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 8, 2010

Cookie Recipe #279 - Orange-Glazed Brownies

This is a gooey brownie with an orange flair, both in the brownie itself and the luscious glaze crowning it proudly.

Ingredients: 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped (or 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips), 1/2 cup butter, 1 cup granulated sugar, 2 eggs, 2 teaspoons finely shredded orange peel, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans. Glaze: 1/3 cup whipping cream, 3 ounces finely chopped semisweet chocolate (or 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips), 1 teaspoon finely shredded orange peel.

Instructions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium saucepan melt chocolate and butter over low heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in sugar, eggs, orange peel, and vanilla. Lightly beat mixture with a wooden spoon just until combined. Stir in flour and nuts.

Spread batter in an ungreased 8x8x2-inch baking pan. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.

Make Chocolate-Orange Glaze: In a small saucepan bring whipping cream to a gentle boil over medium-low heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add chocolate and orange peel; let stand for 1 minute. Stir mixture with a wooden spoon until chocolate is melted. Cool glaze for 5 minutes before spreading over cooled brownies evenly. Let stand until glaze is set. Cut into squares or bars.

Makes 9 squares or 12 bars.

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

Cookies Rule!!!

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