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!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Cookie Recipe #150 - Chocolate Toffee Brownie Bites

A mound of brownie covered in a blanket of gooey chocolate is a taste bud pleaser!

Ingredients: 1/2 cup unsalted butter, 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped, 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, 1/8 teaspoon baking powder, pinch of salt, 1 cup granulated sugar, 2 large eggs, 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 1/4 teaspoon almond extract. Glaze: 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped, 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream, 1 tablespoon light corn syrup, 1/3 cup almond brickle chips.

Instructions: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease two 12-cup miniature muffin pans well and dust them with flour.

Melt the butter and chocolate in microwave for 2 minutes,or until chocolate is melted; stir until smooth and allow to cool slightly.

Transfer chocolate/butter mixture to large mixing bowl and stir in sugar, eggs, vanilla, and almond extract until well combined. Sift in the flour, baking powder and salt and mix thoroughly.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffing pans, filling them 2/3 full. Bake for 14-16 minutes, until set but still soft in the center; toothpick inserted should come out with a few moist crumbs clinging to it. Let the brownies cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes before inverting onto the rack to cool completely.

To make the glaze: In small saucepan over low heat, combine the chocolate, cream and corn syrup, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and stir in brickle bits.

Place the rack of brownie bites, still inverted, on a baking sheet (make sure brownies are no more than 1/4 inch apart). Pour the glaze over the bites, covering the tops and sides. Use a small metal spatula to smooth glaze over any exposed spots. Refrigerate until the glaze is set, about 10 minutes. Serve at room temperature of chilled. Delicious both ways!

Store in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days, or refrigerate up to a week. Makes 24 brownie bites.

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

Cookies Rule!!!

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