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!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Cookie Recipe #354 - Elfin Shortbread Bites

Only 4 ingredients make up this simple Christmas shortbread. At any other time of the year use different colors of sprinkles rather than the red and green. These are good little nibblers and look pretty lying randomly on a plate.

Ingredients: 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, 1/2 cup butter,diced, 2 tablespoons colored sprinkles.

Instructions: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a medium mixing bowl stir together flour and sugar. Using a pastry blender (or your fingers), cut in butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs and starts to cling. Stir in colored sprinkles. Form mixture into a ball and knead until smooth.

Pat or roll the dough into an 8x5-inch rectangle on an ungreased cookie sheet; cut into 1/2-inch squares. Separate the squares on the cookie sheet.

Bake in preheated 325 degree oven for 12-14 minutes or until bottoms just start to brown. Transfer cookies to wire racks covered with waxed paper and let cool.

Makes about 160 bites.

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

Cookies Rule!!!

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