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!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Cookie Recipe #179 - Peanut and Raisin Squares

Several flavors and textures are enjoyed when taking a bite of today's cookie. Salty and crunchy peanuts, chewy oatmeal, sweet raisins, then topped with a layer of toasted coconut leaves you with a pleasant mouthful. The best part is no oven is needed!

Ingredients: 1 1/2 cup peanuts (I used dry roasted), 1 1/2 cups oatmeal, 3 cups raisins, 3/4 cup peanut butter, creamy or crunchy, 1 cup toasted shredded coconut(optional).

Instructions: Toast 1 cup shredded coconut in a pan on top of the stove, stirring constantly, over medium high heat, until mostly browned; allow to cool(optional).

In food processor, grind peanuts. Add oatmeal, raisins and peanut butter; process until well combined. Pour mixture into a 13x9-inch pan spreading evenly. Sprinkle toasted coconut over top, if using. Cover with plastic and chill for at least one hour in the refrigerator. Cut into 2-inch squares.

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