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 24, 2010

Cookie Recipe #81 - Malted Milk Cookies

Eating one of these is like having a malted milk shake, yet in the form and texture of a cookie. Almost like shortbread, yet not as crisp.

Ingredients: 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, 3/4 cup plain malted-milk powder, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature, 3 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature, 1 cup granulated sugar, 1 egg, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/4 teaspoon almond extract.

Instructions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Measure out flour, malted-milk powder, baking powder, and salt in bowl; set aside. Beat butter and cream cheese until creamy. Mix in sugar; then egg, vanilla extract and almond extract. Gradually add flour mixture until thoroughly combined.

Prepare a pastry bag with a 1/2 inch star tip (or put tip in corner of heavy ziploc bag with the corner cut out and tape wrapped around it to hold in place). Fill bag with dough and pipe 2 1/2 inch strips onto parchment-paper-lined baking sheets about 1 inch apart.

Bake in preheated 350 degree oven 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and allow to cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes before transferring to cooling racks.

Makes about 6 dozen fingers. Can be stored in airtight container at room temperature up to a week.

Cookies Rule!!!

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