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!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Cookie Recipe #132 - Peanut Butter Stars

This combination of peanut butter and chocolate mixed into one bite is a winner. A package of peanut butter cookie mix may be used or your favorite peanut butter cookie recipe. Following is the ingredients and instructions for the peanut butter cookie recipe I used previously (Cookie Recipe #2, cut in half).

Ingredients: 1/2 cup butter-flavored shortening, 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (or crunchy), 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, 2 eggs, 1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1/8 teaspoon salt (or 1 package peanut butter cookie mix plus 1 egg), chocolate sprinkles, milk chocolate candy stars.

Instructions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In large mixing bowl, combine shortening, peanut butter, and both sugars; mix well. Add vanilla and eggs and continue beating. Sift in flour, baking soda, and salt and mix until thoroughly combined. (If using pre-packaged mix, add egg to contents of package and mix well).

Take a small amount of dough and roll into a ball, then into bowl of sprinkles, covering well. Place on ungreased baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 8 minutes or until tops begin to crackle. Remove from oven to heat-proof surface and immediately place a chocolate star in center of each cookie. Allow to cool for a minute before transferring to cooling racks. Continue with rest of dough. If you run out of sprinkles, just press down each ball with a fork in a crisscross pattern, making regular peanut butter cookies.

Note: A chocolate Kiss or chocolate chips could replace the chocolate stars (any form of chocolate will do; the stars look pretty, though).

Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

"Treasury of Holiday Cookies", Publications International, LTD., Lincolnwood, IL, 1994. (revised recipe)

Cookies Rule!!!

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