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, June 17, 2010

Cookie Recipe #166 - Marbled Magic Wands

A pre-4th-of-July-recipe that kids and adults alike will love. A cookie press is supposed to be used but you could form them with your fingers if you don't own a press. Any color combination works-experiment!

Ingredients: 1 cup butter, softened, 1 cup granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 egg, 2 teaspoons vanilla, 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, food coloring of choice, 1 1/2 cups white baking pieces, 1 tablespoon vegetable shortening, colored sugars or small multicolored candies.

Instructions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large mixing bowl beat butter; add in sugar and baking powder and mix well. Beat in egg and vanilla. Gradually add flour until thoroughly mixed.

Divide dough in half. Tint half of dough with desired color food dye; repeat with different color for other half or leave plain. Pack both colors of dough into a cookie press side by side. Using a large star plate in the press, force dough through press onto ungreased baking sheet to form wands about 5 inches long.

Bake in preheated 375 degree oven about 10 minutes or until edges are firm but not brown. Cool on baking sheet for 1 minute before transferring to wire racks to cool.

In a small heavy saucepan melt white baking pieces and shortening over low heat, stirring constantly (or melt in microwave). Dip an end of each cookie into melted white baking pieces, allowing excess to drip off. Sprinkle with colored sugar or multicolored candies. Place cookies on waxed paper; let stand until set.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

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

Cookies Rule!!!

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