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 30, 2010

Cookie Recipe #301 - Sesame Seed Biscotti

This twice-baked crisp cookie is rolled in toasted sesame seeds before baking. They make a great dipper for your next cup of coffee.

Ingredients: 1/2 cup butter, softened, 1 cup granulated sugar, 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 2 eggs, 2-3 tablespoons orange juice, 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon finely shredded orange peel, 1/3 cup toasted sesame seeds.

Instructions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet; set aside. Toast the sesame seeds in a small amount of olive oil on top of stove; allow to cool.

In a large mixing bowl beat butter; add sugar and baking powder, beating well. Mix in eggs and orange juice until combined. Beat in flour and orange peel until well mixed.

Divide dough in half. Shape each half into an 11-inch-long roll. Place rolls 5 inches apart on prepared cookie sheet; flatten to 2 inches wide. Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on cookie sheet on wire rack for 1 hour.

Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Transfer rolls to a cutting surface. Use a serrated knife to cut each roll diagonally into 1/2-inch slices. Place slices, cut side down, on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake in preheated 325 degree oven for 10 minutes. Turn slices over and bake for 10-15 minutes more or until dry and crisp (do not overbake). Transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool.

Makes about 40 biscotti slices.

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

Cookies Rule!!!

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