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!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Cookie Recipe #287 - Chocolate-Mint Sticks

Okay, today I was making two recipes which both had to be refrigerated, so while both doughs were "chillin", I made the filling for this recipe. After the filling had cooled I pulled the chilled dough out to proceed, but, had pulled out the wrong dough and didn't realize until after I was finished baking. Surprisingly, they turned out pretty tasty, so the following is my recipe.

Ingredients: 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, 1 cup margarine or butter, softened, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1/2 teaspoon almond extract, 1 egg, 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon cream of tartar, 1/2 cup cocoa. Filling: 1 1/4 cups white chocolate chips, divided, 1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk, 1/4 teaspoon mint extract, food coloring (if desired), 2 teaspoons shortening.

Instructions: Mix powdered sugar, butter, vanilla, almond extract and egg. Stir in flour, cocoa, baking soda, and cream of tartar. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours.

Make filling: In a small saucepan combine 3/4 cup of the white chocolate chips and the sweetened condensed milk. Cook and stir over low heat until chocolate chips are melted. Remove from heat; cool slightly. Stir in mint extract and 2-3 drops of food coloring, if desired.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Divide dough in half. On a lightly floured surface, roll one portion of the dough at a time into a 12x6-inch rectangle. Spread half of the filling lengthwise over half of each rectangle to within 1/2 inch of edges. Transfer filled dough rectangles to the prepared baking sheets.

Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until set. Cool on baking sheet on wire rack. Transfer to a cutting surface and cut crosswise into 3/4-inch strips.

In a small heavy saucepan melt the remaining 1/2 cup white chocolate chips and the 2 teaspoons shortening over low heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. If desired, stir in a few drops of food coloring. Drizzle over cookie strips; let stand until set.

Makes about 30 strips.

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

Cookies Rule!!!

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