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!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Cookie Recipe #122 - Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies

This combination of molasses, spices and chocolate brings a pleasing sweetness to your mouth leaving you desiring more. The cookies are soft but could be crisper if you allow them to bake a couple more minutes.

Ingredients: 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, 3/4 cup cocoa, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon ginger, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon cloves, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 cup butter, softened, 1 cup granulated sugar, 1 egg, 1/2 cup molasses, 1 cup chocolate chips, 1 tablespoon shortening.

Instructions: In small bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, ginger, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves and salt; set aside.

In large mixing bowl, beat butter and granulated sugar until creamy. Blend in egg and molasses. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Cover with plastic and refrigerate at least 2 hours or until firm (or overnight).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees; line baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. On floured surface, roll out dough with floured rolling pin to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut out with various cookie cutters and transfer to prepared baking sheets, about 1 1/2 inches apart.

Bake 8-10 minutes until set. Let stand 2 minutes before transferring to cooling racks.

When cookies are cool, melt chocolate chips and shortening in microwave for 1-2 minutes, stirring until smooth. Pour into decorating bag with tip or into a resealable bag with one corner snipped off. Pipe chocolate over each cookie in desired design.

Alternate: prepare a glaze as follows and spread over each cookie: in small bowl combine 1 cup confectioners' sugar and 2-3 tablespoons milk; stir until smooth.

Makes 2-2 1/2 dozen cookies.

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

Cookies Rule!!!

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