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, August 21, 2010

Cookie Recipe #231 - Pistachio Balls

These cookies are chocked full of nuts-almonds and pistachios, topped with a pistachio half, then rolled in powdered sugar for the final step.

Ingredients: 1/2 cup almonds, toasted, 3/4 cup butter, softened, 1/3 cup granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon water, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup finely chopped pistachio nuts, halved pistachio nuts (optional), sifted powdered sugar.

Instructions: Place toasted almonds in a blender or food processor and process until finely ground; set aside.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a medium mixing bowl, beat butter; add sugar and continue beating. Mix in water and vanilla until combined. Gradually add flour, then almonds and chopped pistachios.

Roll dough into 1-inch balls and place on ungreased baking sheets about 1 1/2 inches apart. Place a pistachio half in center of each cookie, if desired. Bake in preheated 325 degree oven 15-17 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool completely.

Roll cooled cookies in small bowl of powdered sugar.

Makes about 4 dozen balls.

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

Cookies Rule!!!

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