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, September 3, 2010

Cookie Recipe #244 - Coffee Bean Cookies

Need a caffeine boost? These little bean-shaped cookies are soft and flavored with coffee. Use decaffeinated coffee for those of you who need to watch your caffeine intake (bouncing off the walls falls into this category).

Ingredients: 2 teaspoons instant coffee crystals, 2 tablespoons milk, 3/4 cup butter, softened, 3 ounces cream cheese, softened, 3/4 cup packed brown sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 2 cups all-purpose flour.

Instructions: In a small bowl, stir together coffee crystals and milk until crystals dissolve; set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, beat butter and cream cheese for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar, vanilla and the coffee/milk mixture. Beat unti combined, scraping sides occasionally. Gradually mix in flour. Cover and chilol dough about 1 hour or until easy to handle.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Shape balls into ovals. Press the think edge of a wooden spoon lengthwise into the top of each oval, forming an indent that resembles those found on coffee beans. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets.

Bake in preheated 350 degree oven 9-11 minutes or until edges are firm and bottoms are lightly browned. Transfer cookies 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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