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!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Cookie Recipe #91 - Peanut Butter Cut-Out Cookies

Even though this isn't necessarily an Easter cookie recipe, I used Easter egg and bunny rabbit cookie cutters making it so. This semi-crisp cookie tasting of peanut butter and crunchy pecans doesn't need alot of frosting; a simple drizzle of two kinds of glaze makes it complete.

Ingredients: 1/2 cup butter, 1 cup peanut butter chips, 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar, 1 egg, 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour, 3/4 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans, 1 cup chocolate chips, 2/3 cup peanut butter chips, 2 tablespoons shortening.

Instructions: In medium saucepan, combine butter and peanut butter chips; cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until melted. Pour into large mixing bowl; add brown sugar, egg and vanilla, beating until well blended. Stir in flour, baking soda and pecans; blend well. Refrigerate 15-20 minutes or until firm enough to roll.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out dough, a small portion at a time, on lightly floured surface to 1/4-inch thickness (keep remaining dough in refrigerator). With cookie cutters dipped in flour, cut into desired shapes; place on ungreased baking sheets about 1 1/2 inches apart.

Bake 7-8 minutes or until almost set (do not overbake). Cool 1 minute on baking sheet before transferring to cooling racks.

To make glaze: place chocolate chips and 1 tablespoon shortening in microwave heating for about 2 minutes, stirring after first minute, until thoroughly melted and smooth. Repeat with 2/3 cup peanut butter chips and 1 tablespoon shortening. Drizzle chocolate and peanut butter over each cookie in desired pattern. Allow to harden.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

"Hershey's Chocolate Lover's Cookbook" published by Brimar Publishing Inc., Montreal, Canada, 1993.

Cookies Rule!!!

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