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, April 21, 2010

Cookie Recipe #109 - Holiday Hideaways

I believe these cookies are supposed to be for Christmas, but I think you can make them anytime. They consist of cookie dough wrapped around a maraschino cherry, drowned in chocolate and splattered with white chocolate. From the outside you would never know there is a fruity center.

Ingredients: 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, 1 1/3 cup shortening, 2 eggs, 2 tablespoons milk, 2 teaspoons vanilla, 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon salt, 2 jars (10 ounces each)maraschino cherries, well drained, 1 cup chocolate chips (possibly more), 1 tablespoon shortening, 1/4 - 1/2 cup white chocolate chips, 1 teaspoon shortening.

Instructions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large mixing bowl, cream sugar and shortening until fluffy. Add eggs, milk, and vanilla, combining well. In small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture until thoroughly incorporated. Form 2 teaspoons of dough into a ball; flatten ball and place a cherry in center. Wrap dough around cherry and roll in hands until cherry is completely covered.

Place balls on ungreased baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven 10-12 minutes or until set and edges are lightly browned. (Cookies will flatten slightly on bottom and tops will crack a little). Remove from oven; allow to cool for a minute before transferring to cooling racks.

Heat chocolate chips and shortening in microwave one minute at a time, stirring, until thoroughly melted. Dip cookies in chocolate, top first, until covered (bottoms do not have to be covered-your preference). Place on waxed paper-lined platter or baking sheet to set. Repeat melting process with white chocolate chips and drizzle over chocolate-covered cookies.

Finely chopped nuts can be sprinkled atop each cookie, if desired, or reverse chocolate dipping (dip into white chocolate and drizzle with dark chocolate).

Makes about 5 dozen cookies.

Cookies Rule!!!

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