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!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Cookie Recipe #190 - Chocolate Checkerboards

This cookie of opposites blends together for a fulfilling sweet-quencher. Which is your favorite - vanilla or chocolate?

Ingredients: 1/2 cup chocolate chips, 1/2 cup butter, softened, 1/2 cup vegetable shortening, 1 cup granulated sugar, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon almond extract, 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 egg white.

Instructions: Melt chocolate over hot water. Set aside to cool. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and shortening with sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and almond extract; blend well. Mix in flour until well combined. Knead dough on floured surface until smooth.

Divide dough in half. To one portion, add melted chocolate. Wrap both portions separately in waxed paper and chill about 2 hours in refrigerator.

Divide each portion in half and roll each half into a long rope about 1 inch in diameter and 12 inches long. Brush each rope with lightly beaten egg white.

Press together one dark rope and one light rope. Stack another pair of ropes on top, alternating colors, making a checkerboard. Wrap in waxed paper, pressing it into a square log as you wrap. Chill for at least 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Unwrap dough from waxed paper and cut into 1/4 inch thick slices. Place on ungreased baking sheets about 2 inches apart and bake 8-10 minutes, until edges begin to brown. Transfer to wire racks and let cool.

Makes 4 dozen black & whites.

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

Cookies Rule!!!

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