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, March 2, 2010

Cookie Recipe #59 - Gingerbread Whoopie Pies with Lemon Creme

Do you have candy canes leftover from Christmas (doesn't everyone?)? This is a way to use up a couple of them and take your frustrations out at the same time. Place two or three candy canes in a heavy ziploc bag; seal releasing all air; pick up a hammer and swing. The goal is to break up the canes into tiny pieces (not your countertop!) then place in a small bowl.
Half of these I rolled in mini chocolate chips-you could also use chopped nuts.

Ingredients: 3 cups flour, 2 teaspoons ginger, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 cup (2 sticks)butter, softened, divided, 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar 1/2 cup molasses, 1 egg, 1/4 cup granulated sugar (I used raw sugar), 1 jar (7 ounces) marshmallow cream, 4 ounces cream cheese, softened, 1 teaspoon lemon extract (not juice), crushed peppermint candies, mini chocolate chips, or chopped nuts.

Instructions: Mix flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg and salt in bowl; set aside. Beat 3/4 cup of the butter and brown sugar in large bowl until light and fluffy. Add molasses and egg; beat well. Gradually beat in flour mixture until well mixed. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Shape dough into 1 inch balls and roll in sugar. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. (I gently pressed on the balls to make them a bit flatter). Bake for 8-10 minutes or until edges of cookies just begin to brown. Remove to wire racks to cool.

In the meantime, mix the marshmallow cream, remaining 1/4 cup butter, cream cheese and lemon extract unti well blended. Place about 1 tablespoon of filling on the flat side of 1 cookie. Top with a second cookie, pressing gently to spread the filling. Roll edge of cookie in chopped candies, chocolate chips or nuts. Repeat with remaining cookies.

Makes about 2 1/2 dozen cookies.

This recipe came from a pamphlet put out by McCormick & Co, Inc. in 2009 before Christmas.

Cookies Rule!!!

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