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 24, 2010

Cookie Recipe #203 - Chocolate Ravioli Cookies

No marinara sauce is needed with this type of ravioli, but a good hot fudge sauce would be delightful.

Ingredients: 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided, 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened, 1/4 cup vegetable shortening, 3/4 cup granulated sugar, 2 eggs, 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 cup ricotta cheese, 3 tablespoons hazelnuts, chopped.

Melt 1/4 cup chocolate chips in microwave until smooth when stirred; let cool slightly. In a large mixing bowl, mix together butter, shortening, sugar and eggs. Stir in melted chocolate. Add flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda; mix well. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour (or overnight), until dough is firm.

To make filling, melt remaining 1/4 cup chocolate chips. Add ricotta cheese and hazelnuts; mix well and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a floured surface, roll half the dough into a 9x13 inch rectangle. Cut into 1 1/2 inch squares. Spoon 1 tablespoon of filling onto half of squares and cover with remaining squares. Press edges together with a fork to seal. Repeat with remaining dough.

Arrange cookies on ungreased baking sheets about 2 inches apart and bake 10 minutes or until cookies are set. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

May drizzle 1/4 cup melted chocolate chips in a resealable plastic bag with one corner snipped off over tops of cookies, if desired.

Makes 3 dozen ravioli cookies.

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

Cookies Rule!!!

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