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, November 14, 2010

Cookie Recipe #316 - Simple Fudge Tarts

"Simple" is the key word of today's recipe-only 3 ingredients. How simpler could they be?

Ingredients: 1/2 of an 18-ounce roll refrigerated peanut butter cookie dough*, 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate pieces, 1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk.

Instructions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray twenty-four mini-muffin cups with nonstick spray; set aside.

Cut cookie dough into 6 equal pieces. Cut each piece into 4 equal slices. Press each slice of dough evenly into bottom and up sides of a prepared muffin cup.

Bake in preheated 350 degree oven about 9 minutes or until edges are lightly browned and dough is slightly firm but not set. Remove from oven. Gently press a shallow indentation in each tart shell with the back of a round 1/2-teaspoon measuring spoon.

Bake for 2 more minutes or until edges of tart shells are firm and light golden brown. Let tart shells cool in cups on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Carefully remove tart shells from cups. Cool completely on wire racks.

Make filling: in a small saucepan, combine chocolate pieces and sweetened condensed milk. Cook and stir over medium heat until chocolate melts. Spoon a generous teaspoon of filling into each cooled tart shell. Let stand until filling is set.

*I used a dry package of peanut butter cookie mix: mix as instructed on package, cover and chill in refrigerator at least an hour for easier handling, then proceed to roll dough into balls to place in prepared mini-muffin pans.

Makes 2 dozen tarts.

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

Cookies Rule!!!

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