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 17, 2010

Cookie Recipe #196 - Apricot Newtons

Instead of a fig filling, this cookie contains sweet apricots.

Ingredients: 1/2 cup unsalted butter,softened, 1/2 cup (4 ounces)cream cheese, softened, 3/4 cup granulated sugar, 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1 cup dried apricots, 3 tablespoons corn syrup.

Instructions: In a large mixing bowl cream butter and cream cheese with sugar. Sift flour with baking powder and add to creamed mixture. Cover and chill in refrigerator 1-2 hours or until firm.

While dough is chilling, prepare filling: in a saucepan, cover apricots with water and simmer until fruit is soft. Puree' apricots, return to saucepan with the corn syrup and continue cooking until it thickens into a jam. Allow to cool completely.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. Divide dough into 3 portions. While working with one portion, refrigerate remaining dough. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 6x10 inch rectangle. Spread 1/3 of filling down length of rectangle, just to the left of center. Using a pastry brush, moisten 1/2 inch of right edge with water.

Lift left edge of dough over filling. Lift right edge to overlap dough. Press gently to seal. Pinch ends closed. Repeat with remaining dough.

Using a broad spatula, transfer to prepared baking sheets, seam side down. Bake 20-25 minutes, until golden.

Remove from oven and allow to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes. Trim off irregular ends, then cut into 1 1/2 inch bars. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Makes 1 1/2 - 2 dozen bars.

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

Cookies Rule!!!

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