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, October 2, 2010

Cookie Recipe #273 - Maple-Pecan Biscotti

The sweet maple flavor and crunchy pecans give this cookie a definite eat-more-than-one reputation.

Ingredients: 1/3 cup butter, softened, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 2 eggs, 1/4 cup maple syrup (I used the real thing made by my father-in-law), 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, 1 cup chopped pecans, toasted (or untoasted), 1/3 cup finely chopped pecans, 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar, 5-6 tablespoons maple syrup.

Instructions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease or line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter; add sugar and baking powder, mixing well. Beat in eggs, maple syrup, and vanilla until combined. Gradually mix in flour until thoroughly combined; stir in 1 cup pecans.

Divide dough in half. Shape each half into a 9-inch-long roll. Place rolls 4 inches apart on prepared baking sheet; flatten slightly. Sprinkle with the 1/3 cup pecans; press into tops of logs. Flatten to about 3 inches wide.

Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 25-30 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on baking sheet for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Transfer rolls to a cutting surface. Use a serrated knife to cut each roll diagonally into 1/2-inch slices. Place slices, cut side down, on ungreased baking sheets. Bake in prheated 325 degree oven for 8 minutes. Remove from oven, turn slices over, and continue baking 8-10 minutes more or until dry and crisp (do not overbake). Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool.

Make drizzle: In a small bowl stir together powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon maple syrup. Stir in additional maple syrup to make drizzling consistency. Drizzle over cooled cookies and allow to harden.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

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

Cookies Rule!!!

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