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 29, 2010

Cookie Recipe #147 - Spanish Churros

If you go to the flea market or to a baseball game the enticing smell of churros fills the air. If you can pass one by, you have more strength than I do. These are best when warm, but even as they cool, stopping at just one never happens.

Ingredients: 6 tablespoons butter, diced, 1 cup water, 1 cup all-purpose flour, 4 tablespoons granulated sugar, 3 eggs, lightly beaten, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon.

Instructions: Heat the butter and water in a medium heavy saucepan until the butter has melted-do not allow the water to boil at this point. Sift the flour and 1 tablespoon sugar on piece of parchment paper. Place other 3 tablespoons sugar and the cinnamon in small bowl mixing well; set aside. Once the butter has melted, bring to a boil, then add the flour and sugar. Remove the pan from the heat and beat the mixture vigorously. Leave to cool for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, half-fill a large, heavy pan or deep-fryer with oil and heat to 375 degrees.

Add eggs to dough and beat until mixture is smooth and glossy. Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch star nozzle. Pipe 5 or more 4-inch lengths of the mixture into the hot oil being careful not to cause the fat to splash or spit. (Use a sharp knife to help cut off the end of churro as it drops into the oil). Fry for 2 minutes, flipping over after 1 minute, or until golden and crisp.

Remove churros from the oil with a slotted spoon and place on paper-towel-lined baking sheets. Pipe more churros into oil and as they fry, place cooling churros into sugar/cinnamon mixture, tossing to cover completely. Continue until all dough is used. Place churros on a platter and serve warm or cool.

Makes a mountain-full of cinnamon-sugary puffs of air.

"The Cookie and Biscuit Bible", Hermes House, Anness Publishing Ltd., London, 2003.

Cookies Rule!!!

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