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!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Cookie Recipe #64 - Cinnamon-Pecan Shortbread

This crunchy cookie has a cinnamony spiciness to it with the crunchiness of pecan pieces and the sweetness of raw sugar topping it off - could it be up for an Oscar? Maybe at the Academy Awards of Cookies?

Ingredients: 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1/4 cup packed brown sugar, 1/4 cup cornstarch, 1 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 cup butter, room temperature and cut into 1/2 inch cubes, 1 large egg white, beaten and blended with 1 tablespoon water (for glaze), 1/2 cup chopped pecans, raw sugar.

Mix flour, sugar, brown sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and salt in large mixing bowl. Add butter and mash with back of fork until coarse meal forms (or use a pastry blender). Using fingertips, work dough until smooth; shape into disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill until firm but not hard, about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Shape dough into 1 inch balls and arrange on 2 ungreased baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Cover smooth-bottomed glass with plastic and press each ball with glass to form a 2 inch round. Cut with scalloped cookie cutter, if desired, gathering up cut pieces to re-form into another ball. Brush each cookie with egg white/water mixture, top with a few chopped pecans and sprinkle with raw sugar.

Bake in preheated 325 degree oven about 20 minutes or until golden. Cool on baking sheets about 2 minutes before transferring to cooling racks.

Makes about 3 dozen shortbreads.

Cookies Rule!!!

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