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!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Cookie Recipe #234 - Chocolate Cappuccino Brownies

Even if you don't take cream with your coffee, I think you will like this rich treat. It's definitely a "keeper" recipe for future bakings.

Ingredients: 1/2 cup butter, 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped (I used chocolate chips), 1 cup granulated sugar, 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 2/3 cup all-purpose flour, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon instant coffee crystals, 1 tablespoon whipping cream, 1 cup sifted powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons butter, softened. Chocolate Frosting: 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips, 1/3 cup whipping cream. Coffee beans (optional).

Instructions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 8x8x2 inch baking pan; set aside. In a medium saucepan, melt the 1/2 cup butter and the unsweetened chocolate over low heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; cool slightly. Stir in granulated sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating with a wooden spoon after each addition just until combined. Stir in vanilla.

In a small bowl, stir together flour and baking soda; add to chocolate mixture, stirring just until combined. Spread batter in prepared pan and bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, for topping, dissolve coffee crystals in whipping cream. In a small mixing bowl beat together powdered sugar and the 2 tablespoons softened butter. Add whipping cream mixture and beat until creamy. If necessary, add a little additional whipping cream until mixture is of spreading consistency. Spread over the warm brownies. Chill about 1 hour in refrigerator or until topping is set.

Make frosting: In a small saucepan, combine the 1 cup chocolate chips and 1/3 cup whipping cream. Cook and stir over low heat until chocolate is melted and mixture begins to thicken. Carefully spread frosting over brownies. Chill until frosting is set. Cut into bars. If desired, top each brownie with a coffee bean (or chocolate-covered coffee bean).

Makes 16 squares of the 3 C's - chocolate, cream and coffee.

Cover and store in the refrigerator up to 3 days.

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

Cookies Rule!!!

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