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!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Cookie Recipe #317 - Cheeseburger Cookies

If you leave these sitting on the counter after you make them, any one passing by them will believe they're a mini cheeseburger. Biting into one will be a sweet surprise. Fairly simple to make, so allow the kids to help in the production-they will love them.

Ingredients: 2 12-ounce boxes Nilla wafers, 1 egg white, 1/4 cup sesame seeds, 4-5 tablespoons milk, 1/2 teaspoon almond extract, 4 cups confectioners' sugar, yellow food coloring, red food coloring, 1 cup coconut, green food coloring, 2 10-ounce packages grasshopper chocolate-covered cookies.

Instructions: Place wafers on 2 trays-one should have all the wafers facing up (round side up) and the other should have all the wafers facing down. Each tray should have the same number of wafers, 35-40.

Brush the wafers facing up with a little egg white, then sprinkle with sesame seeds on top.

To make the frosting (cheese): stir 4 tablespoons of milk and the almond extract into the confectioners' sugar. Add more milk, if necessary. Add yellow and red food coloring until you get the color of American cheese.

To color the coconut (lettuce): place the coconut in a lidded jar and add green food coloring. Shake until lettuce-colored.

To assemble: The frosting (cheese) is the glue. Frost a facing-down cookie. Add a grasshopper cookie. Repeat for all wafers. Then put frosting on top of the grasshopper cookies and dip into the green coconut. Repeat for entire tray. Then frost the flat side of the sesame seed-topped cookies and place on top of the coconut (lettuce). You have in your hand a mini cookie cheeseburger.

Makes 35-40 cookies.

"The Christmas Cookie Club", by Ann Pearlman, Atria Books, Simon & Schuster, Inc., NY, 2009.

Cookies Rule!!!

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