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!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Cookie Recipe #343 - Yule Logs

These little cookie logs are sweet and slightly spicy; the browned butter frosting makes the perfect topping.

Ingredients: 1 cup butter, softened, 3/4 cup granulated sugar, 1/4 cup packed brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, 1 egg, 1 tablespoon dark rum (or an extra teaspoon of vanilla), 1 teaspoon vanilla, 3 cups all-purpose flour. Frosting: 1/2 cup butter, 5 cups sifted powdered sugar, 1/4 cup milk, 2 teaspoons vanilla. Colored sugar or sprinkles, for decorating.

Instructions: In a large mixing bowl, beat butter; add granulated sugar, brown sugar, nutmeg, and ginger. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg, rum, and vanilla until combined. Add in flour until thoroughly incorporated.

Divide dough into six portions. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill about 30 minutes or until easy to handle.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, shape each dough portion into a 1/2-inch thick rope. Cut ropes into 3-inch logs. Place logs 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.

Bake about 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool.

Make frosting: In a small saucepan heat the 1/2 cup butter over low heat until melted. Continue heating until butter turns a delicate brown. Remove from heat; pour butter into a medium mixing bowl. Add powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla. Beat until combined. Add additional milk (1-2 tablespoons), as necessary, to make of spreading consistency.

Spread frosting over each log. Run a fork lengthwise along log so frosting resembles bark. Sprinkle lightly with colored sugar or sprinkles. Let frosting dry before devouring.

Makes about 4 dozen logs.

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

Cookies Rule!!!

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