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, July 5, 2010

Cookie Recipe #184 - Fourth of July Blueberry Softbakes

Even though the fourth was yesterday, here's another patriotic cookie. The blueberries and cranberries inside this soft cookie (almost biscuit-like) make for a healthier treat (no chocolate involved).

Ingredients: 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature, diced, 1/4 cup raw sugar, plus extra for sprinkling (may also use granulated sugar), 1/2 cup sour cream, 1 cup fresh blueberries, 1/2 cup semi-dried cranberries.

Instructions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper;set aside. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and cinnamon into a large mixing bowl. Add the diced butter and rub in with your fingers until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs (remember kindergarten play-doh??). Stir in the sugar; then add the sour cream, blueberries and cranberries, stirring just until combined.

Spoon 10-12 mounds of the mixture, spaced well apart, on to the prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle with the extra sugar and bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden and firm in the center. Remove to wire racks to cool. May serve warm or cooled.

Makes 10-12 softbakes.

"The Cookie and Biscuit Bible", Anness Publishing Ltd., London, 2003.

Cookies Rule!!!

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