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!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Cookie Recipe #335 - Chocolate Reindeer

Make a batch of these for your child's school Christmas party.

Ingredients: 1 cup butter, softened, 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, 1/3 cup cocoa powder, 2 teaspoons cream of tartar, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 3 eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, pretzel twists, candy-coated chocolate pieces, small gumdrops.

Instructions: In a large mixing bowl, beat butter. Add sugar, cocoa powder, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. Beat until combined. Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined. Mix in flour. Divide dough into six equal portions. Cover and chill dough about 3 hours or until easy to handle.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, roll one portion of the dough at a time into a 6-inch diameter circle. Using a sharp knife, cut each circle into 6 wedges. Place 2 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet.

For antlers, on each triangle lightly press a pretzel into the upper corners. Press in chocolate pieces for eyes. For a nose, press a gumdrop into the dough triangle about 1/2 inch from the point.

Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 7-9 minutes or until edges are firm (do not overbake). Cool on baking sheet for 1 minute before transferring to wire racks to cool.

Makes about 3 dozen reindeer.

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

Cookies Rule!!!

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