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, June 19, 2010

Cookie Recipe #168-Chocolate Dotted-Orange Biscotti

This crunchy cookie is great to dip into your favorite cup of coffee. A hint of orange along with the chocolate bits and the chocolate bottom will make your coffee into an orange-flavored mocha.

Ingredients: 1/3 cup butter, softened, 2/3 cup granulated sugar, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 2 eggs, 2 teaspoons finely shredded orange peel, 2 tablespoons orange juice, 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate pieces, 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate pieces, 1/2 teaspoon shortening.

Instructions: Grease a large baking sheet or line with parchment paper; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter for 30 seconds. Add sugar and baking powder. Beat in eggs and orange juice until combined. Gradually beat in flour; add orange zest and miniature chocolate pieces, mixing well.

Divide dough in half. Shape each half into a 9-inch-long roll. Place rolls about 4 inches apart on prepared baking sheet; flatten to about 3 inches wide. Bake in preheated 375 oven for 20-25 minutes or until wooden toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on cookie sheet about an hour (or until cool enough to handle).

Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Transfer rolls to a cutting board. Use a serrated knife to cut each roll diagonally into 1/2-inch slices. Place slices, cut side down, on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake in 325 degree oven for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and turn slices over; return to oven and bake an additional 7-9 minutes, or until dry and crispy (do not overbake). Transfer to wire racks to cool.

In a small heavy saucepan, melt the 1/3 cup chocolate pieces and shortening over low heat, stirring constantly (or melt in microwave until smooth). Dip bottoms of each cookie into melted chocolate; let stand on wire racks until set.

Makes about 32 cookies.

To freeze: place undipped cookies in airtight container in freezer for up to 3 months. Before serving, thaw and dip in the melted chocolate.

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

Cookies Rule!!!

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