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, May 10, 2010

Cookie Recipe #128 - Tea Swirls

Pop one or two of these little nuggets in your mouth for a sweet, fruity sensation.

Ingredients: 2/3 cup butter, softened, 3/4 cup granulated sugar, 1 egg, beaten, 1 teaspoon almond extract, 2 cups all-purpose flour, preserves or jam of any flavor.

Instructions: Prheat oven to 425 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then beat in the egg and almond extract.

Sift the flour over the mixture and beat well until smooth. Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a large star nozzle and pipe 2-3 inch rosettes onto prepared baking sheets, spacing 1 1/2 inches apart (or place teaspoonfuls of dough on sheets and press down with a fork). Place 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoonful of preserves or jam in center of each cookie.

Bake in preheated oven for 5-7 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned. Allow to cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes before transferring to cooling racks.

Variation: May also use candied peel, cut in small diamond shapes, or paper towel- dried marascino cherries, cut in half, as a substitute for the preserves.

Makes 4 dozen cookies.

"Cookies Biscuits & Bakes 500", Catherine Atkinson, World Publications Group, Inc., East Bridgewater, MA, 2008.

Cookies Rule!!!

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