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 11, 2010

Cookie Recipe #282 - Date and Orange Pockets

Pockets full of sweet orange-flavored date and nut filling covered in a brown butter icing.

Ingredients: 1/2 cup butter, softened, 2/3 cup packed brown sugar, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/8 teaspoon salt, 1 egg, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, 1 cup all-purpose flour, 2/3 cup whole wheat flour (or all-purpose), 1 8-ounce package sugar-coated chopped pitted dates, 1/3 cup orange juice, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans. Icing: 2 tablespoons butter, 3/4 cup sifted powdered sugar, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla, 2-3 teaspoons milk.

Instructions: In a large mixing bowl beat butter for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Beat in egg and vanilla until combined. Beat in all-purpose flour, then whole wheat flour. Cover and chill for 1 hour or until easy to handle.

Make filling: in a food processor bowl combine dates, orange juice, granulated sugar, and nuts. Cover and process until smooth, stopping as necessary to scrape sides.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough until 1/8 inch thick. Using a floured 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter, cut out dough. Place cutouts 1/2 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Spoon 1 level teaspoonful of the date filling onto center of each round. Fold in half. Seal edges, pressing with tines of fork.

Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 7-9 minutes or until edges are firm and bottoms are light brown. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool completely.

Make icing: In a small saucepan heat butter over medium-low heat for 10-12 minutes or until light brown. Remove from heat. Gradually stir in powdered sugar and vanilla (mixture will be crumbly). Gradually stir in enough milk to make of drizzling consistency. Drizzle over cooled cookies and allow to harden.

Makes 2-3 dozen pockets.

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

Cookies Rule!!!

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