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 28, 2010

Cookie Recipe #146 - Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares

These taste like an extra creamy peanut butter cup. The recipe calls for chocolate-covered graham cracker crumbs; I used chocolate graham cracker crumbs making this layer real crumby, but still good. If you crush the actual chocolate-covered graham cracker cookies (not chocolate graham crackers) then you should end up with a more uniform layer. It is also important to allow for the whole 6 hours of refrigerator time before slicing and serving.

Ingredients: 1 1/2 cups chocolate-covered graham cracker crumbs, 3 tablespoons butter, melted, 1 (8-ounce)package cream cheese, softened, 1/2 cup chunky-style peanut butter, 1 cup powdered sugar, 1/4 cup chocolate chips, 1 teaspoon shortening.

Instructions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stir together crumbs and melted butter in small bowl until thoroughly combined. Press onto bottom of 9-inch square baking pan. Bake 10 minutes; remove and allow to cool completely on wire rack.

Beat cream cheese, peanut butter and powdered sugar in small mixing bowl until well blended. Spread over crust evenly. Melt chocolate chips and shortening in microwave until completely melted and smooth after stirring. Drizzle over or spread evenly over cream cheese mixture. Chill for 6 hours or overnight. Cut into squares.

*Because my bottom layer was so crumby, I flipped my squares over when serving, allowing the crumbs to be on the top. This procedure made them easier to pick up and eat.

Makes one dozen squares.

"Treasury of Holiday Cookies", Publications International, Ltd., Lincolnwood, IL, 1994.

Cookies Rule!!!

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