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!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Cookie Recipe #302 - Sweet Spider Webs

A little bit of extra work is involved in the making of this cookie, but your kids will love them.

Ingredients: 1 cup (2 sticks)butter, softened, 1 cup confectioners' sugar, 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, 1 egg, 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest, candy-coated chocolate pieces (M&M's), 1/4 cup chocolate chips, melted, orange nonpareils.

Instructions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheets with aluminum foil; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until creamy, about 2 minutes. Beat in flour, egg and zest until a dough forms.

Fill a pastry bag fitted with a large round writing tip with dough. Pipe cross patterns of spider webs, about 4 inches in diameter, onto prepared baking sheets. Pipe web circles over the cross patterns to create the "web".

Bake cookies until set but not yet browned, about 8 minutes. Cool cookies on baking sheet for 1 minute before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Fill a small resealable plastic bag with the melted chocolate; snip off one corner. Attack an M&M on top of the web cookie for the "spider" using a dab of melted chocolate; pipe on spider "legs".

Attach orange nonpareils for the "eyes" of the spider using melted chocolate (I used a toothpick dabbed first in the chocolate, then on a nonpareil, and lastly, on the M&M). Allow chocolate to harden before enjoying.

Makes about 1 1/2 dozen webs.

"Great American Cookie Collection", MM International Masters Publishers AB, Pittsburgh, PA.

Cookies Rule!!!

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