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, August 5, 2010

Cookie Recipe #215 - Florentine Bites

Chewy and crunchy sweetness laying on a bed of chocolate makes for a bite-size treat.

Ingredients: 7 ounces of semisweet chocolate, 2 1/2 cups cornflakes, 1/2 cup raisins, 1 cup toasted, sliced almonds, 1/2 cup maraschino cherries, drained and cut in half, 1 cup sweetened condensed milk.

Instructions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line the base of a shallow baking pan with parchment paper. Lightly grease the sides. Melt the chocolate in the microwave until smooth (or over low heat on stovetop). Spread evenly over the base of the pan. Put in the refrigerator to set for a few minutes.

Meanwhile, put the cornflakes, raisins, almonds, and cherries in a large bowl. Pour over the condensed milk and toss the mixture gently, using a fork.

Spread the mixture evenly over the set chocolate base and bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown. Cool in the pan, then chill for 20-30 minutes. Cut into tiny squares.

Makes 36 bites.

"The Cookie and Biscuit Bible", Anness Publishing Ltd, Hermes House, London, 2010.

Cookies Rule!!!

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