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 19, 2010

Cookie Recipe #351 - Candy Shop Pizza Cookie

Only a true chocolate lover will be able to partake of more than one bite of today's cookie. The base is a chocolate-chip-cookie dough, the toppings are endless and the result is a chocolate (and peanut butter)explosion in your mouth. I dare you to eat a whole slice!

Ingredients: 1 1/2 all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 10 tablespoons butter, softened, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar, 1 egg, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided, 1/2 cup peanut butter (I used crunchy), 1 cup cut-up fruit, such as bananas and strawberries (optional-I didn't use any fruit), 1 cup chopped candy bars, any variety.

Instructions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 12 to 14-inch pizza pan or a 15 1/2x10 1/2-inch jelly-roll pan; set aside.

In large mixer bowl, beat butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla extract. Gradually beat in flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir in 1 cup of the chocolate chips. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan and bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 20-24 minutes or until lightly browned.

Immediately sprinkle remaining 1 cup of chocolate chips over crust; drop peanut butter by spoonfuls oonto morsels. Let stand 5 minutes or until soft and shiny. Gently spread chocolate and peanut butter ovr crust. Top with fruit (optional) and candy. Cut into wedges. Serve warm.

Makes about 12 servings for the brave; 24 for the not-so-brave (or smarter).

"Treasury of Holiday Cookies", Publications International, Ltd., Lincolnwood, IL, 1994.

Cookies Rule!!!

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