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, September 25, 2010

Cookie Recipe #266 - Peanut Sticks

This is a shortbread-type cookie chocked full of chopped peanuts, covered in a coffee-flavored frosting and finished off with a sprinkling of more chopped peanuts.

Ingredients: 3/4 cup butter, softened, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour, 1 cup salted peanuts, chopped. Frosting: 2 tablespoons butter, softened, 1 cup sifted powdered sugar, 3/4 teaspoon instant coffee, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1-2 tablespoons milk, 1/4 - 1/2 cup chopped salted peanuts.

Instructions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large mixing bowl, cream butter; gradually add powdered sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla, creaming well. Add flour gradually and mix well. Stir in chopped peanuts. If desired, chill dough for easier handling (I didn't; seemed to work okay).

Shape dough into sticks 3 inches long and 1/2 inch in diameter. Place on ungreased cookie sheets about an inch apart. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven 12-15 minutes until lightly browned. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Make frosting: In small bowl combine butter, powdered sugar, coffee, and vanilla. Blend in milk, a tablespoon at a time, until of spreading consistency.

Spread a generous amount of frosting on each cooled stick and sprinkle with more chopped peanuts.

Makes 4-5 dozen sticks.

Presented by Kenneth J. Crispo, Quincy, Massachusetts in "Pillsbury's Best 11th Grand National Bake-Off Cookbook", Pillsbury, 1959.

Cookies Rule!!!

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