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!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Cookie Recipe #195 - Date Surprises

If you like dates, you will love these cookies-slivers of almonds inside a date inside a sugar-coated cookie.

Ingredients: 3/4 cup pitted dates (about 15), 2 tablespoons slivered almonds, 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened, 1 cup granulated sugar, 1 egg, 1/8 teaspoon almond extract, 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 cup whole-wheat flour (or 2 cups all-purpose), coarse or raw sugar.

Instructions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut each date in half; stuff each half with 2 slivers of almond; set aside.

In large mixing bowl, cream butter with sugar. Add egg and almond extract, and beat until well blended. Gradually fold in flours and mix well.

Pull off pieces of dough the size of walnuts. Roll into ball, flatten and press one date half in center. Form dough around date and roll again into a ball. In small bowl of coarse or raw sugar, toss ball until well coated.

Place and baking sheets about 1 inch apart and bake 10-12 minutes, until firm and golden. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Makes about 2 1/2 dozen cookies.

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

Cookies Rule!!!

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