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, July 3, 2010

Cookie Recipe #182 - No-Bake Chocolate Balls

Once you get beyond the chocolate coating, a light, crunchy filling meets your taste buds and brings yumminess.

Ingredients: 1/2 cup peanut butter chips, 1/4 cup unsalted butter, 1 cup confectioners' sugar, 1/2 cup chopped dates, 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, 1/4 cup white chocolate chips, 2 tablespoons orange juice, 1 teaspoon grated orange rind, 2 cups crispy rice cereal, 1 cup chocolate chips.

Instructions: Melt peanut butter chips and butter in a pan over low heat, mixing frequently (or melt in microwave); set aside to cool.

In a large mixing bowl, combine confectioners' sugar, dates, walnuts and white chocolate chips, mixing thoroughly so that all pieces of date are separated and coated with sugar. Add orange juice and rind to butter mixture; blend into date mixture. Fold in cereal.

With wet hands, shape dough into 1 inch balls and place on a pan or baking sheet. Chill in refrigerator until hardened (at least one hour).

Melt chocolate chips over low heat in small saucepan, stirring frequently. Dip chilled balls in chocolate until completed coated spreading with a spatula, if needed. Place on waxed paper-lined baking sheet and refrigerate until chocolate hardens.

Makes 2 1/2 - 3 dozen chocolate balls.

"The Ultimate Cookie Book", Tormont Publications Inc., Montreal, Canada, 1997.

Cookies Rule!!!

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