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 28, 2010

Cookie Recipe #85 - Choco-Mint Pinwheels

Circles of refreshing mint and rich chocolate unite to form a palate-pleasing pinwheel.

Ingredients: 1 cup chocolate chips, 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup shortening, 1 cup granulated sugar, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon mint extract, 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 egg white, lightly beaten, green food coloring.

Melt chocolate in microwave for one minute, stirring until chocolate is smooth; set aside. In a large bowl, cream butter and shortening with sugar. Add egg and mint extract; mix well. Gradually mix in flour. Divide dough into 2 equal portions. To the first portion, add a few drops of green food coloring and mix until thoroughly combined. Add melted chocolate to other portion and mix completely. Wrap each portion in waxed paper and chill in refrigerator for an hour, or until firm enough to roll.

Roll each portion on floured waxed paper into a 10x12 inch rectangle, about 1/4 inch thick. Brush one rectangle with some of egg white. Lifting by the waxed paper, carefully place second rectangle on top of first, and gently press together. Press around sides of rectangle to make even edges. Starting from the long end, use waxed paper to roll dough up into a log. Wrap in waxed paper and transfer roll to refrigerator. Chill until firm, about 3 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees; lightly grease baking sheets or line with parchment paper. Remove waxed paper from roll and slice into 1/4 inch slices. Place on prepared baking sheets about an inch apart. Bake 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned around edges. Allow to cool on baking sheet for 1 minute before transferring to cooling racks.

Makes about 5 dozen pinwheels.

"The Ultimate Cookie Book" published by Tormont Publications Inc., Montreal, Canada, in 1997.

Cookies Rule!!!

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