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!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Cookie Recipe #42 - Cookie Sandwich Hearts

Day 2 of Valentine's Day cookie recipes. This one is a sweet sugar cookie sandwich with a cream cheese middle. If you like the cookie to be crisp, allow to bake a minute or two longer. The heart cut-outs make for a pop-in-your-mouth-as-you're-baking treat!

Ingredients: 3 cups all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons cream of tartar, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 cup butter, softened, 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons milk, 1 tablespoon vanilla extract, 6 ounces cream cheese, softened, 1/4 cup powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, colored sugar.

Instructions: In medium bowl whisk together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In large mixing bowl beat butter with sugar until smooth and creamy; beat in milk and vanilla. Beat in flour mixture and combine well. Dough will be soft. Cover and chill about 30 minutes or until easy to handle. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On lightly floured surface, roll half the dough at a time to 1/8 inch thickness. Using a 3 inch round cookie cutter, cut out circles from dough (a drinking glass dipped in flour will also work). Using a 1 inch heart cookie cutter, cut out centers of half the cookies. Repeat with remaining dough. Place on ungreased baking sheets, one sheet with rounds, the next with heart cut-out rounds. Sprinkle the cut-out rounds with colored sugar before baking.

Bake cookies about 8 minutes; 10 for a crisper cookie. Let cookies cool for a minute before transferring to cooling racks. While cooling, make filling as follows: In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth. Tint with food coloring, if desired. Spread bottoms of solid cookies with thin layer of filling and top with a cut-out cookie, sugar side up; press lightly.

*Bake the cut-out hearts about 5 minutes; sprinkle with colored sugar before baking, if desired. When cool, eat as is or spread a little filling between two hearts for a mini sandwich.

Makes about 2 dozen sandwiches. Store in refrigerator until ready to share.

I found this recipe in the February 2010 issue of Better Homes and Gardens magazines and made some alterations with it.

Cookies Rule!!!

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