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 23, 2010

Cookie Recipe #202 - Coconut-Topped Cookies

From Michigan to California and all the points in between, these cookies can be baked ahead of time, popped into the freezer, then packed for your next road trip. (You will probably need to bake a double batch so you can eat half while freezing the rest). Any cookie cutter will work to achieve the coconutty sweetness packed in every bite.

Ingredients: 1 cup unsalted butter, softened, 1 cup brown sugar, packed, 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/2 teaspoon almond extract, 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted, 1 teaspoon baking powder, pinch of salt, sweetened finely shredded coconut, raw (or granulated) sugar.

Instructions: In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Mix in eggs, vanilla and almond extract. Mix flour with baking powder and salt; add to batter and mix well. Cover and refrigerate at least an hour.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.

Roll dough evenly on lightly floured surface and cut out shapes with cookie cutter dipped in flour. Arrange on baking sheets at least an inch apart. Top cookies with shredded coconut, pressing down lightly; sprinkle sugar generously over each cookie.

Bake 10-12 minutes until lightly browned around edges. Carefully remove cookies to wire racks to cool completely.

Makes 2-3 dozen cookies.

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

Cookies Rule!!!

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