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!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Cookie Recipe #93 - Chocolate Orange Stars

Today is my niece, Stacey's, birthday, so this recipe is dedicated to her because she is a star! A blend of chocolate and orange make up the not-too-sweet cookie further splattered with sprinkles or sugar, then topped off with an orange glaze.

Ingredients: 1/2 cup shortening, 1 cup granulated sugar, 2 eggs, beaten, 2 teaspoons grated orange zest, 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/3 cup cocoa, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 3 tablespoons orange juice. Glaze: 1 cup confectioners' sugar, 2-3 tablespoons orange juice, sprinkles or raw sugar.

Instructions: In a large mixing bowl, cream shortening with sugar. Add eggs and orange zest; mix well. Sift together flour, cocoa, and baking powder. Gradually stir dry ingredients into egg mixture, alternating with orange juice and ending with dry ingredients. Cover with plastic and refrigerate for 3 hours or until firm enough to handle.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease baking sheet or line with parchment paper. Roll dough to 1/4 inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. With a star-shaped cookie cutter dipped in flour (or cookie cutter of your choice), cut out shapes and place on prepared baking sheets about 1 1/2 inches apart.

Bake 8-10 minutes; remove from oven and allow to cool on baking sheet one minute. Transfer to cooling racks and make glaze as follows: mix confectioners' sugar and 2 tablespoons orange juice in small bowl. Continue adding orange juice as needed until desired consistency is reached. Sprinkle with raw sugar or sprinkles, if desired.

Makes about 3 dozen stars.

"The Ultimate Cookie Book" pubished by Tormont Publications Inc., Montreal, Canada, 1997.

Cookies Rule!!!

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