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!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Cookie Recipe #87 - Double-Dipped Hazelnut Crisps

Once you get past the double chocolate exterior you will reach the chewy, yet crisp, interior. Try to eat just one of these!
Ingredients: 1 1/4 cup chocolate chips, 1/2 cup vanilla chips, 2 teaspoons shortening, 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, 3/4 cup powdered sugar, 2/3 cup hazelnuts, finely ground, 1/4 teaspoon finely ground coffee beans, dash salt, 1/2 cup butter, softened, 2 teaspoon vanilla.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease baking sheets or line with parchment paper; set aside. Melt 3/4 cup of chocolate chips in microwave, stirring until melted; let cool slightly. In large bowl beat together butter, vanilla and melted chocolate. Add flour, sugar, hazelnuts, ground coffee, and salt to creamed mixture, thoroughly combining until dough is stiff but smooth. (If dough is too soft to handle, cover and refrigerate until firm).
Roll out dough, one fourth at a time, to 1/8 inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Cut out with a 2 inch scalloped round cookie cutter dipped in flour. Place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 8 minutes or until not quite firm. (Cookies should not brown; they will puff up during baking, then fall again). Allow to cool on baking sheet for 2 minutes before transferring to cooling racks.
In two separate bowls, melt 1/2 cup chocolate chips with 1 teaspoon shortening and 1/2 cup vanilla chips with 1 teaspoon shortening. Dip half on each cookie in melted chocolate and place on waxed paper-lined trays or baking sheets. Refrigerate until chocolate is firm. Dip other half of each cookie into melted vanilla chips; return to waxed paper-lined trays and refrigerate again until firm.
Makes about 4 dozen cookies.
"Treasury of Holiday Cookies" published by Publications International, LTD, Lincolnwood, IL, in 1994.
Cookies Rule!!!

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