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!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Cookie Recipe #283 - Caramel Almond Wafers

This recipe comes from the German city, Bremen, and is a buttery cookie topped with a caramelized almond mixture giving it a crispness.

Ingredients: 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened, 1 cup granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 egg, 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, sugar for rolling, 2/3 cup whipping cream, 2 teaspoons granulated sugar, 1 cup sliced almonds.

Instructions: In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and the 1 cup sugar until creamy; add vanilla and egg and beat until smooth. In another bowl, stir together flour and baking powder; add to butter mixture, blending thoroughly. Cover with plastic and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees; line baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. Roll dough into 1-inch balls, roll in small bowl of granulated or raw sugar, and place 2 1/2 inches apart on prepared pans. Press down with fingers or back of spoon to a thickness of about 1/4 inch.

In a 2-quart saucepan, bring cream and the 2 teaspoons sugar to a boil; continue to boil until reduced by half. Remove from heat and stir in almonds. Spread about 1 teaspoonful of the almond mixture on top of each cookie.

Bake in preheated 325 degree oven for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool completely.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

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

Cookies Rule!!!

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