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, July 7, 2010

Cookie Recipe #186 - Mocha-Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars

Picture your favorite chocolate chip cookie and a creamy piece of cheesecake; now put them together into one delicious bar and you have today's cookie recipe. Starting with a refrigerated package of cookie dough (I'll have everyone know this is the first time in my life I've ever bought cookie dough!!), this is a simple-to-make recipe.

Ingredients: 1 18-ounce package refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough, 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened, 1/3 cup granulated sugar, 1 egg, 1 tablespoon instant coffee crystals, 1 teaspoon water, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1/2 cup miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Instructions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a 13x9x2-inch baking pan crumble cookie dough and press evenly into bottom; set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl beat together cream cheese, sugar and egg until smooth. In a small bowl stir together coffee crystals, water, and vanilla until crystals dissolve. Stir coffee mixture into cream cheese mixture. Spread evenly over crust. Sprinkle with chocolate chips.

Bake in preheated 350 degree oven about 20 minutes or until completely set. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack before cutting into bars or squares.

Store in the refrigerator up to 3 days or freeze up to a month.

Makes 36 bars.

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

Cookies Rule!!!

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