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!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Cookie Recipe #131 - Frosted Banana Bars

This is a moist bananay bar cookie with a hefty layer of cream cheese frosting. You may add nuts to the mixture, then sprinkle a few on top, too. Makes for a good breakfast on the run, or anytime during the day when you need a snack.

Ingredients: 1/2 cup butter, softened, 2 cups granulated sugar, 3 eggs, 1 1/2 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 3 medium), 1 teaspoon vanilla, 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, pinch of salt, 1/2 - 1 cup chopped nuts, if desired. Frosting: 1/2 cup butter, softened, 1 package (8 ounces)cream cheese, softened, 4 cups confectioners' sugar, 2 teaspoons vanilla.

Instructions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 15x10 baking pan; set aside. In mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in eggs, mashed bananas and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt together in small bowl; add to creamed mixture and mix well. Pour into prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean (will be brown on top). Transfer to cooling rack and allow to cool completely.

Frosting: Cream butter and cream cheese together; gradually add confectioners' sugar and vanilla, mixing until thoroughly combined. Spread over cooled bars and top with nuts, if desired. Cut into bars and serve. Refrigerate any leftovers (as if).

Cookies Rule!!!

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