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!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Cookie Recipe #75 - Blonde Brickle Brownies

Today's cookie is actually a brownie - a close relative of the cookie family. Bar cookies are great when you don't have much time; they whip up quite easily, usually in one bowl; pour in a pan and throw in the oven to bake. There's no fooling around with multiple baking sheets and individual clumps of dough.

Ingredients: 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 2 eggs, room temperature, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup packed brown sugar, 1/3 cup butter, melted, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1/4 teaspoon almond extract, 1 package (6 ounces) brickle bits (or crushed Heath bars), 1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8 inch square baking pan. Melt the butter; set aside to cool slightly. In large mixing bowl, beat eggs; gradually add granulated sugar and brown sugar, mixing well. Add melted butter, vanilla and almond extract. In small bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt, then add to creamed mixture just until moistened. Fold in 2/3 cup of the brickle and nuts, if using. Pour into prepared pan.

Pop in the preheated 350 degree oven and bake for 30 minutes. Remove and immediately sprinkle remaining brickle over top of hot brownies. Cool completely in pan set on a cooling rack. Cut into 16 bars and enjoy!

Note: I like to crush one or two Heath bars to use in place of the brickle because you also get a slight chocolate addition to the recipe.

"Treasury of Holiday Cookies" published by Publications International, Ltd., Lincolnwood, IL, in 1994.

Cookies Rule!!!

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