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!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Cookie Recipe #267 - Creamy Filled Brownies

A fluffy cream cheese filling snuggled between two tiers of oh-so-chocolatey brownie then completed with a glaze of guess what?-chocolate! If you go jogging for the rest of the day, dig 100 ditches, or climb 100 staircases, you'll never notice how many calories are contained in one of these. (But they're worth every one!)

Ingredients: 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, 1/3 cup cocoa, 2 eggs, 1 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, 1/4 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 cup finely chopped nuts. Filling: 3 ounces softened cream cheese, 2 tablespoons softened butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar. Glaze: 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons water, 1/2 cup chocolate chips.

Instructions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 15 1/2 x 10 1/2 x 1-inch jelly roll pan with foil; grease foil. In small saucepan, melt butter; remove from heat. Stir in cocoa until smooth. In small mixer bowl, beat eggs; gradually add sugar, beating until fluffy. In separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, and salt; add to egg mixture. Add cocoa mixture and vanilla; blend well. Stir in 1 cup nuts. Spread batter in prepared pan.

Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 12-14 minutes or until top springs back when touched lightly in center. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.

Make Creamy Filling: In small bowl, combine cream cheese, butter and vanilla. Gradually add powdered sugar and beat to spreading consistency. Spread over one half of brownie; top with second half.

Make Glaze: In small saucepan, heat sugar and water to boiling. Remove from heat; immediately add chocolate chips, stirring until melted and smooth. Spread evenly over top of brownie sandwich; sprinkle with remaining nuts (I used grated white choclate). After glaze has set, cut into bars or squares.

Makes 24 bars.

"Hershey's Homemade", Hershey Foods Corporation, 1991.

Cookies Rule!!!

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