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!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Cookie Recipe #201 - Chocolate Raspberry Bars

The marriage of raspberry and chocolate in one pan makes for a brownie-like delight.

Ingredients: 1/3 cup granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons butter, 2 tablespoons water, 1 3/4 cups (10 ounce package)chocolate chips or chunks, divided, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 2/3 cup all-purpose flour, 1/4 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/3 cup seedless red raspberry preserves, 1/2 cup finely chopped nuts (I used pecans), Pecan halves (optional).

Instructions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan; set aside.

In medium saucepan, combine sugar, butter, and water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils. Remove from heat; immediately add 1 cup chocolate chips (chunks), stirring until melted. Stir in egg and vanilla. Stir together flour, baking powder, and salt; add to chocolate mixture, beating until blended. Stir in remaining 3/4 cup chocolate chips (chunks); spread batter into prepared pan.

Place pan in freezer for 10 minutes. Stir preserves to soften; spread over chilled batter. Sprinkle chopped nuts evenly over top.

Bake 35-40 minutes in preheated 350 degree oven or until bars begin to pull away from sides of pan. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars and garnish with pecan halves, if desired.

Makes 16 bars.

"Hershey's Chocolate Lover's Cookbook", Brimar Publishing Inc., Montreal, Canada, 1993.

Cookies Rule!!!

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