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!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Cookie Recipe #177 - Candy-Stripe Cookie Sticks

This pretty cookie takes some practice but even if you can't get them to roll correctly, just leave them flat and eat them anyway-the taste is the same.

Ingredients: 8 large egg whites, 2 cups granulated sugar, 2 cups all-purpose flour, pinch of coarse salt, 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks)butter, melted and cooled, 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream, 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, red food coloring.

Instructions: Melt butter and allow to cool. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put egg whites and sugar in large mixing bowl and beat until foamy. Add flour and salt; mix just until combined. Add cooled butter, cream, and vanilla; beat until combined.

Transfer 1 cup of the batter to a small bowl and stir in red food coloring until desired color is reached. In a pastry bag fitted with a small plain tip, transfer red-tinted batter; set aside.

On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, spoon a heaping tablespoon of plain dough. Spread with a small offset spatula to form into a 3x6-inch rectangle. Repeat this 2 more times so 3 rectangles are on baking sheet. Pipe evenly spaced diagonal red stripes onto each rectangle. Bake until pale golden, 6-8 minutes.

Immediately loosen edges with a spatula, and flip cookie over. Starting with one long side, roll cookie into a thin cylinder. Quickly repeat with other 2 cookies. Place seam side down on clean work surface to cool.

Makes 2 1/2 - 3 dozen sticks. May be stored between layers of parchment paper in airtight containers at room temperature up to 1 week.

"Martha Stewart's Cookies", Clarkson Potter/Publishers, New York, NY, 2008.

Cookies Rule!!!

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