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!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Cookie Recipe #133 - Amy-Oes

This cookie is named after Amy Berg, a baker from the famous New York's Amy's Cookies. Similar to an oreo, but with a creamy Kahlua frosting nestled between two coffee-flavored cookies, I challenge you to eat just one.

Ingredients: Cookies: 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder (I used finely ground espresso beans), 1/4 teaspoon salt, 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks)unsalted butter, softened, 3/4 cup granulated sugar, 1 large egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 3/4 cup cocoa, sifted. Frosting: 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar, 1 tablespoon Kahlua, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. (If you don't want to use the Kahlua, add an additional 1 teaspoon vanilla extract).

Instructions: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, espressor powder, and salt; set aside. In large mixing bowl, beat the butter until creamy, about 30 seconds. Gradually add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the egg, mixing well and scraping down the sides of bowl, as necessary. Mix in the vanilla. Gradually add the cocoa mixing until blended. Add the flour mixture in three additions, mixing just until blended. Scrape the dough onto a work surface and divide into two. Shape each piece into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hour, until firm.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paer.

Place one of the dough disks on a very lightly floured work surface, and using a floured rolling pin, roll it out to a thickness of 3/16 inch. Using a 2-inch scalloped cookie cutter, cut out as many rounds as possible. Gather up scraps, re-roll and continue cutting out shapes. Repeat with second disk. Place on prepared baking sheets about 1 inch apart and bake for 7-9 minutes, or until they are no longer wet-looking. The cookies should still be soft to the touch-do not overbake (they will have a burnt taste if you do).
Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool completely.

Frosting: In medium mixing bowl, beat the butter until creamy. Gradually add the confectioners' sugar, then add the Kahlua (if using) and vanilla extract, and beat until blended. Scrape down the sides and beat until the frosting is creamy, about 2 minutes. Spoon about 3/4 teaspoon of frosting on bottom of one cookie, then top with a second cookie, pressing lightly to bring filling to edges of cookies.

Refrigerate cookies until ready to serve; bring to room temperature before eating. May be stored in refrigerator for up to a week in an airtight container.

Makes about 3 dozen sandwiches.

"The Good Cookie", Tish Boyle, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, 2002.

Cookies Rule!!!

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