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 27, 2010

Cookie Recipe # 268 - Pumpkin Spritz

This spritz cookie is a softer version of spritz that is jam-packed with spices and pumpkin. The recipe didn't call for it, but I added a maple syrup icing to spread over each cookie.

Ingredients: 1 cup butter, softened, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 3/4 teaspoon baking powder, 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/3 cup canned pumpkin, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour. Optional icing: 1 cup powdered sugar, 2-3 tablespoons maple syrup, 3-4 tablespoons milk.

Instructions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar together; add baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger and mix well. Beat in pumpkin, egg and vanilla until combined. Gradually add flour to mixture.

Pack dough into a cookie press. Force dough through cookie press onto an ungreased baking sheet. If desired, sprinkle with additional nutmeg. Bake in preheated 400 degree oven for 6-8 minutes or until cookies are set; do not brown. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Optional icing: Place powdered sugar in small bowl; add maple syrup and 1 tablespoon milk. Continue adding more milk, stirring constantly, until of spreading consistency. Frost each cookie with a teaspoonful of icing and allow to harden.

Makes about 5 dozen cookies.

"Better Homes and Gardens Biggest Book of Cookies", Meredith Corporation, Des Moines, IA, 2003.

Cookies Rule!!!

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