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!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Cookie Recipe #277 - Chocolate-Covered Macaroons

This elegant cookie is no normal macaroon. The coconut cookie's bottom is spread with a chocolate buttercream frosting then dipped into melted chocolate. They can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Ingredients: 4 egg whites, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 2/3 cup granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, 3 cups lightly packed flaked coconut. Buttercream: 7 tablespoons granulated sugar, 7 tablespoons water, 4 egg yolks, 2/3 cup butter, softened, 4 teaspoons cocoa, 1 cup chocolate chips, 2 teaspoons shortening.

Instructions: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat egg whites until foamy; beat in salt, sugar, vanilla, and flour. Add coconut and stir until well combined. Drop batter by rounded teaspoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets, spacing cookies about 1 inch apart. Bake in preheated 325 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. Let cool briefly on baking sheets, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Make chocolate buttercream: In a small pan, stir together granulated sugar and water. Bring to a boil over high heat; continue to boil until syrup reaches 230-234 degrees on a candy thermometer. In small bowl, beat egg yolks until blended. Beating constantly, slowly add hot syrup in a thin, steady stream; beat until mixture is thick and lemon-colored and has cooled to room temperature. Then beat in butter, a tablespoon at a time, just until blended. Stir in cocoa. (If mixture gets dark and runny from overbeating, refrigerate it, then beat again.)

Spread one tablespoonful over bottom of each cooled cookie. Place cookies, buttercream side up, in a single layer on a pan or plate and refrigerate until buttercream is firm (at least 15 minutes).

Meanwhile, place chocolate chips and shortening in microwaveable bowl and heat, one minute at a time, until chocolate is melted and smooth when stirred. Dip each cookie, buttercream side down, into chocolate until covered. Allow extra chocolate to drip off into bowl before placing cookies, chocolate side up, in a pan. Refrigerate until chocolate is set (at least 10 minutes). When chocolate is firm, cover cookies lightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

"Sunset Cookies", Lane Publishing Co, Menlo Park, CA, 1985.

Cookies Rule!!!

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