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!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Cookie Recipe #325 - Italian Crumb Cookie

Today's cookie comes from Italy; it begins as a heap of buttery crumbs laid out in a pan, baked, cooled, allowed to sit for a day, then broke into numerous pieces and served with slices of fruit. It would be good with ice cream, also.

Ingredients: 1 cup almonds, ground, 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour, 1 cup granulated sugar, pinch of salt, 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel, 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons firm butter, cut into pieces, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon brandy or water.

Instructions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees; grease a 9x13-inch pan or 12-inch pizza pan. In a mixing bowl, stir together almonds, flour, sugar, salt, and lemon peel. With a pastry blender or 2 knives (or clean fingers), cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle with lemon juice and brandy (or water) and mix lightly with a fork until blended. Mixture should be crumbly.

Spread mixture in prepared pan; do not press into pan. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 50-60 minutes or until browned. Let cool completely in pan on a wire rack.

When cookie is cooled, wrap well in plastic wrap(either in or out of pan) and let stand for at least a day. To serve, break into chunks. Store airtight.

Makes 2-3 dozen pieces.

"Sunset Cookies", Lane Publishing Co., Menlo Park, CA, 1985.

Cookies Rule!!!

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