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!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Cookie Recipe #214 - Black and White Twists

The mixture of vanilla and chocolate in the form of a twist with a few chopped hazelnuts make up today's cookie.

Ingredients: 1 1/2 cups butter, softened, 2 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled, 1 tablespoon milk, 1 slightly beaten egg white, 1 cup finely chopped hazelnuts or pecans.

Instructions: Melt chocolate in microwave until smooth when stirred; allow to cool. In a large mixing bowl beat butter; add powdered sugar and salt. Beat in egg and vanilla until combined. Add in flour mixing well.

Divide dough in half. Add melted chocolate and milk to one half of the dough. Using your hands, knead dough until well combined.

On a lightly floured surface, shape each dough half into a 12-inich-long log. Cut each log into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a 12-inch-long rope. Place a chocolate rope and a vanilla rope side by side and gently twist together 8-10 times. Press lightly to seal ends and transfer to a cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining dough. Cover and chill for 2-24 hours or until firm.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut each twisted log into 2 1/2-inch pieces. Dip one end of each piece into beaten egg white; dip into chopped nuts. Place about 2 inches apart on the cookie sheets.

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until vanilla dough is lightly golden. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes about 4 dozen twists.

"Better Homes and Gardens Biggest Book of Cookies", Meredith Corporation, Des Moines, IA, 2003.

Cookies Rule!!!

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