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 22, 2010

Cookie Recipe #140 - Sugar Cookies - Graduation Style

This is the Betty Crocker version of a sugar cookie. I used this recipe to make graduation cut-out cookies for Jacob Winans, who graduated from Fresno State yesterday. Each cookie was wrapped in an individual clear bag and tied with ribbon to serve in baskets on the table of the graduation dinner. Powdered sugar is used instead of granulated sugar making the cookie a little more fragile, but oh so delicious.

Ingredients: 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, 1 cup butter, softened, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/2 teaspoon almond extract, 1 egg, 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon cream of tartar, granulated sugar for sprinkling, if desired.

Instructions: In large mixing bowl, combine powdered sugar, butter, vanilla & almond extracts, and egg. Stir in flour, baking soda, and cream of tartar until thoroughly combined. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease cookie sheets lightly or line with parchment paper. On lightly floured surface, roll out half of dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes with flour-dipped cutters. Sprinkle with granulated sugar (or colored sugar), if desired. (Skip this step if you are going to frost them).

Place on prepared cookie sheets about 2 inches apart and bake 7-8 minutes or until edges are light brown. Allow to cool on cookie sheet for a minute before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

A simple frosting of 2 cups powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract, and enough milk to make of spreading consistency. Add a few drops of food coloring, if desired, and spread over each cookie. Allow to harden, then enjoy!

"Betty Crocker's 40th Anniversary Edition Cookbook", 1990.

Cookies Rule!!!

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