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 27, 2010

Cookie Recipe #145 - Coffee and Cream Drops

There's energy built right into these cookies because of the coffee base; adding the chocolate gives them a satisfying mocha taste. If caffeine is a problem, use decaf coffee crystals instead.

Ingredients: 2 tablespoons instant coffee crystals, 3 tablespoons light cream or half-and-half, 1 cup butter, softened, 2/3 cup granulated sugar, 2/3 cup packed brown sugar, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup cocoa, 1/2 cup chopped nuts, 1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips.

Instructions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl stir together instant coffee crystals and 1 tablespoon of the light cream until crystals dissolve; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl beat butter for 30 seconds. Add granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt; beat until combined. Add in the coffee mixture, egg and vanilla until combined. Gradually mix in flour until thoroughly incorporated.

Divide dough in half. Stir the remaining 2 tablespoons light cream and the cocoa into one portion; stir in nuts. Into remaining portion of dough, stir in miniature chocolate chips. Spoon a scant teaspoon of each dough side by side onto an ungreased baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Press dough together lightly.

Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 8-9 minutes or just until set. Cool on baking sheet for 1 minute before transferring to wire racks to cool.

*I melted some chocolate chips in a resealable storage bag, clipped off one corner of the bag, and drizzled melted chocolate over each cookie (optional).

Makes about 4 dozen two-tone cookies.

"Better Homes and Gardens Biggest Book of Cookies", Meredith Corporation, Des Moines, IA, 2003.

Cookies Rule!!!

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