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!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Cookie Recipe #82 - Old-Fashioned Brownies

Over the years I've tried several brownie recipes, but this is the one I've found to be the best. I add chocolate chips to it for that extra burst of chocolate taste (you can never have too much chocolate).

Ingredients: 1/2 stick butter, 2/3 cup shortening (I use butter-flavored), 4 eggs, 2 cups granulated sugar, 2 teaspoons vanilla, 1/3 teaspoon salt, 1 1/3 cups flour, 3/4 - 1 cup cocoa, 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional), 1-2 cups chocolate chips.

Instructions: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 inch pan with cooking spray; set aside. Melt together butter and shortening in microwave; allow to cool slightly. In large mixing bowl, beat eggs, sugar, and vanilla; blend in butter mixture and thoroughly combine. Add flour, salt and cocoa and mix well. By hand, stir in chocolate chips (save a handful for the top) and nuts, if desired.

Scrape into the prepared pan and spread evenly with spatula. Sprinkle with the reserved chocolate chips and pop into the preheated 325 degree oven. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in middle brings out only a few crumbs. Remove from oven and allow to cool on rack until cool enough to cut out a square and eat while still warm, but not mouth-burning hot.

I made a batch of these real early in the morning once because I woke up and couldn't get back to sleep. My husband still talks about waking up to the smell of brownies baking; what could be better?

Cookies Rule!!!

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