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, December 5, 2010

Cookie Recipe #337 - Marbled Holiday Greetings

Each color in these rectangle-shaped greeting card cookies sports a different flavor.
Depending on how many cookies you desire, you may want to cut this recipe in half; it makes a cookie-jar-full.

Ingredients: 1 cup butter,softened, 2/3 cup shortening, 2 cups granulated sugar, 2/3 cup dairy sour cream, 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/8 teaspoon salt, 5 cups all-purpose flour, assorted food coloring, 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract, 1/2 teaspoon almond extract, 1 teaspoon finely shredded lime peel. Icing: 4 cups powdered sugar, 3 tablespoons milk (or more).

Instructions: In large mixing bowl beat butter and shortening. Add sugar, sour cream, eggs, vanilla, baking powder, soda, and salt. Beat until combined. Beat in flour until thoroughly incorporated. Divide dough into six equal portions. To one portion add purple food coloring and the almond extract; to another, add green food coloring and the lime peel; to another, add red food coloring and peppermint extract. Leave 3 portions plain. Cover all and refrigerate at least 1 hour or unti easy to handle.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. On a floured surface, break off pieces of plain dough and each of the colored doughs. Place alternately on surface to form an 11x7-inch rectangle, pressing pieces together. Roll into a 12-inch square that is 1/4-inch thick, creating a marble effect. Trim edges of the marbled square; cut square into 48 3x1-inch rectangles. Repeat with remaining dough portions. Place rectangles 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets.

Bake in preheated 375 degree oven 7-8 minutes or until edges are very lightly browned. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Make Icing: In a large bowl combine powdered sugar and milk; stir until smooth. Stir in additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until of piping consistency. If desired, tint icing. Pipe "Joy", "Noel", or "Peace" onto each cookie or just frost each cookie; let icing dry.

Makes 144 cookies.

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

Cookies Rule!!!

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