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 15, 2010

Cookie Recipe #286 - Koulourakia

This sesame-topped cookie originating in Greece is not overly sweet, just buttery and crunchy.

Ingredients: 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 3 egg yolks, 1/4 cup half-and-half, 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 2-3 tablespoons sesame seeds.

Instructions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. In large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until creamy. Beat in 2 of the egg yolks, one at a time. Mix in 3 tablespoons of the half-and-half. In another bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt; gradually add to butter mixture, blending thoroughly.

To shape cookies, pinch off 1-inch balls of dough; roll each into a 7-inch strand. Bring ends together and twist 2 or 3 times. Place slightly apart on prepared baking sheets. Beat remaining egg yolk with remaining 1 tablespoon half-and-half; brush lightly over cookies and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 15 minutes or until golden. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Store airtight.

Makes about 2-3 dozen.

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

Cookies Rule!!!

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