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!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Cookie Recipe #247 - Puddin' Head Gingerbread Men

Christmas is still 3 1/2 months away but these gingerbread men (and women) made an appearance in September to give us a taste of what is to come. They are made with a pudding mix (thus the name puddin' head)plus lots of spices and topped with a tart lemon frosting. You could make a simple powdered sugar and milk glaze if you don't care for lemon.

Ingredients: 1/2 cup butter, softened, 1/2 cup packed brown sugar, 1 3 3/4 or 4 ounce package instant butterscotch pudding mix, 1 egg, 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 2 cups sifted powdered sugar, juice of 1 or 2 lemons, decorative candies (if desired).

Instructions: Cream butter, brown sugar, and pudding mix in large mixing bowl; add egg and beat well. Stir together flour, soda, and spices. Stir into creamed mixture; chill for about an hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll dough out on floured surface to 1/8-inch thickness and cut with a 4-inch gingerbread man cutter. Place on ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 6-8 minutes until set.

Allow to cool on baking sheet for a minute before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Mix powdered sugar and lemon juice in small bowl until of spreading consistency; add a little water or milk, if needed. Pipe icing on cookies in desired design or just spread with a spatula. Add non-parils or mini chocolate chips for facial features and buttons, if desired.

Makes 2 1/2 dozen cookies.

"Better Homes and Gardens Gifts from your Kitchen", Meredith Corporation, USA, 1976.

Cookies Rule!!!

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