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 10, 2010

Cookie Recipe #342 - Cinnamon Christmas Stars

These 3-dimensional cookies are cinnamony-sweet, but can be difficult to assemble. Make sure the cookies bake long enough so that they don't fall apart while building (if they fall apart, the baker gets to eat them).

Ingredients: 1/4 cup packed brown sugar, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup butter, softened, 1/4 cup vegetable shortening, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 2 eggs, 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1/2-1 teaspoon cinnamon.

Instructions: In a large mixing bowl, mix together brown sugar, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, butter, shortening, vanilla, and eggs. Stir in flour, baking powder, and salt until thoroughly combined. Cover and chill for at least one hour or until easy to handle.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll dough 1/8 inch thick on lightly floured surface. Press out cookies with a 2 1/2 inch star-shaped cookie cutter. Cut a 1/4 inch slit between 2 points on each star, cutting just past the center. Place on ungreased baking sheets.

Mix together 1/4 cup granulated sugar and cinnamon in small bowl; sprinkle generously over cookies. Bake 6-8 minutes until golden. Let cool for 1 minute before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Fit cookies together, two by two, at the slits. (You may need to widen the slits with a sharp knife, cutting a little off of each side of the slit).

Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

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

Cookies Rule!!!

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