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, August 6, 2010

Cookie Recipe #216 - Chocolate-Covered Cherry Cookies

This is a fudgey cookie, cradling a cherry, that receives its frosting before it's baked. It is similar to a chocolate-covered cherry candy but with a cookie base.

Ingredients: 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 1/2 cup butter, softened, 1 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 egg, 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla, 48 maraschino cherries (10-ounce jar), undrained, 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips, 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk.

Instructions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drain maraschino cherries, reserving the cherry juice in a small bowl. Place cherries on paper toweling and allow to dry, patting with another paper towel to aid in the drying process.

In a small bowl, combine flour and cocoa; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter. Add sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; mix until combined. Beat in egg and vanilla. Gradually add the flour/cocoa mixture and mix until thoroughly combined.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place balls about 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Press your thumb or finger into the center of each ball. Place a cherry in the indentation of each cookie.

For frosting, in a small saucepan combine chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk. Heat and stir over low heat until chocolate is melted. Stir in 4 teaspoons reserved cherry juice. Spoon about 1 teaspoon frosting over each cookie, spreading to cover cherry. (If necessary, thin frosting with additional cherry juice).

Bake in preheated 350 degree oven about 10 minutes or until edges are firm. Cool on baking sheet for 1 minute before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

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

Cookies Rule!!!

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