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!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Cookie Recipe #249 - Double Gingerbread Cookies

Regular gingerbread and a chocolate gingerbread all wrapped up into one cookie slice. This is a "chillin" cookie, but only in 30 minute intervals (enough time to do clean-up or play a computer game or take a nap...).

Ingredients: Golden gingerbread: 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, pinch of salt, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 5 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, 1 egg yolk, beaten. Chocolate gingerbread: 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, pinch of salt, 2 teaspoons apple pie spice, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 cup cocoa powder, 1/3 cup butter, cut into pieces, 1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed, 1 egg, beaten.

Instructions: Make the Golden gingerbread: Sift the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon into a large mixing bowl. Rub the butter into the flour mixture with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the sugar, syrup, and egg yolk and mix to a firm dough. Knead lightly. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Make the Chocolate gingerbread: Sift together the flour, salt, spice, baking soda, and cocoa powder in large mixing bowl. Rub the butter into the flour mixture until resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the sugar and egg and mix to a firm dough. Knead lightly. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out half of the chocolate dough to an 11x1 1/2 inch rectangle. Repeat with half of the golden gingerbread. Using a sharp knife, cut both lengths into seven long, thin strips. Lay the strips together, side by side, alternating the chocolate and golden dough.

Roll out the remaining golden gingerbread dough with your hands to a long sausage, 3/4 inches wide and the length of the strips. Lay the sausage of dough down the center of the striped dough.

Carefully bring the striped dough up around the sausage and press it gently in position, to enclose the sausage completely.

Roll the remaining chocolate dough to an 11x5 inch rectangle. Bring the chocolate dough up around the striped dough, to enclose it. Press gently into place. Wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

Prheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Cut chilled gingerbread roll into thin slices and place on prepared baking sheets slightly apart. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until slightly brown around the edges. Cool on baking sheet for a minute or two before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

"The Cookie and Biscuit Bible", Hermes House, Anness Publishing Ltd., London, 2010.

Cookies Rule!!!

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