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!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Cookie Recipe #327 - Banana Bran Squares

Today's recipe bears some healthy items such as wheat bran, yogurt, and banana. Topping the bars with a thin layer of hazelnut spread disguises the healthiness with a bit of sinful chocolate. Happy Thanksgiving to all!!

Ingredients: 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 cup wheat bran, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 cup butter, softened, 1/2 cup yogurt (I used French Vanilla), 1 cup mashed banana, 1/4 cup milk, hazelnut spread (such as Nutella), banana slices.

Instructions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch square cake pan; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, mix together dry ingredients. Add in butter with fingers to make a lumpy mixture. In another bowl, combine yogurt, mashed banana, and milk. Blend into first mixture.

Spread batter into prepared pan. Bake for about 40 minutes. Let cool slightly, then top with a thin layer of hazelnut spread. Cut into squares and garnish with slices of banana just before serving.

Makes 3 dozen squares.

"The Ultimate Cookie Book", Tormont Publications Inc., Montreal, Canada, 1997.

Cookies Rule!!!

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