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 28, 2010

Cookie Recipe #116 - Carrot Cake Cookies with Cream Cheese Icing

These soft cookies topped off with cream cheese icing are like biting into a slice of carrot cake.

Ingredients: Cookies: 1/2 cup raisins, 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats, 1/2 cup (1 stick)butter, room temperature, 1/2 cup packed brown sugar, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1 egg, 1 cup packed finely grated peeled carrots, 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour*, 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, plus additional for garnish (optional) orange-colored sugar (optional). Icing: 1 cup powdered sugar, 6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature, 1/4 cup (1/2 stick)butter, room temperature, 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream(milk could be substituted, 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice.
*if using all-purpose flour, add 3/4 teaspoon baking powder and 3/4 teaspoon salt).

Instructions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Place raisins and oats in small bowl, add 1/4 cup water. Let soak until water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Peel carrotts, grate finely and set aside.
Beat butter and sugars in large bowl until fluffy. Beat in egg, then carrots. Add flour and cinnamon; beat to blend. Stir in raisin-oat mixture and 1/2 cup nuts (batter will be sticky). Drop batter by level tablespoonfuls onto sheets, spacing 1 1/2 - 2 inches apart.

Bake cookies until light golden, about 20 minutes (cookies will be soft). Cool on sheet 2 minutes before transferring to cooling racks.

When cookies are completely cool, make icing as follows: beat powdered sugar, cream cheese, butter, whipping cream and lemon juice together in medium bowl until smooth. Spread over cookies, then top with a few chopped nuts or orange-colored sugar.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies

"Bon Appetit" May 2010, page 70.

Cookies Rule!!!

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