese entree along with or instead of a fortune cookie (see Cookie Recipe #18).
Ingredients: 2/3 cup sesame seeds, 1 3/4 cup granulated sugar, 1 cup butter, softened, 2 eggs, 4 cups all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 cup water.
Instructions: In small frypan, heat sesame seeds over medium heat, stirring frequently, until light brown (watch carefully-they burn easily); remove from heat and allow to cool some. In medium mixing bowl, combine sugar, butter and eggs until fluffy; stir in half of the toasted sesame seeds. Mix flour, baking powder and salt together in bowl, then add alternately with water to sugar mixture. Mix well; cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours (or overnight).
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll dough on lightly floured surface to 1/8 inch thickness. With a sharp knife, cut into 2 1/2 " x 3/4" strips. Press one side of strip into remaining sesame seeds, then fold one end over at right angle to other end, forming a bowknot. Place on ungreased baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake until light brown, 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven; allow to cool a couple of minutes before transferring to cooling racks.
Makes about 9 dozen sesame strips.
(Betty Crocker's Cookie Book published by Golden Press, New York, 1981)
Cookies Rule!!!

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