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!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Cookie Recipe #272 - Pumpkin-Cream Cheese Sandwiches

The top and bottom of this sandwich cookie are Recipe #268 (Pumpkin Spritz) with an accompaning middle of a cream cheese mixture-a definite Autumn 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 pumpkiin, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, ground nutmeg (optional), sanding or raw sugar (optional). Filling: 3 ounces cream cheese, softened, 1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar, 3 tablespoons whipping cream (or milk), 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1/2 teaspoon finely shredded orange peel.

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

Pack dough into a cookie press. Using a flower plate in the press, force dough through the press onto an ungreased coookie sheet. If desired, sprinkle with nutmeg and/or sugar. (May also roll dough into balls and press flat rather than using cookie press).

Bake in preheated 400 degree oven for 6-8 minutes or until edges are firm but not brown. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool completely.

Make filling: In a small bowl stir together cream cheese, powdered sugar, whipping cream, vanilla and orange peel until of spreading consistency. Spread bottoms of half of the cookies with filling and top with remaining cookies, flat sides down.

Makes 30 sandwich cookies.

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

Cookies Rule!!!

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