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 19, 2010

Cookie Recipe #229 - Cherry Chocolate Kisses

Bits of maraschino cherries float through these sugary cookies adding color, texture and flavor, in addition to the creamy chunk of chocolate placed in the middle.

Ingredients: 1 cup butter, softened, 1 cup sifted powdered sugar, 1/8 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons maraschino cherry liquid, 1/4 teaspoon almond extract, 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup chopped maraschino cherries, raw or granulated sugar for rolling, milk chocolate kisses, unwrapped,(I used chocolate stars).

Instructions: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Chop enough maraschino cherries to make 1/2 cup; set aside. In a large mixing bowl beat butter; add powdered sugar and salt, mixing well. Beat in cherry liquid and almond extract until combined. Gradually add flour and the chopped cherries.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Rolll in small bowl of raw or granulated sugar; place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Flatten slightly with fingers to 1/2-inch thickness.

Bake in preheated 325 degree oven about 14 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned. Remove from oven to heatproof surface and immediately place chocolate kiss (or star) in middle of each cookie. Transfer 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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