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!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Cookie Recipe #338 - Jewelled Christmas Trees

These are fun to make with your kids-they will enjoy punching out the holes and filling them with gumdrops. Make sure to punch a small hole at the top of the tree if you want to use them as an ornament-they look pretty on the tree.

Ingredients: 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 6 tablespoons butter, diced, 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, 1 egg white, 2 tablespoons orange juice, 8 ounces colored gumdrops, thin ribbon for hanging.

Instructions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. Sift flour into a large mixing bowl, add the butter and rub it into the flour with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar, egg white, and enough orange juice to form a soft dough. Knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth.

Roll out thinly and stamp out Christmas trees. Transfer shapes to prepared baking sheets, spacing 2 inches apart. Using a 1/2-inch round cookie cutter or the end of a large plain piping tip, stamp out and remove six rounds from each tree shape. (I used the end of my pepper shaker). Cut each gumdrop into 3 parts and place one piece in each hole. Make a small hole at the top of each tree to thread through the ribbon (I used a straw).

Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the cookies are golden and the gumdrops have melted and filled the holes. Cool on the baking sheets. Thread short lengths of ribbon through the holes so that the cookies can be hung on your Christmas tree.

Makes 12 Christmas trees.

"The Cookie and Bicuit Bible", Hermes House, Anness Publishing Ltd, London, 2003.

Cookies Rule!!!

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