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 21, 2010

Cookie Recipe #323 - Cranberry Pockets

A sweet cranberry filling is nestled in the middle of a soft, slightly citrusy cookie forming a pocket. Port wine is used, but you may substitute cranberry-apple drink in both the filling and the glaze.

Ingredients: 1/2 cup butter, softened, 1 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, dash of salt, 1/2 cup dairy sour cream, 1 egg, 2 teaspoons finely shredded orange peel, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour. Cranberry-Port filling: 3/4 cup dried cranberries, 1/3 cup port wine, 2 tablespoons orange juice, 3 tablespoons granulated sugar. Port glaze: 1 cup sifted powdered sugar, 3-4 tablespoons port wine, red food coloring (if desired). Powdered Sugar Icing: 1 cup sifted powdered sugar, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla, 3-4 teaspoons milk.

Instructions: In large mixing bowl beat butter for 30 seconds. Beat in sugar, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt. Add in sour cream, egg, orange peel, and vanilla until well mixed. Stir in flour and beat until thoroughly incorporated. Divide dough in half. Cover; chill about 2 hours or until easy to handle.

Meanwhile, prepare Cranberry-Port Filling as follows: Combine cranberries, port wine, and orange juice. Bring just to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, 5-10 minutes or until most of liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally. Stir in granulated sugar. Cool slightly. Transfer to a food processor and process until cranberries are finely chopped. Cool completely.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. On a floured surface, roll each dough half until 1/8 inch thick. Cut into 3-inch rounds. Place 1/2 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets. Spoon 1/2 teaspoon Cranberry-Port filling onto center of each. Fold in half; seal.

Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 7-8 minutes or until edges are firm and bottoms are very lightly browned. Transfer to wire racks and let cool.

Make Port Glaze: Combine powdered sugar and enough port wine to make glaze of drizzling consistency. If desired, tint with a small amount of red food coloring. Drizzle over each cooled cookie in desired pattern.

Make Powdered Sugar Icing: Combine powdered sugar, vanilla, and enough milk to make of drizzling consistency. Drizzle over the port glaze in desired pattern.
Allow glazes to harden.

Makes about 42 cookies.

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

Cookies Rule!!!

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