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, October 4, 2010

Cookie Recipe #275 - Stroopwafels

I had the opportunity today to use my pizzelle iron again to make this Dutch cookie sandwich. Placing a cookie sandwich on top of a steamy cup of coffee or tea to heat and gooify the filling is a tradition known by the Dutch (I must have Dutch in me; that sounds just so incredibly delicious!) The caramel recipe makes plenty, so the leftover caramel can be poured into a pan, allowed to harden, then cut into squares and wrapped in plastic, for a whenever-you-need-something-sweet treat.

Ingredients: 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon baking powder, 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 3 eggs, 3/4 cup granulated sugar, 1/3 cup butter, melted and cooled, 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla. Filling: 1/2 cup butter, 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar, 2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk, 1/2 cup light corn syrup, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla.

Instructions: Combine flour, baking powder, and cinnamon in small bowl; set aside. In a medium mixing bowl beat eggs on high speed until thick and lemon-colored, about 3 minutes. Gradually beat in sugar. Mix in butter and vanilla. Add flour mixture, beating on low until combined.

Heat a pizzelle iron over medium heat on stove top burner; lightly coat with cooking spray (away from heat!). Place a slightly rounded teaspoon of batter in center of grid. Close lid. Bake 1-2 minutes on each side; transfer to paper towels and allow to cool. Repeat with remaining batter.

Make caramel filling: Line a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan with foil. Lightly butter (or spray) foil; set aside. In a heavy 3-quart saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add brown sugar, sweetened condensed milk, and corn syrup; mix well. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until mixture boils. Clip a candy thermometer to side of pan. Reduce heat to medium; continue boiling at a moderate, steady rate, stirring frequently, until thermometer reaches 234 degrees, soft-ball stage (about 8 minutes).

Remove from heat; remove thermometer. Stir in vanilla. Spoon 1-2 tablespoons of filling onto half of cooled cookies; quickly cover filling with remaining half of cookies. Pour leftover caramel into the prepared loaf pan; cool. When firm, lift foil out of pan. Use a buttered knife to cut into squares. Wrap each caramel in plastic wrap. If caramels are slightly sticky, refrigerate them; store in refrigerator.

Makes 2 dozen sandwich cookies.

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

Cookies Rule!!!

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