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!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Cookie Recipe #118 - Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

Swirls of peanut butter mixed in with a brownie base brings the basic brownie up a notch. I crushed a few miniature peanut butter cups and sprinkled them on top after removing from the oven for extra chocolate & peanut butter mouthfuls.

Ingredients: 4 squares unsweetened chocolate, 3/4 cups (1 1/2 sticks)butter, 2 cups granulated sugar, 3 eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 cup chopped nuts (optional), 2/3 cup peanut butter, creamy or crunchy, 5-6 miniature peanut butter cups, crushed.

Instructions: In small bowl, set aside 1 tablespoon of the butter and 2 tablespoons of the sugar. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Microwave chocolate and butter in large microwaveable bowl for 2 minutes or until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Stir remaining sugar into melted chocolate mixture. Mix in eggs and vanilla until well blended. Stir in flour and nuts, if desired. Spread in greased 9x13" pan. To small bowl of butter and sugar, add the peanut butter and mix well. Place teaspoonfuls of the peanut butter mixture over brownie batter in pan. Using a knife, make several swirls from one side to the other to marbleize.

Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out with fudgy crumbs. If using crushed peanut butter cups, sprinkle over hot brownies evenly. Allow to cool in pan; cut into bars or squares.

Makes 24 brownies.

"Treasury of Holiday Cookies", Publications International, LTD, Lincolnwood, IL, 1994.

Cookies Rule!!!

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