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!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Cookie Recipe #305 - Spiced-Nut Palmiers

This French cookie is a nut, sugar and cinnamon filling amongst a puff pastry layer.

Ingredients: 3/4 cup chopped almonds, walnuts or hazelnuts, 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 8 ounces puff pastry, thawed, if frozen, 1 egg, lightly beaten.

Instructions: Lightly butter two large baking sheets. In a food processor, process the nuts, sugar and cinnamon until finely ground. Sprinkle the work surface with granulated sugar and roll out the puff pastry to a rectangle measuring 20x8 inches and about 1/8 inch thick. Lightly brush the pastry all over with beaten egg and sprinkle evenly with about half of the nut mixture.

Fold in the long edges of the pastry to meet in the center and flatten with the rolling pin. Brush with egg and sprinkle with half of remaining nut mixture. Fold in the edges to meet in the center, brush with egg and sprinkle with remaining nut mixture. Fold one side of the pastry over the other.

Cut the pastry crossways into 1/2 inch slices and place 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheets. Spread the pastry edges apart to form a wedge shape. Chill the palmiers in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place baking sheet in oven and bake for 8-10 minutes until golden. Carefully turn them over halfway through the cooking time using a metal spatula. Keep a careful eye on them as the sugar can easily scorch. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Makes about 40 palmiers.

"The Cookie and Biscuit Bible", Hermes House, Anness Publishing Ltd., London, 2003.

Cookies Rule!!!

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