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 4, 2010

Cookie Recipe #61 - Cream-Cheese Pastry Crescents

Not your average cookie, this fruit & nut-filled, sugar & cinnamon coated pastry is small enough to pop in your mouth all at once. The recipe calls for raspberry jam, but I used strawberry - any flavor will work.

Ingredients: 6 ounces (1 1/2 sticks)unsalted butter, softened, 6 ounces cream cheese, softened, 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 cup raspberry jam (or other flavor), 2 ounces (1/2 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped, 1 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon cinnamon.

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and cream cheese together; add flour and mix just until combined. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 hour or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 2 baking sheets. In a small bowl combine sugar and cinnamon; set aside. Put jam in bowl and stir until smooth; set aside.

On a lightly floured surface, roll 1/4 dough at a time into a 9 inch round. Spread 1/4 of jam evenly on round. Sprinkle with 1/4 of the nuts; then 1/4 of the sugar/cinnamon mixture. Cut prepared circle into 12 wedges then roll each wedge up starting with the wide end. Arrange the rolls 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheet (Curl into a crescent, if desired). Bake in preheated 350 degree oven 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cookies cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling racks. Repeat with remaining dough.

Makes 4 dozen cookies. "Christmas Cookies" by Kaye Hansen & Liv Hansen published by Clarkson Potter Publishers, New York, in 2005.

Cookies Rule!!!

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