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!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Cookie Recipe #103 - Almond Cream Cookies

These almond-flavored cookies have a crunchiness to them because of the cornmeal and chopped almonds and are topped off with a sweet cherry. You can also sprinkle more chopped almonds on top instead of the cherry, if you desire.

Ingredients: 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks)butter, softened, 3/4 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon almond extract, 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, 3/4 cup corn meal, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 cup coarsely chopped almonds, 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon milk or water, maraschino cherries or more chopped almonds.

Instructions: Drain maraschino cherries from juice; slice in half and pat dry with paper towels; set aside to further dry. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat butter and 1/2 cup cream cheese at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add egg and almond extract; mix until well blended. In small bowl combine flour, corn meal and baking powder; gradually add to creamed mixture. Stir in almonds. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake 10-12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes before transferring to cooling racks.

Mix remaining 2 tablespoons cream cheese and powdered sugar until blended. Add milk; mix until smooth. Spread a teaspoonful over each cookie and top with half a maraschino cherry. Makes 4 dozen cookies.

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

Cookies Rule!!!

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